The Moodscope Blog

19

July


A message of hope Thursday July 19, 2018


I first started recording my scores on Moodscope at the beginning of 2015 and when I look back at the early comments I can't quite believe I'm the same person. This morning I read this:

"Don't see the point of anything anymore, just don't care. Can't see how, after four years of this anything is going to make a difference. If I could go I would."

It's taken a long time and progress has been gradual, but my life is unrecognisable from where it was in early 2015. I still have occasional dips (mostly menopausal I think!) but mainly things are on an even keel. I love my life, I love my little boy in a way I didn't think possible, and boy have I learnt some big lessons about life.

This blog is very short because all I really want to say is hang in there. Whatever you are facing, whatever you are feeling, whatever space you're in, it will get better. I never thought, when I was lying face-down on the bathroom floor crying and begging not to be here anymore, that things would get better and I would love life again and want to live it. But they did and I do, and I don't just want to live it but I want to live it for a long time.

Never ever give up because you just don't know what's coming next. It might not feel like that right now but trust me, it will change.

Love to you all and much love and gratitude to Moodscope for being with me in the darkest moments of life, you helped carry me through.

Debs xxxx
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

48 comments - Permalink


18

July


Are Your Friends Normal? Wednesday July 18, 2018


"Oh, one of your weird friends, again!" said my daughter, dismissively.

She was speaking of someone I wished to invite to visit us over the summer. And her words made me think.

I suppose, by some standards, many of my friends are a bit weird. Some of them dress as Goths, even into their fifties. In fact, one of my Goth friends is an Anglican vicar - just to buck convention! Many of the men have long hair and often obscurely technical jobs. The women tend to be creative souls who have forgotten that fashion has moved on since the tie-die era of the seventies. A couple of my friends are autistic (albeit high-functioning). They are spiritual but not necessarily religious (even the vicar), intellectual but not always academic. Their ranks include an actor, an ex-Para, a Diocesan Spiritual Director and a professor of Chemical and Theoretical Physics.

Is that weird? My children seem to think so.

Equally, I have friends who are accountants and solicitors and successful businessmen and women. They wear professional clothes and lead conventional lives of work during the week, with gardening and sport at the weekend.

Is this more normal? And why?

If you look at my family from the outside, you would think that we are "normal". Certainly, my husband and second daughter feel, like Mr and Mrs Dursley, "Proud to be perfectly normal, thank you very much." They are more comfortable with people they feel are also "normal".

My elder daughter however, though not an outcast herself, has found friends in a set of congenial outcasts: her local Explorer Scout group. Apparently, it's deeply uncool to stay in the Scout movement beyond, well, Scouts. In this group are the geeks and the nerds; the people not quite sure of their sexuality, but assured of a safe place to be while they work it out; the people who don't quite fit into "normal" life. They are happy to accept being "Weirdos". At the same time, they rival Bear Grylls in woodcraft and survival techniques. They walk and kayak and build rafts and dens. It all sounds like the best fun to me – but at 55, I don't think I could keep up. And, does that makes me a weirdo too?

But – going back to friends – it is the first group of friends I go to when I need a deeper connection. Many of that first group have experienced depression. They are happy to talk about emotions, or just to sit in silence with me. They don't try to jolly me along or cheer me up; they understand. They are my tribe. I feel comfortable and totally accepted by them.

In the end, people are individuals. Each of us is unique and no-one is ever totally "normal". But it's an interesting exercise to look at your closest and most trusted friends and to see the connection between them.

(And – it's alright – I don't think you lot are weird at all!)

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

38 comments - Permalink


17

July


Why do I feel this way? Tuesday July 17, 2018


Sometimes when I am upset over what someone has said to me, people quote the following:

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." That is a quotation attributed the Eleanor Roosevelt.

What does it mean? Does it mean that if we feel bad about ourselves that is the only time someone's thoughtless heartless mean comment can have an effect. I do not know. It never seemed to make sense to me.

When people say critical things to me I often fall to pieces. Maybe I am giving them power, maybe I am giving them consent to upset me. It is so hard, especially when I am trying so hard to do something when everyone is criticising me.

I think one of the hardest things is when I have felt criticised in my role as a mother. Whether it is by a loved one or a stranger, I find I am very sensitive to negative feedback. Does that mean I have given consent to these people to make feel inferior?

