pregnancy and depression

Pregnancy and Depression

Bipolar Network News just published a set of articles on pregnancy and depression which are a useful update of the research in this important area. Other recent articles on moodsurfing about pregnancy include one by Nancy on apps for depression in pregnancy, an article summarizing a controversial study suggesting a link between antidepressants in pregnancy and autism, an article on the subject …

Undiagnosed Hypomania

Undiagnosed Hypomania – Nancy

How big a problem is undiagnosed hypomania?  By some estimates as many as 50% of people being treated for depression may have hypomania (similar to mania, but milder) episodes as well. A recent article in Psychiatric Times encourages doctors to maintain an increased level of suspicion about the possibility of hypomania in patients who are receiving treatment for a range …

Present Moment Awareness with ACT

Present Moment Awareness with ACT – Nancy

Present Moment Awareness in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a way of learning to live outside of your head.  So often we spend time and energy thinking about how we wish our situation was, or (even more often) trying to avoid thinking about how it isn’t what we wish it was. ACT encourages us to start by Accepting what …

Depression Increasing

Depression Increasing – Nancy

Is depression increasing? Major depression diagnoses have risen by as much as 33% according to a report by insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield.  These numbers may be under-reports since they do not include the uninsured, and even among insured people there is significant under-diagnosis. Particularly concerning is the rise in depression among adolescents and young adults. Rates have increased as much …

Resistance Training

Resistance Training for Depression – Nancy

Exercise is good for depression, but what kind of exercise is better and how well does it work, is resistance training better than aerobic exercise? The prestigious journal JAMA Psychiatry has published a lengthy meta-analysis of 33 studies looking into the effectiveness of resistance training (RET) in reducing depressive symptoms.  RET includes exercises such as weight training, push ups, etc., …

Motivation to Exercise

Motivation to Exercise Tips and Studies – Nancy

Exercise is good for you but how to find the motivation to exercise? Exercise helps you live longer, defeat depression, eat healthier, and just generally feel better.  But it’s not easy to get going.  Everybody pretty much knows that, too.  Exercise takes motivation that is hard to maintain, and you have to keep exercising, not just do it every once …

absence of posts

Absence of Posts

Several long time followers of moodsurfing have noticed the absence of posts written by me on this site. This is not due to a lack of concern or interest. In fact, for the last three months I have been writing a workbook with Gina focused on helping people with bipolar two, cyclothymia and other bipolar disorders (not bipolar one). Some …

functional symptoms

Physical Symptoms without Physical Disease – Nancy

A new website designed for people experiencing physical symptoms that are not traceable to physical disease offers clear, scientific information, and also hope for those patients who sometimes spend years in the medical system trying to get relief for pain and other symptoms only to be told that nothing is wrong. The site refers to these symptoms as “functional symptoms.” …

Probiotics – Nancy

Probiotics may reduce re-hospitalization rates for acute mania episodes. In a small, but well-designed study researchers have found a clear effect of administration of certain strains of probiotics in reducing re-hospitalization for patients who have been hospitalized for acute mania.  The probiotics did not have an effect on mood, but there was a significant reduction of re-hospitalization for patients receiving …

App Predicts Mood in Bipolar

App Predicts Mood in Bipolar – Nancy

A new smartphone app predicts mood in bipolar according to a recent series of studies. The mobile phone app shows promise for identifying early warning signals for users of mood episodes, based on a user’s keyboard behavior, such as typing speed and message length. The app does not consider the content of messages typed by users on their phones, but …

Demi Lovato March for Our Lives

Demi Lovato Encourages Us to Be Vocal – Nancy

Recording artist Demi Lovato is supporting a project called Be Vocal that enables and encourages people living with mental illness to speak out and make their stories heard in the wider world.  Lovato, a platinum-selling artist who has been performing and recording since the age of ten, received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2010. “When I finally got diagnosed …

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet – Nancy

Can the Mediterranean Diet work like medicine? Can food be even BETTER than medicine? Studies have consistently shown that the Mediterranean Diet, heavy in fish, vegetables, nuts and seeds has great benefits for health and weight loss, but what you may not realize is that this way of eating also shows great promise for the reduction of depression, cognitive impairment …

Alone or lonely

Alone or Lonely

Why is there such a difference between being alone or lonely? Sometimes there’s nothing more desirable than to take a break from a good hectic and demanding life in order to enjoy some peaceful solitude. And other times the idea of being alone taps into a terrible fear that perhaps we are unlovable. Several years ago I was sitting with a …

Psychology of Chronic Depression

The Psychology of Chronic Depression

Many people who have been depressed for a long time, develop a pattern of interacting with others that is designed to protect them from disappointment, this pattern, the psychology of chronic depression, needs to be understood in order to help people successfully emerge from this devastating condition. Avoiding disappointment and rejection is obviously a good thing, but it can lead …

Mariah Carey has Bipolar

Mariah Carey Has Bipolar – Nancy

Singer-songwriter Mariah Carey has bipolar according to an interview with People magazine, carried on their April cover.  Now in her late 40’s, Carey says that she did not seek treatment for many years, thinking she only had severe insomnia. Now, she is in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder and continuing to work in the studio on her …

Spring Mania

Spring Mania – Nancy

Spring Mania – Fact or Fiction? People struggling with mood disorders frequently find their moods tied to the rhythm of the seasons.  Spring heralds an upswing in energy and cheerfulness, while autumn and winter mean “down” times for many.  As the northern hemisphere enters the Spring season, people with bipolar symptoms are cautioned to watch out for signs of mania …

Finding a Psychiatrist

Finding a psychiatrist should not be so hard. With all of the feelings that people experience that can stand in the way of getting help (shame, guilt, hopelessness, etc.), Once people finally decide to get help it should be a lot easier to find a good psychiatrist than it is. It all begins with finding good doctors. In many parts of the country …