The Moodscope Blog

10

June


The Thorny Question of Help Sunday June 10, 2018

"I want to help". I heard myself saying this in answer to "What do you want out of life?"

It came at a difficult time in my life, and was a question put to me by the student advisor, who saw lots of distressed students in her week, I imagine. I felt very alone, my family were across the ocean, blah blah, I won't bore you with all the details, but suicidal thoughts were dogging me.

However, since then, rolling through the decades, things have gradually and immeasurably picked up, and I have a family of my own and have found contentment. I worked in the caring services.

Life presents challenges for us all, but the hard knocks of experience serve us well, and I try never to forget, when confronted with other people's pain, that I too am capable of feeling abject misery, and so the wanting to help is still paramount.

The question is: how, and how much?

Perhaps you all have some answers to this. Do I give, give, give? Money, things, time? Do I engage in more voluntary work, or, my preferred option (but is it the right one?) to simply be, and help in a more abstract, though immeasurable way?

Am I deluding myself that in helping along the way, this is helping, or helping enough?

It would be good to know how others answer this question .

Sally
A Moodscope member

Don't forget Moodscope is fundraising. To donate to the Crowdfunding campaign, please click here:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm

Together we can make a world of difference to so many more people that need it.

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

12 comments - Permalink


9

June


Words: friends or foe Saturday June 9, 2018

I have noticed people can be afraid of words as they have no confidence in what they write.

Often people will apologise when they write their first comment or blog even though they write very well.

Maybe at school teachers have said negative things about their writing or bosses have complained about their grammar or their parents have said they don't write well.

Some people are anxious about writing anything others may read.

I tend to delete more than I write when I write blogs, comments or emails not because I am anxious but I am concerned my words maybe misinterpreted. My ex-husband once said words were my greatest strength but also my greatest weakness as I used words to wound.

People worry that their first comment will not make sense to others. I believe words are your friends and everyone who can read this can write in meaningful ways that can even help them.

I want to look at how writing can help you:.

1) By helping you to explain and express your feelings to others.

2) Allowing you to connect to others through your words.

3) By keeping a journal to learn from your own writing.

4) By using your journal to become more organised and able to cope. (I struggle with this but I do live in hope.)

5) By seeing how your mood may affect your writing and your writing may affect your mood.

These are just a few and there many more ways writing can help us.

I know many people will think this blog is stating the obvious as they do all the above with ease. Maybe then you can share your ideas and experiences with others.

Are words your friend or foe? Or both?

Does writing words down help you more or in a different way to speaking them?

How has writing helped your health in any way?

If you have never commented before will you take the plunge with one word or more!

So write on moodscopers.

Leah
A Moodscope member

Don't forget Moodscope is fundraising. To donate to the Crowdfunding campaign, please click here:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm

Together we can make a world of difference to so many more people that need it.

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

61 comments - Permalink


8

June


Drains and Radiators Friday June 8, 2018

I went to an event last week where the speaker described people that she worked with as being Drains or Radiators. I knew exactly what she meant by this as I used to work with an enormous Drain who used to come and talk to me at the end of the week and I would then come home every Friday afternoon being sapped of all my energy from listening to him. The funny thing is that I'm sure that he would have felt a whole lot better from the experience and probably started his weekend with a smile on his face.

My experience above does make me marvel at the professionals who I'm sure have to listen to a lot of Drains on a regular basis. It also made me appreciate that your mood does have a powerful effect on the people around you. The amazing thing is that Drains don't even have to say anything for people around to pick up on all that negative energy.

On the other hand I love working with Radiators as I thrive on soaking up all that positivity. They bring a smile to my face and ignite my creativity. The office seems to be a much sunnier place with Radiators around!

I've also learned that some radiators can be shy and need a little coaxing to start their beaming. Chocolate for one of my co-workers usually does the trick.

I have also been fortunate to listen to a popular motivational speaker who makes his living by coaching positivity to sales teams. He advocates the simple concept of being the best you can in any particular circumstance. This for me is really helpful as when life gets tough finding positivity can be a real challenge which if you fail to find just makes you feel even worse. On the other hand accepting the situation and being the best you can gives a completely different perspective and some breathing space.