I was not one of those mothers that made amazing birthday cakes out of a book or someone who had an immaculate house, no that was not me, that is not how I judge a mother. I loved my children dearly, I had a house full of books and we did many creative activities and went on long walks in the bush. So why if I know this do I let others' words and judgment affect me.

It is not just as my role as a mother that I am sensitive to feedback, I just find it hard not to take it personally where other people tell me the words were not meant in a negative way. So, what is wrong with me?

I have been told I am too sensitive and even if someone comes in to my shop and tells me I have a lot of stuff, which I do, I used to get upset.

Why can't I accept what people say without getting teary?

How do I stop giving people the power to make me feel awful?

I don't know how to do it.

Do you know how to stop giving people consent to make your feel inferior or the power to make you feel awful or to put you down.

Maybe you can help me with some tips?

Leah
A Moodscope member

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

107 comments - Permalink


16

July


An unintended gift from my Dad... Monday July 16, 2018


I grew up on a farm in the west of Ireland with four brothers and one sister. I am number 5 out of 6! It was a happy childhood, but fair to say my relationship with my Dad was never close. He was a fine upstanding Victorian farmer and sure we had conversations about issues of the day or about the farm or football or cricket. But we never talked about how we felt about each other. Feelings were hidden and their were no hugs or physical contact.

I seemed to pick up on this and went through my teenage years and young adulthood trying to hide my feelings and be a young alpha male focused on other things.

So when he died it hit me as a shock that I really never knew him. We never said we loved each other. I never heard him say he was proud of me. I would never hear some of the things I most wanted to hear from him. By then I was becoming more sensitive to better human communication and had developed the skills to have those conversations. But it was too late and I was struck by regret and disappointment.

But slowly I began to see this differently. Perhaps this was his unintended gift to me to use my time to communicate more openly and more effectively. I started to make up for lost time in my relationships especially with my Mum and family. His gift led to greater happiness and more fulfillment. And it keeps on giving.

Is there some unintended gift that you benefit from? Could there be if you re-framed something that gets to you?

Best

Adrian x
The Moodscope Team

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

28 comments - Permalink


15

July


Working on the chain gang Sunday July 15, 2018


I pound pavements, woodland, beaches or parks as one of my weapons in this battle to stay well. I rarely (never) want to go but I do it because I know I need to or perhaps because I know I have to. I always, without exception, end up having enjoyed it.

Today I walked with my eldest daughter. She is on the final leg of exams and we've had a little more time together. The air was warm even early. It was laden with life. Bees, butterflies, flies, all manner of tiny bodies with wings floating around. The pavement carried dogs and walkers, elderly folks and there were nursery children out for a walk, like little prisoners on the chain gang, harnessed together, some happy, some unhappy, some wearing the runny nose 'number 11' with their sun cream and hat.

Life was abundant. And I was aware of my mood going the same way. I think more of us may be more seasonally driven than we give credit to. I don't just mean that on sunny days we dose up on Vitamin D and the brightness should lift us – I have frequently felt worse on sunny days – I mean that coming out of and into a different time of year can take time and adjustment.

As always, go small. Try open windows. Try drinking that tea outside. Just listen. Creep slowly back into the world if you have to but do it. Even if you only stretch your neck out the window for one wee peek, stay there until you have some thoughts, you may find a new perspective out there. And remind yourself that, as nature teaches us, we have our times to hibernate and we have our times to unfurl. Both serve us, deny neither.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

42 comments - Permalink


14

July


To Cuff or not to Cuff... Saturday July 14, 2018


I recently bought a lovely jumpsuit from a well known beauty catalogue. I've decided it's going to be my "relaxing" playsuit instead... and I am taking the cuffs off the bottom of the legs. Maybe it's an association thing but when I think of cuffs I think of restriction and sometimes, formality. Shirt cuffs, sewn on cuffs.... you name it. For me a shirt can be casual but often in a work sense, it's usually smart. When I see cuffs on more casual clothes, I think of tracksuit bottoms. I'm the sort of person who rarely wears sports gear for other than its purpose. But other people re-purpose the sports wear and make it what they want and that's okay too. My husband said I looked like MC Hammer in it. If it makes me dance as energetically as him, I don't mind... I could dance in it, lie on the sofa in it or even take the dogs out in it!

