Delayed Gratification and Mental Illness

Will you take $75 now or $100 three days from now?  In the fields of economics and psychology, (and the new field of economic psychology) the choice is called “delay discounting” although many people may be more familiar with the term “delayed gratification”.  The two terms are opposites; delayed gratification means you will wait for the larger reward even if …

What Does Hypomania Feel Like?

What does hypomania feel like?  A Moodsurfing reader recommends this You Tube presentation because, he said: “I found this video refreshing due to her very detailed description of what it feels like going through the various episodes.” Imogene Walters, working in London, has made several videos about bipolar, including one about suicidal feelings, and she speaks directly and meaningfully to …

Psychological Effects of Global Warming

Global Warming.  Climate change. Hurricanes and wildfires. More and more people are showing evidence of deteriorated or threatened mental health because of the terrifying threats posed by our changing environment. In a recent TED Talk, science writer Britt Wray noted that she is encountering more and more people who are losing psychological health because of fears of climate change.  Those …

Famous Women with Bipolar

Our friends at BPHope have done it again!  A new post showing “Five Famous Females who are crushing stigma” gives us thumbnails of five interesting celebrities with bipolar, and only one of them has already been profiled on Moodsurfing: Demi Lovato. The others are three actors and a news anchor, all of whom are talking publicly about their diagnoses and …

Men and Depression

Dr. Jed Diamond has a website called Men Alive that looks at men’s health in new ways.  Depression, stress management, anger and love are all life experiences that play out very differently for men and for women.  Yet depression, in particular is often viewed as a “women’s” problem, and notably more than twice as many women as men are diagnosed …

Going to the Beach to Relieve Depression?

How about if there was scientific evidence to support the notion that a sauna, or a nice, hot bath, or spending time lying in the sun on the beach is good for your mental health?  Moodsurfing is always on the alert for evidence related to alternative treatments such as music, meditation, and nutritional supplements, so this article caught our collective …

Screen Time, Teenagers, and Depression

Is there a link between teenagers’ use of electronic devises and depression? Well, it’s complicated. A new study analyzing data from high school students in Montreal has found a significant link between increased “screen time” and an increase in depressive symptoms.  Interestingly, the increase in depression is linked to television and social media use, but not to video gaming.  Researchers …

Six Ways to Build Stability in an Anxiety-Inducing World

Anxiety is a reality of our times.  Sometimes it comes as a vicious attack with no clear cause, and sometimes it’s raised by the news on TV or the news from neighbors, friends and our own kids, parents, and partners.  Whatever brings it on, battling anxiety can be a lonely struggle, often with no end in sight. In an anxiety-ridden …

Insomnia and Technology: Helpful or Not?

Sleep and insomnia are one of the most posted topics on Moodsurfing!  Just try typing “sleep” onto our search box and see how many posts come up.  Sleep is one of the basic building blocks of health and management of mood swings.  And sleep is problematic for many, many people. So what is the best way to deal with insomnia?  …

What’s Wrong with the Chemical Imbalance Theory?

A thoughtful personal reflection in the New York Times about living with bipolar may be of interest to Moodsurfing readers.  The author describes passing through a range of beliefs about mental illness and wellness, from a feeling of stigma about not being able to “snap out of it” to a sense of comfort engendered by a more “biological” paradigm.  Later, …

Six Important Things to Manage Bipolar

Here’s an interview published by the website BP Hope, a colleague site of Moodsurfing.  This expert researcher who also experiences mood disorder gives her top six coping strategies for dealing with bipolar.  Her insights are both sharp and encouraging: there is a lot anyone can really do to make a life with bipolar be a better life. Kay Redfield Jamison, …

Stress Levels in Dogs Match that of Their Owners

A recent study from Sweden has uncovered a correlation between stress levels in dogs and in their owners.  Though small, the study found some suggestive results, and the researchers believe that the dogs are mirroring levels of stress in their owners, not the other way around. The study looked at 25 border collies and 33 Shetland sheepdogs, all of them …

CBT Effective for Internet Addiction – Nancy

Internet gaming addiction is a growing concern internationally, and the number of patients complaining of serious problems that result from their uncontrolled internet use is on the rise.  A recently published study from Germany looked at Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) as a strategy to help these patients regain control of their internet use. The study took 143 men who had …

Crime and Children – Nancy

How do we teach children to be confident, compassionate and resilient?  How do we keep our kids safe without scaring them too much?  In the past generation, the USA has developed a real obsession with protecting our children from violent crime.  Many of us are old enough to remember the first appearances of pictures of missing children on milk cartons.  …

Stanford Mood Disorders Education Day

Stanford University will be hosting a Mood Disorders Education Day for families, communities and “Moodsurfers” themselves.  The event is free, including a light breakfast and lunch, but you must pre-register to attend.  Here’s the link for registration.  The organizers say that the event usually fills up quickly, so it’s better to register early.  Also, they request that you notify them …

Two Minute Meditation for Energized States – Nancy

Meditation sounds like such a good idea, but who has time?  Especially when you’re energized and it feels like the world is your oyster.  Colors are brighter and light and shadow so much richer – who has time for meditation?  And yet, it’s when we’re in those high energy states that we know risky behavior is just around the corner.  …

Attachment Behavior – Nancy

Does a stable romantic relationship give you a sense of security, or is it a source of anxiety?  Do you have a partner who gets anxious at any potential separation between the two of you?  Adult romantic relationships often reenact behaviors learned in infancy called attachment behavior. Attachment behavior theory looks at how infants develop relationships with their primary caregivers …

Gardening Therapy – Nancy

Can gardening play a role in mental health recovery and maintenance?  A growing body of evidence and experience is showing strong positive results in getting people to make a closer connection with plants and growing things as part of treatment for a wide variety of conditions.  From just taking Alzheimer’s patients on a walk through a garden to a six-month …

Anger – Nancy

Can getting angry ever be good for you?  Is anger a cause or a symptom of mental illness? Do men get angry more often than women?  Does anger always have to be a part of life? Aristotle is quoted as saying: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the …