So the secret for me is to avoid drains, search out the radiators and to be the best you can no matter what!

Steven
A Moodscope member.

Don't forget Moodscope is fundraising. To donate to the Crowdfunding campaign, please click here:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm

Together we can make a world of difference to so many more people that need it.

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

34 comments - Permalink


7

June


Help millions manage the daily grind of anxiety and depression Thursday June 7, 2018

Will you donate to our crowdfunding campaign that launches today?

We need to raise £50,000 to make Moodscope truly mobile by producing two Apps and to make the content of the 2000 blog posts and more than 20,000 comments searchable so that it is easy to access shared experiences and empathy on whatever, whenever. We also need to market the new service to the millions that could benefit from it.

If you can help by donating, we'd really appreciate it. But, if you can't which we know in many instances goes hand in hand with the problems caused by mental health issues, please can you help by spreading the word and telling everyone you know about the campaign.

Take a look at these facts when you're thinking about whether to donate:

• 80% of sufferers of depression are not receiving treatment due to barriers of health resources, a lack of healthcare workers and social stigma.

• Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.

Just two very good reasons for you to help us with this campaign.

We've done as much as we can on our own and are proud to have helped tens of thousands of people using the Moodscope service.

It's going to take a lot to raise the funds we need, so all help, however big or small is very much appreciated.

To make a donation and view our crowdfunding appeal video, follow this link:
 https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm (for Paypal payments please use this link: https://bit.ly/2kRad2F

Thank you so much on behalf of the many who will benefit from your generosity.

Sincerely


Caroline and Adrian
The Moodscope team.

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

17 comments - Permalink


6

June


Goals Revisited. Wednesday June 6, 2018

There's something about going away and returning home again which makes you think.

My family and I had a lovely week away sailing a "big" boat with friends. Not a super-yacht, nor yet one of the "tall ships", but a 41ft yacht with enough room for the six of us, but small enough for the two competent sailors to manage, with help from crew provided by my family (who are all dinghy sailors), and from me as designated "galley slave".

I'd meant to do some reflecting on holiday, but there is no holiday on board. There is always a rope which needs "sweating", or a fender tying on with a clove hitch (where do I find one of those, please?), or one is asked to "take the helm" (that big steering wheel thing) and "head north east at 30 degrees, keeping that oncoming cruiser to port!" (I would like to point out that nobody offered me any port.) If nothing technical is required then cups of tea are demanded. No – there was no time to think while we were away.

But you always come home again.

"I hope you are glad to be home," wrote a friend – and I looked at that text for a long time before replying; and then my reply was equivocal.

It was lovely to see the cats again, and the guinea-pigs. I am sitting at my PC to write this blog with a quiet sense of comfort and satisfaction, but for the rest of it...

Coming home after being away makes you see your home with fresh eyes. You see your life with fresh eyes. And you see the things you don't like; the things you have just lived with because you're used to them. There seem to be more things you don't like than things you do – and you feel overwhelmed.

When you are living with depression, that overwhelm is all-embracing. Even now, being mercifully free from depression at present, it threatens to paralyse me.

But the discomfort of living with all the things I don't like has prompted me to do something.

To think. To decide how and what to change.

Which is where the goals come in.

You know I don't like goals; I always feel they carry an automatic sentence of failure, and – like many of us – I am scared of failing.

But I realise now that, if I don't set some goals, then nothing will change and that failure is then automatic.

As well as goals, I need plans. Because a goal without a plan is just a dream.

So, this week's goal is to do some thinking and set some goals. Five sounds like a manageable number.

Next week's goal is to make some plans.

In three weeks' time I will start some baby steps towards achieving those goals.

I'll let you know how I get on.

But, if you have some goals too, we could walk together and help each other along.

I'd like that. Wouldn't you?

Mary
A Moodscope member

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

53 comments - Permalink


5

June


No cheating now. Tuesday June 5, 2018

I'm not a good sleeper. No matter what time I've gone to bed, how dark it is outside, or how warm and cosy my room is, I wake up at 5:10 each morning and rarely manage to get back to sleep. It's hugely tedious and tiring (although frustratingly not tiring enough to pop back into the land of nod).