I think you can re-purpose anything you want if you set your mind to it. Whether it's a jumpsuit, your life, your work, your garden. If you have a job you hate, visualise yourself actually walking out the door one day... going to something better. I did and still do if things aren't quite working to plan and I set myself goals in place to work towards that. I had one job that I hated (a council contract job working in social services) and the person I was answerable looked down on everyone. Her name was Amanda. Every time she got me down or feeling stupid (which was frequently) I thought about escaping... and I wrote a silly poem about her called "Queen Bee" which I have shown to other people and it made me (and them) laugh. There must be something about restriction though that I keep coming back to as I used to feel so very trapped there... there were locks, and codes to remember – some of which I didn't have... making my anxiety so much worse and the clock-watching a crippling reminder of my unhappiness... why do those hands take SOOO long to go round to five o clock. Boom! I'm out the door.. and one day eventually forever ;0)

My husband and I moved 500 miles away from everything we knew and loved... into the wild unknown... re-purposing our life for a for a better one but with consequences that we had to adjust to and, certainly not without its challenges.

As always, with a bit of positivity for everyone who reads this and gentle encouragement I say, go for it... de-cuff that jumpsuit, leave that job for something better, re-purpose what you love if it needs it, re-purpose you if you feel you need to, be brave, you can do it. In the words of another well-used slogan you might know... JUST DO IT! You know you can. Feel it and go for it :0)

Liz
A Moodscope member

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

23 comments - Permalink


13

July


Relational Frame Theory 101 Friday July 13, 2018


A few years back I came across the intriguing notion that language is responsible for rather a lot of our problems. In 487 words I'll be honest: it's not an area of expertise so this is just my dim understanding and I'd welcome any thoughts. I also suspect some might be thinking, "My wretched childhood/relationships/brain chemicals/genetics etc. are responsible — not language!" Some of those at least might be significant in how personal language rules developed.

No other animal does language to the extent we do. Furthermore, humans have a repertoire of self-destructive behaviour which is extensive. There may be a link. Language is more than just words. It's the entire symbolic system that allows thought to be created internally.

A lot of observable behaviour is rule-governed. You see this clearly with animals. Rats will press levers for food and learn to avoid pain. Rats are clever and they learn rules quickly. They assess situations too: is this situation like that other situation where the rule applied? (Maybe it's a trap?) We also learn fast, e.g. If I do this then he won't love me. Is this situation the same or different? Rule following is really quick: you judge the situation and you follow the rule. If it's different, you might slow down and evaluate or quickly apply another rule. If you can't tell then you will have to deal with uncertainty (which is uncomfortable).

The connecting thought is that language follows deep rules and therefore is part of our behaviour. These are not rules of grammar that we were taught in school. These are simple relationships between concepts which allow infinite combinations of ideas. Take the relationship of "opposition" for example. Say a child gets placed with a foster family because his mum is having problems with addiction. His real mum and foster mum are radically different in some obvious ways so the child frames the relationship between his mum and foster mum primarily in terms of opposition. Because he loves his real mum he rejects the kindness of the foster mum. He's applying the rule of opposition which frames how he behaves with them.

Language/ thinking is far from transparent and the relationships and categorisations which we think with are more like the operating system of a computer — you can't see it but it's how the machine works. Similarly, our operating systems drive a lot of our behaviours. Some operating systems are buggier than others! (Windows 95 anyone?)

The basic thought is that rule-following behaviour is quick and efficient but by definition it is inflexible. Inflexible behaviour/ thinking/ rumination drives a fair share of our problems.

I know this may be fairly esoteric, or seem like nonsense, (or poorly explained/understood!), but there are some nice studies on it and I thought I'd share this notion of a small number of relationships within our language that drive rule-based behaviour.

Oli
A Moodscope member

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

51 comments - Permalink


12

July


Just, no. Thursday July 12, 2018


A Sunday morning after a long week of bottled/postponed emotions and nothing going to plan and even simple tasks seem overwhelming. Even this morning getting washed and dressed and ready in time was a struggle. (A failed one, I was late).

I sit here with family and friends listening to people talk and it comes to me. "Just, No."

No to sitting here and having to be social when being around people is the last thing I want.

No to the BBQ later of the girl who has invited me over for the first time during the eighteen months I've tried unsuccessfully to make myself available for friendship just because I now feel obligated; privileged to have been asked.

