Morning Ritual Resumed – Nancy

Moodsurfing has frequently recommended the concept of the “morning ritual” or “morning routine” to help all of us live more creatively with moods.  However, keeping a morning ritual is easier said than done!  For people with kids, jobs, pets, plumbing emergencies and all the rest of life, keeping to a routine may get moved to the back burner more often …

Sharing About Bipolar – Gina

Sharing about bipolar with others can be a very personal and vulnerable decision. I often have clients ask my opinion about who they should share with and how to go about doing that. I think it can be helpful to pull apart these questions to assist them in getting to their own answers to these questions. When thinking about sharing …

Perfectionism and Depression

Perfectionism and depression are opposites that often seem to attract each other, and the combination can be a great challenge for anyone trying to “live creatively with moods.” Depression enhances our brain’s natural tendency to see problems in the world around us… it shines a spotlight on every imperfection. It is a perfectionist’s nightmare. Perfectionism Perfectionism itself is not necessarily …

6 Types of Friends you need in your Life — Defying Shadows

This is a wonderful blog, and I particularly liked this post about friends. We tend to think of friends on a single dimension of “good” or “bad” but different friends meet different needs… My friends are one of the greatest blessings in my life. We have weathered many storms, and celebrated many victories. I learn from each of them on …

Campfire – Online Support

Isolation.  Seems like we should have conquered that by now.  With all our high tech tools, friending, connecting and tweeting, how can anybody be lonely anymore?  Yet isolation and loneliness are real problems, burdening people who struggle with the ordinary stresses of life, and exacerbating mental and physical illnesses. The Internet is not a solution to all our problems, it’s …

Strength, Rock Climbing and Recovery – Gina

Strength, Rock Climbing and Recovery I recently had a conversation with a client who started rock climbing. As a rock climber myself, I get very excited to see people taking up the sport. Over the years I have witnessed how rock climbing can be an important part of someone’s recovery, whether healing from an addiction, depression, anxiety, or a break …

Finding Your Purpose in Life – Nancy

How to find your purpose in life?   According to Victor Frankl, a psychotherapist who was imprisoned in concentration camps during WWII, people can survive terrible conditions in life if they have a sense of purpose, and if they believe that their own life has meaning, no matter what circumstances they are experiencing. More recent studies have confirmed that people …

The Challenge of ADHD and Bipolar

Bipolar disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have overlapping clinical symptoms. Both disorders are associated with impulsive decision making, physical hyperactivity, mood reactivity, difficulty with sustained focus, among other symptoms. The challenge of distinguishing between two conditions with similar presentations can cause delays in treatment, inaccurate diagnosis, adverse reactions to treatment, and needless suffering. Approaches to treatment are quite different …

Mindfulness: No Gain without Pain?

Mindfulness is one of those practices that seems to, quite perversely, be most important to practice at times when it is most difficult to do. A successful interior designer with bipolar disorder who has been on a mild run of hypomania for a month or so told me, in a roundabout way, about how people around her were getting a bit exhausted …

Shame and Guilt After Mania – Gina

Addressing Shame and Guilt After a Manic Episode I have witnessed the immense pain caused by the shame and guilt experienced by people with bipolar disorder following a manic episode.After a manic episode, most have engaged in behaviors that they regret. The resulting shame and guilt can contribute greatly to symptoms of depression that follow an episode. Understanding techniques and …

The Science of Slow Breathing

In an April 5, 2017 article in the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds reviews new research on the science of slow breathing and how this ancient technique may work to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and prevent panic attacks. The technique of controlled breathing or pranayama (प्राणायाम) is referred to in the Bhagavad Gita, and thus dates back at least to …

Bipolar and Creativity

Bipolar and creativity have a well known relationship. Kay Redfield Jamison eloquently described aspects of this relationship in her book, “Touched with Fire.” More recently, a movie by the same name, tells one story about two young people learning and experiencing aspects of artistic expression and bipolar. There are several aspects of bipolar that may account for this relationship. Many …

Loving Someone Bipolar

Loving someone bipolar can seem like an overwhelming challenge at times. A quick survey of the internet combined with years of conversations with loved ones struggling to navigate the sometimes stormy waters, yields a great diversity of perspectives. Julie Fast, a well known bipolar writer, describes her experience living with her partner during a manic episode… Years ago, my much-loved …

Bipolar and Success

What is the relationship between bipolar and success? This excerpt from the American Psychiatric Association’s book Understanding Mental Disorders, suggests one kind of relationship… “The symptoms of bipolar disorder can damage relationships, cause problems with work or school, and even lead to suicide. People with the disorder may feel out of control or ruled by their extreme moods and behaviors. Although there may …

Social Media and Mood

Research looking at the relationship between the use of social media and mood continues to offer tantalizing hints about this new aspect of human experience. Are the effects positive or negative? There seems to be no doubt about the impact of television watching on mood. Heavy television watching is associated with depression and impaired cognitive function, even when controlling for other risk factors …

Frequent Lying and Biology

Frequent lying and its biology is the subject of a fascinating article in Nature Neuroscience. Scientists have shown that the brain’s fear and alarm circuitry (the amygdala) is usually triggered when one lies (even lies of omission or “white” lies). They’ve also shown that reducing this response by giving someone medications that affect the amygdala increases the likelihood that a …