I was talking about it the other day with a friend. "Ah well, sleeping is cheating" I said and I laughed it off. I've no idea where the phrase comes from, but my friends and I used to say "sleeping is cheating" a lot in our early twenties; competing to be the bigger party animal or the "stronger" person.

But it got me thinking. Sleeping is not cheating. Sleep is one of our most fundamental basic human needs. Sleeping is not cheating at life, it's not a sign of weakness and it doesn't mean you don't know how to have fun. And proving that you can keep on going without it doesn't make you a better/more likeable person. So why did we say that? Perhaps one-upmanship at a stage of life where we're still trying to work out who we are and where we fit. But at what cost? And did we really need to prove ourselves that way?

I then started wondered what else we cheat ourselves out of. Waking rest and relaxation? Good nutrition? Positive and supportive relationships? Each one is equally essential for the smooth running of our brains and bodies. And yet so often we keep going, keep pushing ourselves to be bigger/better/stronger, chastising ourselves when we're not and ignoring the subtle or obvious signs that we need some time for ourselves.

And at the end of the day, we're only truly accountable to ourselves. We have to do this for us, so we can also give to those around us. So, don't cheat on yourself. You're worth more than that.

Shizzle
A Moodscope member.

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

30 comments - Permalink


4

June


5... 4... 3... 2... 1... from Autopilot to Manual. Monday June 4, 2018

Most of us spend most of our time on Autopilot.

This is elegant... it's the best use of our available resources of energy.

This is simple.

This saves time.

And, as I said, this saves energy, effort, waste.

...Unless it isn't getting you where you want to go.

What if you've got stuck in a rut?

What if you've got stuck where you're just hitting the snooze button on Life 'cos you don't want to face the day?

Could simply counting down out loud from 5 to 1 – that's, "5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." really make a difference?

For thousands, it already has.

This was the Launch process that got Mel Robbins, author of, "The 5 Second Rule: The Surprisingly Simple Way to Live, Love, and Speak with Courage," going again. She'd lost everything (nearly), and the snooze button was an energy-saving way to survive. But her life changed when she saw a rocket launch.

That "5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." leads to total commitment. It flips the switch. It ignites the spark, the fuel, the lift. It moves us towards escape velocity.

So she decided to use that to get her out of bed in the morning. She decided to beat her own brain that was trying to protect her from more pain.

Take more than 5 seconds and she knew she'd talk herself out of getting up... again.

And what did she do?

Simple stuff.

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." get out of bed. Launch yourself into the day without hesitation...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." make the kids sandwiches...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." get the kids on the bus...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." call that friend instead of text or email them...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." look for that new job/client/opportunity to volunteer...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." be nice to that family member you've been being short with...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." do your Moodscope score!

Counting down works because it takes us off of autopilot and switches doors to manual.

Boom.

It helps us turn the handle on decision-making and take action.

Forget about waiting to be motivated. Choose action instead.

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." Action!

What will you do today?

Neil
A Moodscope member.

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

54 comments - Permalink


3

June


Things that might help... Sunday June 3, 2018

The writing of poetry is good for the heart.
The problem for me is just where to start.
I know I could, if I just make time, write a simple poem or rhyme.
I don't drink much coffee or even much tea,
I know it isn't good for me.
I exercise, I swim, I walk, I think it would be nice to talk.
Of my friends I see not enough,
my time seems to fill with other stuff.
I try to keep to healthy food, things I know will do me good.
At night I try to get good rest, I find that seven hours is best.
To meditate would be quite cool, but I don't do it as a rule.
They mention gardening in here, but I'm not much good I fear.
Acupuncture, yes I like and riding round upon my bike.
Perhaps this is the thing for me, I quite like writing poetry.
P.S. now I do daily Headspace - it gets me to a better place.
My friends on Moodscope help me too - so I say a big
Thank you.

So cheers to all the Moodscope gang. Thank you for being there for me.