No to beating myself up about the cake I ate yesterday and the workout I missed in the week.

No to tiring myself out driving to see a friend who has also had a rough week this evening - although I desperately want to - I must accept it's not within my personal resources today.

No to holding in the 'I feel...' chat with my boyfriend because I'm waiting to ask for what I need at a time that's not stressful for him.

No to worrying about not feeling beach 'ready' for holiday next week.

No to checking the work group chat on the weekend because they might 'need' me.

No to thinking 'What could I have done' for the old school friend that died a couple of weeks ago and the 'Why didn't I find the information sooner' because I missed the funeral.

No to having to know right this minute what is wrong and not being able to allow/accept an emotion.

So I ask for the keys. Almost make it to the car. Family friend spots me. Cuddles. Appreciated. Questions. Still appreciated but difficult. Here come the tears. More cuddles. Kind Words. Empathy. Much appreciated, but bring more tears. Take care.

I make it into the car. Tears still coming.

Dad comes. Talks. Do I want to talk? No. Am I 'just' emotional? Yes. Awkward but well meaning 'Dad talk' about periods. (Not the issue today). Do I want water? Yes. Water. Thankyou. Windows open, keys there if I want to come back in. Thankyou. Don't want.

My Boyfriend comes. Know what's up? No. There's always something. True. Maybe you're just not ready to say it yet. Maybe, or maybe I'm past ready and now it's too difficult. Cuddles, smiles, tries to make me laugh. I'll leave you to it, see you in a bit. Thankyou.

So I sit and think, why don't I write it out then maybe it will make sense. At the very least it will finally give me something to share to Moodscope. (No to 'not having time' to record my score or contribute).

So I vow to myself I'll keep saying no to whatever won't make me feel better until I feel better.

How long will it last?

Lolo
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

22 comments - Permalink


11

July


The Demon Drink. Wednesday July 11, 2018


All my blogs are honest. This is particularly so. It's taken some heart-searching, but I'm writing it because it might ring true for you too.

I became teetotal at eighteen, after three years of underage drinking. Not serious drinking: more for the look of it than anything, but my soon-to-be husband was teetotal. It was an easy decision and – for as long as the marriage lasted - alcohol was not a part of my life.

Single again, in my early thirties, there was no reason to be teetotal. I enjoyed drinks with my friends. I got a little tiddly and suffered the occasional hangover; but drinking was only ever a social activity.

Motherhood changed that.

Some women love being mothers and enjoy every moment. I found coping with my daughter, and then two daughters, the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. It didn't help that my episodes of depression were becoming more frequent and more severe.

I started to have a glass of wine in the evening, just before their bath time, to get me through that nightly routine. And then another while I cooked dinner. And then another with dinner. And then another during the evening.

At one point the thought of drinking a bottle of wine a day would have horrified me. It's frighteningly easy how soon it becomes the norm. How soon, to salvage your self-respect, you switch to spirits, because it doesn't seem like you're drinking quite so much. Then you find yourself getting up from your computer late at night and stumbling up to bed, drunk. You find waking up in the morning with a thick and muzzy head is your new normal.

As my bi-polar became worse and worse, I drank more and more. I started hiding alcohol in my office. I would sometimes drink during the day.

I found I was having to lie on medical forms because my weekly consumption of alcohol was about five times the recommended maximum.

And – at some point - I realised I had a problem.

I enrolled with the Alcohol Counselling service provided by my GP, and that helped me cut down – temporarily. But they work to get you to give it up completely, and I still wanted to drink. Just not as much.

Now that medication is controlling my bi-polar rollercoaster, I can't use it as an excuse to drink.

I started to work on the reasons why I drank to excess, and to put those right, and to stop drinking completely for a while.

So far, I have only made it for a week at a time, but thankfully, my blips have been small ones. I had one such blip last night. Waking up this morning tired, lethargic, unmotivated and generally "meh", made me realise how much better I have been feeling without the alcohol.

The price for drinking is too high. I don't want to pay it anymore.

I guess that means I'm teetotal again.

Well, that's the plan anyway.

Mary
A Moodscope member

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

65 comments - Permalink


10

July


Parenting Tuesday July 10, 2018


"Lord, why did I ever have children?", I said silently to myself as I attempted to be UN negotiator. My two were tearing chunks out of each other and the air was blue.

