Manic One Day, Meh the Next? It’s Not Just You.

Letters spelling mood on swings

Zoomers in Portland and Seattle report rapidly cycling moods that have nothing to do with their love of bikes.

Consider what went through your head the last time someone casually asked how you’re doing.

Did time slow down as you debated five answers that ranged from “Great!” to a philosophical reflection on suffering and the human condition? Take heart — you’re not the only one stuck in a mental spincycle.

At ZOOM+Care, our mental health team is seeing more people struggling with mood swings. “The first thing I’m hearing is that people feel irritable and annoyed at everyone and everything,”  says Erik Vanderlip, MD MPH, Psychiatrist and Primary Care Lead at ZOOM+Care. “When we dig further, there’s a pattern of feeling highly productive and energetic or restless — almost manic — for a few days or weeks, followed by a period of draining doubt and frustration.”

It sounds a little like bipolar disorder, but it’s not that severe. “What we’re learning in the mental health field is that every condition exists on a spectrum,” says Dr. Vanderlip. “Changing moods can become disruptive to your well-being, relationships, and/or job without reaching the level of the most severe forms of bipolar disorder.”

Think of mental health issues the same way you would a cough: If it’s just a tickle in your throat that has minimal impact on your day, it’s no big deal. If it persists for two weeks and it’s bugging you at home and work, consider seeing a doc.


  • Are the ups and downs getting disruptive? If your mood is putting stress on your relationships or making it harder to get things done at work, it’s time for a mental health check-up.
  • Are you still as resilient as you were before? When problems come up on down days, do you feel as capable of handling them as in the past? Or are you so checked out, you’ve lost your resolve to fix things?
  • Are you worried about how much you worry? There are a lot of rational things to be worried about, but if anxiety is becoming its own issue, talk to a doc.


  • Keep a journal to track mood changes and their triggers.
  • Stay active — take short walks a few times a day.
  • Avoid skipping meals.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Breathe deeply in stressful moments.
  • Lean on friends you trust.


At your neighborhood ZOOM+Care clinic – Schedule a same-day, no-wait visit for mental health.  “At Zoom, we make it super easy to get treatment for any health issue, whether it’s for your ankle, lungs, or frontal lobe,” says Dr. Vanderlip.  

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This Tide Pod Thing Is Going Too Far

No kid you know would purposely eat laundry detergent… would they? ZOOM+Care’s Lead Pediatrician Dr. Mark Banks prepares you for the worst-case scenario.

Maybe you’ve seen posts comparing travel-sized Tide packages to juice boxes, tips on making Tide Pod pizza, or a snapshot of the ravioli-like detergent packets garnished with herbs. It would be funny if kids all over the country — including Portland and Seattle — weren’t ending up hospitalized (or dead) after consuming detergent.

What started as a stupid internet joke is now serious enough to prompt the American Association of Poison Control Centers to issue an official High Alert for intentional exposures to detergent packets among 13 to 19 year olds. And YouTube is scrambling to delete any videos related to the Tide Pod Challenge.

The worst part is that if teens are messing with them, Tide Pods are more likely to end up in toddler’s hands. Last year, there were 10,570 reports of kids under the age of 5 coming in contact with the packets. Risks of ingestion include seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and death.

“Substances in laundry detergent can cause excruciating burns that penetrate and perforate the tissue of the throat and esophagus,” says Dr. Mark Banks, Lead Pediatrician at ZOOM+Care. “These pods have caused fatalities in small children, so it’s a big deal.”


  • Keep detergents on a high shelf in their original packaging. If you live with kids, pets, or a cognitively-impaired adult, store them in a locked cabinet.
  • Warn your eye-rolling teenager. “Ask your kids what they think of these memes,” says Dr. Banks. “If they don’t acknowledge the danger themselves, be clear — it has killed people.”
  • Talk to other parents. It takes a village to keep kids from doing moronic things. Ask fellow parents what steps they take to keep children from jumping onto dangerous bandwagons.


  • Call 911 immediately if… you know or suspect that someone has ingested laundry detergent and can see that they’re in distress. They may be holding their throat, choking, bleeding from the mouth, drooling, and/or having trouble breathing.



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Same-day. No-wait Visits for Pediatrics, Primary Care, Urgent Care, and Specialty Care.

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Portrait of Lead Pediatrician, Mark Banks, MD
Lead Pediatrician, Mark Banks, MD

Seen at Zoom: Growing Concern About Low Sex Drive

Zoom’s Lead Gynecologist Cynthia McNally, MD, is seeing more women in their 20s and 30s worried about low sex drive. Maybe a little too worried. Turns out, there’s a lot of confusion about what constitutes “normal” female libido.

Here are a few fascinating truths about female arousal that will put things in perspective — and help you decide if you need to see a doc.

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Seen at Zoom: Handling Anti-Vaccine Conversations with Care

The number of parents choosing not to follow the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule is growing, especially here in Oregon. We’re one of nine states with the largest percentage of unvaccinated infants and toddlers.

The anti-vaccine trend is putting pediatricians in a difficult spot. Should they keep unvaccinated kids in their practice or turn them away?

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How We Zoom: Co-Founder & CEO Dave Sanders at TEDx Portland 2017

On April 15th, ZOOM+Care Co-Founder and CEO Dave Sanders took the stage at TEDx Portland to reveal the 3-part formula that has already begun to revolutionize healthcare. Watch the crowd-rallying talk or read the full transcript below.

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Seen at Zoom: Our Derm’s 5 Fave Sunscreens For Sensitive Skin

Crappy sunscreen makes you feel like you’re coated in Elmer’s glue. It can also irritate sensitive and acne-prone skin. Which is why many of us with skin issues often skip SPF altogether.

Of course we know we shouldn’t: Wearing sunscreen on the regular can lower risk of melanoma by 50-73%. We just need to find one we can tolerate.

To that end, we asked Zoom’s Lead Dermatologist Omar Qutub, MD, for his reigning favorites. If your current bottle, tube, stick, or aerosol SPF isn’t cutting it, check out this list.

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Hey Zoom, Fidget Spinners Don’t Actually Help with Anxiety, Do They?

There’s no research on fidget spinners, but some psychiatrists are optimistic that the toy can help kids with autism avoid more disruptive behaviors. It may also reduce nervous habits like nail biting.

Like stress balls or worry stones, it’s really how you choose to use a fidget spinner that matters.

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Hey Zoom, is Drinking LaCroix All Day Bad For Me?

Gulp. We hope not. But now that you mention it… a bunch of rumors about the health risks of carbonated water are coming to mind.

Given our nationwide obsession with LaCroix (which Zoom has no affiliation with, by the way), it’s time to double-check the research.

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Hey Zoom, Is It OK to Suggest Someone Get Help for Anxiety or Depression?

It depends on where you’re coming from, says Erik Vanderlip, MD MPH, Psychiatrist and Zoom’s Mental Health Team Lead.

Here’s why you should give yourself a gut-check before bringing up potential anxiety or depression — and how to express your concern the right way.

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Seen at Zoom: When an IUD Causes Pain During Sex

The IUD fan club gets bigger every day. Its most impressive members? Female GYNs. When it comes to their own birth control, gynecologists pick intrauterine devices more often than the Pill or implants.

They know that IUDs deliver maintenance-free contraception for 3 to 10 years (depending on the type and model). And that serious complications are reassuringly rare. But as a recent Zoom patient demonstrated, an IUD can cause pain during sex. Which completely defeats its purpose.

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