Love

Another Sally
A Moodscope member

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

34 comments - Permalink


2

June


Am I good enough? Saturday June 2, 2018

It took me a few decades to stomach that question. I'm finally there. Finally, I throw two fingers up to measuring myself against others and finally I say I am more than good enough. That doesn't mean I feel good about my achievements (they are small) but that I no longer feel thoroughly inadequate for not having achieved things in the league of others' achievements. Perhaps I now only measure myself with my own measuring stick. What freedom!

I had to be a solo parent to get here. I had to stand alone to let my world start beating to my rhythm. In the early years I really didn't know if I'd make it. I took solace in the bottom of a bottle and couldn't rule out running to the edge of the world and hurling myself into the abyss. But I also, in a moment of desperation, threw my trust into a stranger. Someone I had never met. A physical stranger I knew only through an online twins club. We shared the experience (read terror) of raising twins.

She possibly saved my life. Her love, strength, patience and commitment saw her sending me messages throughout my days. They often started with "hello beautiful" and often ended with "remember I love you", they always said "I'm here" and for a big amount of time said "take your pills now". She said she would remember to take her high blood pressure pills if I remembered to take my "freakpills" (that is what I named them in my surly disdain for them). She made me feel I might not be the freak I believed I was.

Her acceptance was pivotal in me finding out that there was in fact a path for me. That I didn't have to stumble along a cliff edge on stilts. I found it from a stranger. My message today is that if you believe yourself to be the 'me' that I was then, trust someone. If you think you don't have a someone, I'll be your someone. And then one day, you will be a someone to someone. Pass it on. Keep it going. If life is a river filled with slippery stepping stones and we all hold hands, we will stumble and we will get wet feet but none of us will be left behind. Here is my hand.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

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

102 comments - Permalink


1

June


The time has come... Friday June 1, 2018

After 10 years of careful nurture, driven by the needs of our members, the time has come to spread the benefits of Moodscope and launch it to the millions who need it. We know from research that it works, it helps members and that one third of the population say they want to try it.

So today we are announcing a crowdfunding campaign to make an improved Moodscope available to the many who need it. We are aiming to raise £50,000 to do two things;

1. To improve Moodscope as requested by members by making it truly mobile to use on smart phones at any time by producing two apps and to make the content of the 25,000 blogs searchable so that it is easy to access shared experiences and empathy on whatever whenever.

2. To tell potential new members about the service and invite them to join.

This is a one off appeal. To date we have provided the service out of our own time and savings, plus donations and help from a small number of volunteers and supporters. When the new and improved service is ready, we will be asking all NEW members to pay a small monthly fee (about the price of a coffee) to ensure Moodscope remains sustainable. We'll also be upgrading all existing users to Moodscope Plus.

So next week we will start the crowdfunding campaign in partnership with CrowdPatch (the crowdfunding platform) and we will be asking for your support and help in making this campaign successful.

It's a very busy and exciting time, and we are determined to reach out and help all those that need it and we hope you will help too.

We'll be sending out another email next week which gives details of how to donate to the campaign if you can.

In the meantime, we'd like to thank all our members for the support and amazingly positive feedback we have received.

Kind regards.

Caroline and Adrian
The Moodscope Team

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

38 comments - Permalink


31

May


Hold On Thursday May 31, 2018

Hold on and have faith in whatever you believe in, be it god, yourself, the healing power of time, modern medicine or a combination of any or all of them. Hold on, because it's all just temporary and none of it is real. It might feel real - unbearably so, but it isn't. It is valid and it is legitimate and it should be acknowledged, but it isn't real.

These moments of crushing despair, impending doom and a fear so thick you can feel it trying to strangle you, are all the figments of an unwell mind and you WILL come through it and you WILL get better...just hold on.

You won't always feel this tired and life won't always ache. You will move beyond this yearning for a quiet relief and a release from this malaise that makes your soul itch unrelentingly. Just hold on.

It's okay if you don't feel ready to race forward and embrace recovery. These things take time and you're only ready when you're ready. It's as important to feel these feelings as it is to let them go.

You can't just think yourself well again. If it were that simple we'd all be happy all of the time, because nobody would choose this. Life has its lessons and we all learn them in our own time. Don't be hard on yourself if you aren't getting better as quickly as you think you should be. It takes as long as it takes and it can't be rushed and that's okay.