Parenting can involve enormous highs and lows. I am just experiencing the start of parenting teenagers who are going through their own emotional rollercoaster. Add into the mix a sporty, lively alpha male 10 year old and it doesn't take much to imagine that it's quite a potent combination.

Parenting when also suffering from mental health problems has additional challenges. Tonight felt like an epic fail... I lost my tether and ended up screaming in frustration. I've had two challenging days at work, the uncertainty of a restructure and with my first Fathers' Day looming without my Dad, it all seems overwhelming.

So what can I tell myself that makes me feel better? Both children do well at school, and behave. They save misbehaviour for me!! We managed two family events at the weekend with both myself and their Dad, despite not being together.

So one sidled up to me on the sofa later and gave me a cuddle when I had a cry about missing Dad. They have a lot of emotional intelligence. They have had to and I try to teach resilience, although not my own personal strength.

As for me I took some spare medication, picked some red currants and made a cup of tea....

So to those who are parents or grandparents, what are your tips for dealing with kids when you are having an 'off' day or your mental health is not at its best?

BrumMum
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

20 comments - Permalink


9

July


"Let it Go!" Sing, "Let it Be!" Monday July 9, 2018


The cows laid on the grass, and they chewed the cud for hours – ruminating. They looked at peace.

You are not a cow.

I am not a cow.

Ruminating on the same old thoughts for hours ain't that helpful. In fact, when we are feeling low, it is down-right hurtful.

Resisting negative ruminating – the equivalent of trying to repulse and repel negative thoughts – may be seen as the equivalent of singing Disney's "Let it Go!' However, the truth is that what we resist, persists, and gets stronger. Like "Frozen" – it will just lead to brain freeze and a stronger darkness.

So, what shall we do?

Let's sing instead with the Beatles, "Let it Be!"

Unwelcome thoughts are like unwelcome guests at the social gathering you are hosting. (Yes, I know, I don't do that either – but stay with the story...)

A great host won't make a fuss when these numpties arrive. A great host will let them be, but will actively choose to invest their time with the more interesting people at the party who are worthy of their attention. The host won't get the numpties a drink, won't introduce them to other guests, won't spend time with them, won't feed them.

Great hosts will shift their attention to the good guests.

Paying active and mindful attention to interesting and worthy thoughts activates the Task-Positive-Network – and that's a GOOD thing. The negative cannot be reinforced at the same time as a positive focus is actively pursued and strengthened. It seems we have a one track mind. So let's play a new song.

Thus, next time the numpties come, don't make a fuss, and don't give them any attention at all. Find a fascinating thought instead, and get that thought a drink and nibbles in the party of your mind. Play that new song... and sing along!

I rest with the Beatles: https://youtu.be/2xDzVZcqtYI

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

25 comments - Permalink


8

July


On your own Sunday July 8, 2018


We had just driven my mother to the railway station after she had stayed with us after the birth of my first child.

My husband (now ex) and I were getting our daughter out of the baby capsule car seat when our eyes met because we both realised that we were now on our own with this little baby. No loving grandma to help with meals, rock a crying baby and hug me when I was tired and confused. It would just be the two of us and soon after, my husband left me so he could return to work.

As I put my baby in her pram I felt so overwhelmed at the responsibility ahead of me. As I stared at her chubby cheeks, I took a deep breath and hoped I would be okay.

It was just a moment in time when I knew I would be on my own.

I would like to know about your moment in time when you realised you were now on your own.

It maybe you are physically on your own, or because you chose a different path from your family or friends, you were on you own.

It may be a recent memory, or one from your childhood, it maybe from work, holidays, from home life, or involve a medical setting or illness.

Leah
A Moodscope member

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

115 comments - Permalink


7

July


Ready, steady, STOP Saturday July 7, 2018


So, dear Moodscoper, this week was one of those weeks which didn't go to plan. Life had caught up with me and I went to work on Monday exhausted. By 11am I was on the phone to my boss in tears.

I am lucky, very lucky. My boss, a former psychiatric nurse, is compassionate and supportive. He encouraged me to decide whether I needed time off. My GP also understood that I needed a break. The fact of the matter was work was all consuming, so was child rearing, so was keeping an eye on my widowed Mum. In addition physical health problems facing a woman of a certain age were rearing their ugly head. So I stopped.

