Resilience

How to develop resilience to face difficult times Resilience is a process that people can learn and activate to help recover from personal or community disaster, trauma or loss.  While it has sometimes been described as a trait that some people have and others don’t, it is better understood as a skill, or series of skills, that we can all …

Vital Signs Home Monitoring Kit

Since getting in to see a doctor these days can be very difficult (for example, we are not going to be seeing patients in person until 2021), now seems like a good time to get a home monitoring kit. For around 200$ you can purchase a set of devices that will measure your blood pressure, heart rate, weight, temperature and …

Mood Homeostasis and Depression

MoodSurfing advocates identifying strategies for managing moods without medications, not because we think medications are bad, but because they do have potential adverse effects. We think that some of these strategies are very helpful, but the psychiatric establishment has not always agreed. A recent study1 provides evidence that choosing activities to stabilize mood can have a big impact on mental …

Black Lives Matter

It seems appropriate today to notice the fact that the largest civil rights movement ever is responding to the shame of ongoing racism not only in the United States, but in communities around the world. On June 19, 1865 the Emancipation Proclamation was read out publicly in Texas, the last state to surrender in the American Civil War. The states …

A Lonely Disease: Stigma and Bipolar

Stigma about mental illness is found everywhere, so why not in the intensely macho world of college football?  Brent Guy, a college football coach for 30 years can tell you all about stigma.  He hid his bipolar diagnosis and regular medication from everyone but his wife and doctors.  I’ve written quite a few of these “famous people with bipolar” profiles …

Mindfulness Online

We’re all spending more time online these days, and learning to do things inside that we used to go out to do.  How can we use this time positively to increase health, coping skills, mindfulness, and general well-being? There are more and more online resources for improving mindfulness and mental health.  It seems like we just finish a list of …

Sleep Apps

Sleep Apps

Getting better sleep – longer, deeper, more restful – is an important part of managing mental illness and healthy lifestyle.  Lack of sleep, and interrupted sleep, is one of the most common problems mentioned by our clients, and helping people get better sleep is one of our first goals for management of moods and especially major depression. Sleep technology is, …

80 Pleasurable Things (you can do at home)

Pleasure!  We all want it.  Not only is it fun, but it enables our bodies to release oxytocin, which helps strengthen the immune system, heal wounds faster, and generally increase health and happiness.  Problem is, often when we feel bad, tired, or bored, we can’t even imagine doing something fun. To help with that, Moodsurfing has posted lists before of …

Moodsurfing Updated

Seems like it’s been a while since we blogged about the title of the blog.  Why is it called “Moodsurfing”?  Living creatively with moods means we accept that there are going to be ups and downs in life, and rather than aim for an ideal “stability” we learn to manage life with moods and, ultimately, even to exploit the strengths …

Depression is Depressing

Are you supposed to be happy? Depression can be a really depressing thing to talk about and often we are told not to bring up “depressing” topics in conversation, even with close friends and family members.  People struggling with depression are expected to put on a cheerful mask and not spread their sadness around to others. How can we learn …

Life Perdures

Moodsurfing offers a guest post by Deborah Michelle Sanders, JD. Deborah has had lifelong PTSD and has had Bipolar Disorder (first Type I, then II,) since 1984. She is a lawyer in three States. She was first home bound in 2015. We think that this article is a thoughtful perspective on our current situation. The views in the article are, …

News Sources

Coronavirus News Sources

Moodsurfing has often commented on the importance of limiting reading and watching sensationalist stories during a time of crisis. But a question that seems to be coming up these days is where one can turn for reliable information that is not sensationalist. I have created this blog post as a place to store some recommendations for keeping up with the …

Compassion and Family Stress

Tips for surviving a quarantine with the family. Quarantines and lockdowns have become a common feature of our lives, and while we may be grateful for not being exposed to dangerous viruses, we are also suffering in a real sense from too much closeness to the people we live with. Weeks of stay-at-home orders may still be ahead of us, …

Seven Great Coping Strategies for the Pandemic

Moodsurfing readers have been sharing their thoughts and findings about “what works” in navigating these difficult times, and we’ve collected a series of coping strategies that everyone can use while homebound and social distancing. Keep Active.  Some people report that they are walking up and down the stairs at home, some have unearthed old exercise equipment that they had lying …

Anxious Times

Anxious Times, Anxious Thoughts Anxiety is a common companion for mood disorders, in fact, anxiety is, for many people, the first mood-related symptom they remember from childhood, before other symptoms began to develop.  Studies show that as many as 90% of people with bipolar also have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety often takes the form of constantly repeated worry about worst-case …

World Bipolar Day 2020

World Bipolar Day, celebrated every March 30, is a day to reach out, connect and come together in solidarity around the concerns of people living with bipolar.  Sponsored by the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) in conjunction with the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD) and the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), it is a time for us all to …