The most useful lesson I've learned is to be in the moment and have faith in the future. Once I stopped worrying that I'd never be okay again and trusted that I'd come out the other side. I relaxed into the moment and felt what I needed to feel. I cried my tears and had patience that if I held on, I would one day be okay again.

I'm certain there will be relapses, times in my life when the walls start closing in and it all feels like too much. It won't always be sunshine and rainbows. But in those moments of chaos, to the best of my ability I will continue to hold on and trust that I will weather the storm as I have time and time again.

Hold on, because better days are coming and you deserve to be happy.

Claire
A Moodscope member

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

28 comments - Permalink


30

May


Is Family Therapy Beneficial? Discuss. Wednesday May 30, 2018

My eldest is doing her GCSEs. This is having an effect on the whole family. Hence the title of this post.

Last year, something else happened which had an effect on our whole family. A shock, a devastation and a betrayal.

One day I'll write about it, but it is not my story alone and I cannot tell it without the permission of others.

Inevitably, that deep sense of betrayal has left its mark on us all.

The ways in which each of us has dealt with it however, have been different.

Of my two daughters, one seems to have dismissed it and walked away. But has she really? My other daughter is still angry. She flies into a rage if the subject comes up.

My husband? He is smug because he knew all along; he was never fooled. But – he never allows an opportunity to pass without a negative comment.

Me? I am hurt. I feel guilty because it was all my fault. All my fault for trusting too easily; all my fault for exposing my family to risk. Because I am a bad wife and mother… And so, the old story starts to run its loop around the familiar track.

I am lucky enough to have some good friends, some very good friends, who have told me it's not all my fault; good friends who have told me not to let it change the person I am.

"You are generous and trusting. You are loving and giving," they say. (They are very kind people.) "Those qualities can be only good. Now you will add more wisdom and experience to those qualities. But stay who you are. Because we love who you are."

But still I worry about my family. I worry that they will be less trusting, less generous, less ready to love.

I want us all to speak with a professional. There are people who specialise in family therapy. I have even met a woman who I think would be ideal.

My husband is reluctant. He just wants to "move on." He sees therapy as something for only the weak. As an Englishman with a stiff upper lip, he does not need it; and he'd infinitely prefer his daughters not need it either.

The easy thing to do is to do nothing; to move on as he suggests. But to do nothing may not be the right thing to do.

I think I need to take a stance, to enrol my daughters in the process and to discuss it further with my husband. I think I need to be strong and persuasive. I think I need to insist.

I would be interested to hear from any of you who have experienced therapy as a family and what the outcomes were.

You should detail positives, negatives and your conclusions. You should consider the circumstances and the techniques used. There are 12 marks available and I will be marking these next week.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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

40 comments - Permalink


29

May


Death by chocolate. Tuesday May 29, 2018

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are my own, and are not meant to influence your own choices. No feelings were deliberately harmed in the making of this blog.

On our high street there is a branch of Thorntons right next to an undertakers. Looking at the boxes of Continental Assortment on special offer, I glanced left and there was another tempting bargain. 'Pre-pay for your funeral today and get £300 off!' What to do? On the one hand, I do like chocolates. On the other, I am at an age when one has to face facts. Death is inevitable, and it is regrettable that a taboo surrounds the subject. We need to acknowledge the fact that we are going to die, plan ahead. So I summoned up my courage and went in to have a chat with the lovely silver haired lady receptionist. It felt good to make the necessary plans.

Ha Ha!? Of course I didn't, what do you take me for, some sort of morbid ghoul?

When I first came to learn about death as a child, the idea really upset me and preoccupied my thoughts. People of my parent's generation talked a lot about scary stuff. A lot of conversations would be along the lines of "There will be no third world war, the Russians will drop an atom bomb, and the end of the world will come." Somewhere along the line I came to realise that the only way to cope was to avoid ever thinking about it. I have never budged from that decision.

Joan Bakewell, obviously realising that her days as the "thinking man's crumpet" are well and truly over, has turned to campaigning for death. Good luck with that Joan. I prefer the ostrich head in the sand approach. For the same reason I don't go for body MOTs. The idea of catching a disease in time does not appeal. I am not convinced it makes much difference. Many cancers sit there and never do harm until a diagnosis is given, then the misery begins. All I can envisage is some extra time to be scared out of my wits.