It was hard. I was so hard wired to rush round like a multi-tasking superwoman it hasn't been that easy to just flop. So I have used that nervous energy to good effect. A birthday tea with friends, gardening, dog walking, lunch out and seeing friends. All self indulgent but really required.

Has it worked? I am still a bit manic but think this is at a manageable level. I will need to gear up for next week but will survive. Life is frenetic, demanding and multi-faceted. We are often expected to be all things to so many people.

So what are the traffic lights on the road telling you? Is it green for GO, amber for hold on and wait a bit or red for STOP?

BrumMum
A Moodscope member

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

34 comments - Permalink


6

July


We won!! Friday July 6, 2018


I am writing this blog in the euphoria of England's win Tuesday night against Columbia. Whilst many of you may not be soccer fans there are many lessons that can be taken from what went on in the players minds and the resulting performance. Of course without the benefit of seeing into the future I don't what will happen in the rest of the tournament.

For me one of the great positives was a real demonstration of the power of belief. The team suffered numerous set backs as the game progressed and just as many people thought that the game was won it suddenly wasn't before then descending in to extra time and then finally a penalty shoot-out. Despite everything the power of belief continued to keep the players going they never gave up and then after all the years of preparation suddenly everything hinged on a 5 penalty kicks for either team.

Imagine the thoughts pumping through the players minds as they had to think about their turns and then make a lonely walk across the pitch to take their shot – a time for either jubilation or to be remembered by millions of fans for generations to come. On top of all this the England team have been saddled with a penalty jinx as they've never won one before. The manager is one of those unfortunate players who has been there and failed to score and I'm sure that that he took this and channelled it into a positive learning experience that resulted in "the power of the process" where the players were able to calm their nerves and put into practice all their training to get a famous result.

As Moodscopers know all too well the power of the mind can be a heavy weight to bear but last night was a great demonstration of what positivity combined with the power of process can achieve. I'm sure that team spirit also played its part and being a member of Team Moodscope is a great to be a part of where shared experiences and support can hopefully make things a little easier for us all.

Steven
A Moodscope member

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

41 comments - Permalink


5

July


What Other People Think Thursday July 5, 2018


This is something I've struggled with.

I know why, I'm just not sure how to go about changing it.

I have some ideas about what I could tell myself that may help, but it seems like a big part of who I am. Maybe that's the problem. It's not who I am! :)

Having had a parent with anxiety and depression, as children, we were forced to take it all on board. I think that's why I'm hypersensitive to others feelings, moods, intentions and potential signs of how they are thinking. This leads to worry about their next or future actions. I'm sometimes right. It's no wonder I have been so anxious. It's like self preservation, (but it's important to note that it's not) I feel that I am able to read people well
.
When I know someone well, I can think I know how they are thinking, but I may be wrong.
I can also assume they know how I am thinking and be wrong about that too. So when it comes to acquaintances, it's even less likely that I'll know what they're thinking. Often they're not! :))

Oh and then there's the "What ifs" that creep in. "What if she thought that I meant...".
Someone once said to me that I would never know what the other people in the room were all thinking so don't bother about it.

Does anyone know of ways to change this pattern of worry?

It's not healthy to be on high alert for potential threat from others. I feel exhausted just writing about it! :)

Sometimes it's ok to just chill out! In fact, that's what I'll treat myself to today :)

Wishing a wonderful worry free day to us all, lovely!

Love and Light

LP xx
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

71 comments - Permalink


4

July


Every Breath You Take. Wednesday July 4, 2018


It's magical, isn't it?

In and out. In and out. It's our bodies' most automatic process and function. To breathe is to live. One of the ways we say someone is dead is that they are "without breath."

In and out. In and out. We draw in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. The air we breathe is the starting point for everything else. Without oxygen our heart could not pump, our blood would be useless to our organs, we would die in minutes.

In and out. In and out. A rhythm as constant as the waves in the sea. Most of the time we don't even think about it, unless we are engaged in a physical activity which makes us breathless; unless we have to hold our breath underwater; unless we are a musician playing a wind instrument or a singer.

In and out. In and out.

You're thinking about it now though, aren't you?

How is your breathing? Where is your breath going?

Most of us don't breathe correctly. We fill only the top quarter of our lungs. We use our chest and shoulders to power the breath rather than our diaphragm.

