SAD and CBT by Eric

Say Goodbye to SAD with CBT.  Light therapy might be the long-standing and go-to treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but the latest research puts promising new light on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as an effective treatment method. While light therapy does prove effective for some patients suffering acute SAD, there are downsides: nearly 50 percent of patients find it …

Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology

The wonderful thing about having two blogs (www.moodsurfing.com and www.gatewaypsychiatric.com) is that there are two sets of readers for the articles that I post. The problem is that sometimes I’m much more prolific in one area or another. For whatever reason, I have been writing more regularly on the Gateway Psychiatric website, which is where I post articles related to …

Antidepressants in Pregnancy and Autism

Antidepressants in Pregnancy: Is Excess Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder Believable? Journal Watch Psychiatry editor, Allison Bryant, MD, MPH, reviewed a recent article on this topic Boukhris T et al. JAMA Pediatr 2015 Dec 14. In this study the risk for autism spectrum disorder appeared to be higher in those women who used antidepressants (especially SRIs) during late pregnancy; but the question is whether maternal …

Our Relationship to Pain, Matters

Chronic pain can significantly affect our lives. It can result in not being able to engage in activities we loved to do. It impacts our relationships with loved ones. The limitations brought on by pain, can lead us to question our identity and certainly our quality of life. Years ago, I worked with a gentleman (we’ll call him Marcos) who was …

THOUGH THE LOOKING GLASS 5 – A new past

…So I’m diagnosed Bipolar. This isn’t a nightmare, at least not right now. It offers explanation of so much that has come before it – my attitude my ‘turns’, my sadness. I find myself reappraising the past… Repeated weekly visits to the psychologist help me begin to make some sense of the past and to examine and mange the myriad of thoughts in my …

Stigma Busters

One of the main purposes of this website is helping to remove stigma and shame and allowing people who wrestle with depression and mood swings to deal with their problems in a direct way. Shame and stigma make it hard to cope with depression because they make every thought about the topic painful and this makes positive coping and planning …

Brain Training

Brain training seems like an appealing solution to a common problem that people have with depression: a loss of cognitive function which can make you wonder if your becoming demented. Does brain training work? A number of our patients say that they have had some positive results from it. But a new study raises questions about how effectively it works …

A bipolar UK election

You have had in the US I believe your mid term elections and now the long grind starts towards the selection of a president and er the other guys. Over here in the UK we are starting our ‘well I guess we best get going then’ pre-election build up which is generating a vast amounts of indifference despite the recent …

Dr. Black – Bipolar Specialist

Hello there. I’d like to introduce myself as a new contributor to the MoodSurfing ™ blog. ​My name is Suzanne A. Black and I am a Clinical Psychologist with a focus on medical and health psychology.  I was born and raised on the Upper West Side of New York City . My intent is to inform, inspire, impact and effect …

Being Busy is an Antidote to the Terror of Being Alone

My attention was captured when I read an article that suggested that there was a common human experience that many people in our busy worlds find so disturbing that they voluntarily give themselves electric shocks in order to distract themselves from feeling it. No Time to Think. Nowadays, people can keep negative thoughts at bay with a frenzy of activity. …

Skill Building for Psychosis

One of the very hard things about many psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, is that they often begin at a time that is critical to the development of many skills and abilities needed for successful adult life. Many years ago we visited a wonderful program in Atlanta developed for young people with schizophrenia called STARS. The program was …

Befriending Stress

A colleague recommended this fantastic TED talk by Kelly McGonigal on the cardiovascular and social benefits of befriending stress (and potentially other negative emotions) as opposed to fearing these types of feelings. Kelly offers a fascinating perspective on oxytocin as a stress hormone that serves as a mechanism for resilience, helping people connect with others in times of challenge. Kelly …

Something Better Change

Occasionally, I realize that this business of helping people change  their moods is a bit like the false pride that proceeds a fall.  It’s easy to have an overweening sense of power. A woman who I’ve been seeing for a couple of years has been in an increasingly flat, depressed state. She has taken care of most of her obligations, …

Get Ready for Fall

As August winds itself up, it is time to start thinking about the fall and then winter coming up. A little bit like the squirrels, who are already putting away food for the winter, it may make sense to make sure that you have what you need to have a happy and energetic fall and winter. The first thing is …

Postpartum Episodes

Summary and Comment Perinatal Mood Episodes Common in Women with Bipolar Disorder Women with bipolar I disorder had higher risk for episodes within 6 weeks of delivery than those with bipolar II disorder or recurrent major depression.   All mood disorders tend to recur during pregnancy or the postpartum period, but does the frequency and timing of recurrences vary by …