I am totally fatalistic about how I will leave this life. I do my best to keep healthy, to keep some sort of quality of life, but the rest is not within my control.

What are the benefits of talking about death? I already struggle with bouts of crippling anxiety and depression, why on earth would I choose to add to my burdens?

I have a will. I insist on cremation. If my partner is still around, he can decide what form of funeral he feels up to arranging, if any. If he goes before me, I will decide for him.

Now,talking about chocolate - are you a 70% person, or will a Twix suit you better? Let's get this subject out in the open.

Valerie
A Moodscope member.

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

46 comments - Permalink


28

May


The Roller Coaster Week Monday May 28, 2018

Just wanted to share with my Moodscope family what a roller coaster of a week it's been... and then ask you to share what your week has been like.

Of prime importance has been the safe arrival of my 5th grandchild, Selina Rose, born to Rachel and Richard. For this, my heart sings in gratitude.

Before this, I spent time with Dan Sullivan – a wise man, who just talks sense. He walked me through his model of continuously improving the quality of life. This starts with progressively getting rid of everything that annoys him! I appreciate many irritations cannot be removed but there is a lot that can be done. Does that squeaky hinge unhinge you? Oil it!

His second strategy is to challenge the things he has to do in life that are only OK. They don't energise him. So he seeks to outsource them. This can be achieved sometimes through technology. The washing machine is my friend! I'm old enough to remember that my parents and their parents had to dedicate whole days to washing as part of their weekly routine. Now, the machine does the work, does it better, and gives me back the gift of time.

His deeper insight was to help me realise that some of the things that don't do anything for me (but that I need to do to continue living in this Society), such as accounts – these things are actually (and incredibly) enjoyed by other people. My sister loves spreadsheets! So by clinging on to these tasks, because I think there is some moral value in suffering, is nuts. Let them enjoy what they enjoy and thus help me, and I'll do something in return for them that they don't like doing. There are, for example, a lot of people that don't like Social Media where I love it! I also LOVE mowing grass. Now, I bet there a few thousand people out there that would love to have a neighbour who would mow their lawn with passionate enthusiasm!!!

Finally, Dan's goal is to get us to liberate time so that we can invest it in the third category: our unique gifts and talents. His motto is to outsource everything which we do not excel at.

What if you haven't got the funds to do this? Can you trade? Can you do the 'OK' stuff in your downtime rather than giving it prime time? There will be a way to free up more time to do the stuff that only you can shine in.

The Roller Coaster concluded with floods of tears. Why? Because of the beauty of Paul Dunn and Masami Sato's movement: Buy One, Give One. Masami had a vision years ago to create business for good. The idea is simple. If you sell televisions, you then pay for someone to get their sight back. If you sell a book, you plant trees in an area suffering deforestation. If you'd like to find out more, check out http://www.B1G1.com

My granddaughter, my friend Dan, and my heroes – Paul and Masami – have made me feel like I have a Massive Transformational Purpose to achieve in the World. And while I was thinking about that, even though tears flowed freely, I forgot about my own troubles...

Lex
A Moodscope member.

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

43 comments - Permalink


27

May


The perfection trap? Sunday May 27, 2018

Our low self-esteem is often driven by unhelpful thinking about the standards we should be able to reach in order to feel good about ourselves. In fact attempting to achieve everything perfectly is a recipe for setting ourselves up to fail. Often this is a legacy of our childhood where our parents or teachers drove us to constantly do better. They felt that by constantly moving the goalposts we would try harder and achieve more. Often though the effect is for us to feel inadequate, thinking no matter what we do, it is never good enough.

I find it really helps to remember that this is faulty thinking. After all, perfectionism is only a concept in our own minds. I try to accept myself as I am. Enjoy my imperfections and avoid the trap.

Adrian
A Moodscope member.

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

22 comments - Permalink


26

May


The Need for Mental Health Leave. Saturday May 26, 2018

One fine morning, Madalyn Parker, a web designer emailed her colleagues, stating that she needed a break from work to focus on her mental health. Her supervisor responded positively, she was thanked for breaking down the stigma which is associated with mental illness. Since then, the topic of mental illness has become a widely discussed issue.