If you can, right now, sit up straight. Even better – stand up straight. Balance yourself with your shoulders slightly back, your spine naturally curved and your jaw parallel to the floor. Imagine you are being pulled upright by a thread attached to the crown of your head. Now, without moving your shoulders or chest, pull that breath into your lungs from the top part of your stomach, just below your sternum.

Breathe as deeply as you can; gently, without straining. Pause for a moment and then, just as gently, let it out. It may help to breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of two and then let the breath go for a count of four. Breathe in through your nose. Breathe out through your mouth.

Repeat five times.

Now notice how you feel.

I'm not going to tell you what you "should" feel; it's different for everyone. I know that I feel more peaceful, less anxious, more centred and stable.

This breathing exercise helps me so much, I have installed a free app on my phone: "Calm" (it has a blue icon with the word Calm across it). Calm has a variety of functions, but if you go into the Meditate page, there is an option called Breathe, which provides – against a background of nature sounds – a guide for breathing.

I use it at night when I can't sleep, or during the day if I start to feel overwhelmed, or sometimes, just as a background to my own meditation – because I'm not very good at following guided spoken meditations.

Considering that breathing is vital to our continued existence, it's worth getting it right every now and then.

In and out. In and out, In and out.

And – because, yes – you've got that ear-worm, haven't you? http://bit.ly/2z2jCOG

Mary
A Moodscope member

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

30 comments - Permalink


3

July


Taking in the good Tuesday July 3, 2018


My mind (as I suspect is true of many of us here) tends to drift more easily to the negative than the positive. Even with two small children whose presence should (and does) bring so much joy my mind goes more easily to the 'what ifs' of life and I worry endlessly over all the things that can go wrong rather than appreciating what is right.

I have been reading a book called 'hardwiring happiness' by Rick Hanson, a neuropsycologist. His basic premise is that our brains, in ancient times, developed a strong 'negativity bias'. It was safer to go into fight or flight mode over 1000 imagined tigers than to ignore one real one and get eaten. He likens the brain to a wax record where each time a train of thought is followed the groove becomes deeper. Because human brains evolved to favour the negative reactions which kept us safe in dangerous times those negative grooves become deeper and deeper and we go more and more automatically to negative patterns of thought.

Rick Hanson recommends that we begin to counteract this by 'taking in the good' to make our minds more likely to head to a positive groove.

It's a simple idea where you identify a positive experience, notice it and stay with it for a few moments to really experience it making it easier to bring to mind later on. He recommends that you practice bringing those moments back to mind during the day so that you can reach out to them in difficult moments.

So I plan to try to notice the small positive things; a good meal, a hug from a friend or the smile on the face of a child and to catch my negative groves before I slip down the rabbit hole again. I want to really notice those things I normally take for granted rather than letting them slide past; breathe in the smells, appreciate the touch, bite into a chocolate and really taste it. Linger in the experience longer than you normally would and bring it to mind a few times later in the day. Deepen the 'groove' in the record that is your mind and make your 'needle' more likely to travel there in the future.

Even for those of us for whom life is currently really full of challenges we can work on finding a positive experience to notice and dwell on and small things work well. A clean crisp bed sheet, a warm cup of tea, a small task done well or a conversation with an old friend.

What Simple everyday things will you try to enjoy and savour?

Best wishes,
Fran
A moodscope user

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

30 comments - Permalink


2

July


Press [Pause] then [Shift] [Delete] Monday July 2, 2018


"Fascinating!" says Mr Spock on the bridge of the USS Enterprise – suppressing an emotional reaction in order to apply cool logic to the danger facing the crew. By choosing to be 'fascinated' rather than frustrated, Spock stays open to options that would otherwise be shut down by emotional panic. Spock saves the day.

I am not Spock.

Three straight weeks of physical and then financial set-backs, crowned with a car accident, have pushed my relationships past breaking point, driven my bank to distraction, and moved some unpleasant clients to the verge of legal action. Fascinating, indeed!

I'm not whinging but I am thinking... "What can we do when our brains have got to brain-freeze point, and our stress-response is so poor that we are physically shaking?"

I'd love to hear about your strategies, and until you are in a position to share, let me confide in you. I have done two things. Firstly, I have pressed [Pause].

