Doctors Part 1

Managing your relationships with doctors can be a challenge. Here are a few tips that might help. It all begins with finding good doctors. In many parts of the country this can be hard. There may not be many choices. Start with a list of “candidates” – For a primary care doctor – look under “internal medicine”, “family practice” or …

Staying Connected: How to Maintain Communication Even When You’re Not in the Mood

Let’s say you’re having one of those shabby old days when your mood’s in the gutter and you’re in the doldrums.If you’re feeling grim and can’t face the thought of a conversation of any kind? How can you possibly do the connecting thing at times like this? Here are five ideas: 1. Opt for a more indirect channel of communication such …

Watch the Mood Waves

One of the best ways of helping people MoodSurfing successfully is to look closely at the shape of their mood waves. Often when we talk to someone about this idea they are perplexed. Waves are waves right? If you have a depression wave then you should do one thing and if you have a manic wave you do something else. …

Yoga

Many people we know report that beginning yoga and doing it consistently has been associated with periods of remarkable stability, energy and effectiveness. There are studies supporting yoga as an evidence based approach to the treatment of depression. But it is hard to figure out where to begin. At the end of this page are some additional resources. One thing …

Music and Mood

People naturally turn to music to change or improve their moods. There are surprisingly few studies on this. But those studies that do exist confirm what we already know, music can definitely affect our mood. Enough of the science, if we know music affects mood, how can we use that knowledge to “moodsurf” better? One thing that we have discovered …

Impossible Jobs

In this world, there are two kinds of jobs: Jobs that one could perhaps do adequately, and jobs that are impossible.  For whatever reason, a lot of folks’ we know tend to prefer impossible jobs.  Maybe because they’re more exciting and interesting. The key to an impossible job is recognizing that no person could do all the work that falls …

Narcissism

“You’re such a narcissist!” It’s easy to see why people with moods are often accused of being narcissistic. When we are depressed we become focused on ourselves and our mood and our pain. This is also what happens to people with chronic pain of other types. And when we are manic, we become preoccupied with our importance and specialness. But …

Kay Jamison

If you do much thinking about moods and how they affect us, you eventually run into Kay Jamison. She has dedicated her life to understanding mood and its impact on us. She teaches at Johns Hopkins, but she is not just an academic, she is also a brilliant writer and compelling lecturer. She is the co-author of the best one …

Natural Supplements for Depression

There are many, many supplements that people have suggested are effective treatments for depression. How do you decide what is worth trying? Here we will list the much smaller list of supplements that have been shown to be effective in clinical trials. S-Adenosyl Methionine. SAMe was recently shown in a well designed (but small) clinical trial to help people who …

Relationships and Chronic Depression

Many people with depression, particularly if they have been depressed for a long time, develop a pattern of interacting with others that is designed to protect them from disappointment. Avoiding disappointment is obviously a good thing, but it can lead to relationships that are not satisfying. Addressing relationship issues is important. Almost everybody who is unsatisfied with their relationships can …

Mood and Food

Many people have an intuitive sense that a good diet is a foundation stone of good mental health. We don’t disagree, although the evidence for dietary manipulation’s effectiveness is not overwhelming. There are a couple of things that we have noticed over the years about food and its effect on mood that might be useful tips. For one thing, simple …

Self-Consciousness: You Can’t Fool Yourself

Many years ago we read a book by renowned social psychologist George Herbert Meade entitled Mind, Self and Society. In it Meade wrote about the origins of self-consciousness in childhood experiences. If you follow the development of children you notice that at first they act as though they and the world are one, with no apparent sense of others (especially …

The Antidepressant without Side Effects

Medications for depression can be life saving, but for many people they have disturbing side effects. But there is one antidepressant that doesn’t have side effects – behavioral activation (BA). Behavioral activation is a treatment that has been shown to work for people with moderate and even severe depression and, in some studies, it works about as well as antidepressants. …

Riding the Waves

MoodSurfing is about the idea that the ups and downs of mood are normal (we aren’t trying to achieve some elusive “stability”).  But dealing with moods requires focus, discipline and some common sense. You can’t go to Maverick on your first day surfing and not get hurt (see photo to the right). The first step for many people is to …