I've stopped everything. Friday and Saturday are the lady of the house's day off. I should be spending those days with her – after all, she's kept me alive for the last couple of years. Instead, I've kept working, thinking I can 'work' this mess out. If I hadn't worked today (written on Friday, 29th of June), I wouldn't have crashed the car. Trust me, any income from today is far outweighed by the cost of the repairs to come. Thus pressing [Pause] has allowed me to reflect on the cost of constantly violating my own principles.

Will I ever get to a point where I can honestly live the truth: "To thine own self be true"?

Secondly, I've decided to press another key combination: [Shift] + [Delete]. Don't EVER do this on your computer (and yes, I know I've blogged on both concepts before). When you press [Shift] + [Delete] on a Windows machine, you will lose FOREVER the file you've applied it to. There is no recovery. There is no coming back from this. I'm about to do this to people.

So, I have to reflect on my business, personal, and church relationships and wonder whether it is time to press [Shift] + [Delete] – to realise that few of these connections are giving me energy and, in fact, most, as an introvert, drain me. I've slid right down to the bottom of the pyramid of Maslow's hierarchy of needs – (from the heights of 'Self-Actualisation' through 'Self Esteem' – lost that – down through 'Love and Belonging' – something I don't feel from anyone at the moment – to the more essential levels of 'Safety' and 'Physiological' needs.) I am stripped back to the basics: food, shelter, clothing... and this may be a very good thing.

How can this be a good thing? Well, because Life just ain't working. I've stared suicide in the face, and, for now, have said, "No!" Something else will have to change. Beginning with my work, my relationships, and my church seems an obvious place to start... Listen for the keystrokes: [Shift] + [Delete], and know that I'll let you know how I get on!

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

81 comments - Permalink


1

July


What is the point of it? Sunday July 1, 2018


What is the point of depression? There always seems to be an evolutionary point to everything. In the millions and millions of years in which we have evolved as human beings, instinctively we evolve ways of coping with life which allowed us to survive and thrive. For example our "fight or flight" reaction when confronted with an emergency - pumping adrenaline to enable our bodies to react instantly.

Emotional reactions usually served a purpose. Anger is a source of energy and enables us to try harder when stopped from doing something we want.

So I got thinking what is the point of depression?

When depressed we often loose energy and give up on things, we can see ourselves as inferior even worthless: we loose confidence and can become submissive, irritable and hide away. So when might our ancestors have found it useful to give up on things?

Some suggestions being:

Coping with loss of a loved one?
Avoid taking on overwhelming odds?
Coping with being defeated and subordinated?

What do you think is or was the point of depression?

Does knowing it help in any way?

Best

Adrian
The Moodscope Team

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

73 comments - Permalink


30

June


My bundle of warm fuzzy. Saturday June 30, 2018

These days the black dog in my life has a positive effect. That's because he is not a proverbial representive of depression or dark thoughts, "Angelo," is a ninety pound bundle of warm fuzzy. My Rotweiller/Border Collie Cross.

Whoever said pets were beneficial to mental health made an understatement. They are softness in a harsh world-depending on your choice of critter ofcourse; a plush toy with a heartbeat for all ages.

Angelo takes me for walks several times a day and I appreciate it. Excercise is mood boosting also and thanks to him I get out more now instead of falling prey to the lure of inactivity linked to depression.

While out on these walks my canine companion pulls me forward like a tugboat, interrupting himself to stop and smell the many items that intrigue him; not just the roses. His enthusiastic curiousity for the little details and excitement for each walk and car ride lend happiness to my emotional challenges. I told my spouse;" Angelo is my joy prosthetic."

Hence I want to be a dog when I grow up, wagging my entire body with cheer and good energy over the forgotten details of life that bring pleasure and comfort. I actually tried once when no one was looking, a feat that proved to be a hilarious failure and nearly resulted in injury.

Even as I write, my four legged fur-end lays beside me snoring slightly, leaving my spouse wondering why his own night noise gets eviction.

"The more I deal with people the more I like animals," I heard quoted once. And I agree. The love, loyalty and adoration Angelo has brought to my world rivals most relationships I have had.

Shhh. Don't tell my husband.

Bailey
A Moodscope member.

Moodscope is crowdfunding. Please help. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm"

By making a donation you will enable Moodscope to make the improvements necessary to offer immediate help to everyone who needs it.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

45 comments - Permalink


What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive

Disclaimer

Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.