Mental health issues can arise in anyone, anytime and anywhere.

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10th October and the aim is to raise awareness of mental health issues. The theme of last year was workplace well-being.

A positive working environment does not only improve productivity but also maintains a good overall mental balance. On the other hand, a negative working environment leads to both physical and mental problems, like substance abuse, absenteeism and low productivity.

Some of the signs which suggest one should take a break from work are - lack of concentration, tiredness, irritation with colleagues and managers; basically experiencing symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

Three basic questions that one should ask yourself are:

• If I go to work, will it make me feel good or worse?
• Will I be able to perform well?
• Do I really need to be present in work today?

In many workplaces throughout the world, like United States and New Zealand, a mental-health day is given, which means, a person can skip work for reasons apart from physical illness. But, such leave days have not been implemented throughout the world.

Raising mental health awareness through events in the workplace is important; implementing policies and procedures like Employee Assistance Programs can prove to be helpful. Most importantly, keeping the lines of communication open and frank is needed. The workers must feel comfortable discussing the issues disturbing their mental and physical health.

Nothing comes before your mental health. Work, studies, people, in short obligations. If you are not well yourself, how can you take care of others? If we can get a leave for physical illness, then why not mental distress? How will you gain optimal productivity if the person is dejected?

Mental health is a part of overall health. So, let's bring focus to mental illness and its effects on people's quality of life and make an effort to reduce stigma.

A mental health day can provide you with the much-required rest you have been needing.

Important note: it is important not to utilize mental health days for avoiding issues that we would be facing eventually.

Puja
A Moodscope member.

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

21 comments - Permalink


25

May


I'm not so bad am I? Friday May 25, 2018

so I have suffered on and off with anxiety ever since my teens when I realised I existed and thought I was going mad, thinking people could hear my thoughts, but of course they couldn’t, and to be honest they weren’t bad thoughts, just run of your mill teenage concerns.

Through college and 26 yrs of work, by pushing myself to do presentations, speeches and not giving in to depression and self pity, I gained confidence, but I’m what managers in football call a confidence player; when things are going well and I’m on a roll, I’m unstoppable, on fire, brilliant almost, but all it takes is that little seed of doubt (2 games without a goal), a throw away comment by someone and I start the doubt, and suddenly what took years to build can be wiped away in days or even hours.

I start thinking I’m a fraud, not worthy, not good enough, blagging it. But even if I was, others do it and ‘get away with it’. They can lie, cheat, make themselves sound important, but thats just not me. I’m not everyone or like those others. I do care about others and I’m always looking out for the weakest in the group to try and help them, but sometimes I probably need some help myself and I am probably the weakest in the group sometimes, but I never take it, I stand alone, I try to manage myself, be independent. I choose to take the blame even when it's not my fault - for the greater good I tell myself.

I suffered one of these lack of confidence episodes earlier this year after starting a new job and throwing myself into it. Suddenly realising I'd taken on too much and sinking in to high anxiety. This time I knew it was coming so I took some days off work straight away, alerted my new boss who was supportive and got back to work after a week or so feeling much better and empowered.

Normally I hit the buffers in a big way and need one or two months off. Having caught it early I don't understand why has it been so much harder to get things back on track.

I've slipped into depression now. I never think I’m good enough, I've never got enough time to do a proper job, be a proper dad or able to concentrate on the task in front of me. I have no motivation, very little fun and laughter. The difference is I haven’t sunk so low before, so I feel in control, I don’t feel panic, but I don’t feel any high emotions - almost emotionless, its a strange way to feel.

Has anyone got any tips or methods of how to cope and improve their mood?

cheers

Bert
Moodscope member since feb this year.

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

39 comments - Permalink


24

May


Ommmmm Thursday May 24, 2018

This evening I went to my first yoga class in years. It was wonderfully relaxing and nourishing. I have known the teacher for a long time and she is always so wonderfully calm and joyous. She constantly smiles: so full of love for the world whilst also being exceptionally sensitive and compassionate. To me, she seems to exude Zen.

I know life isn't like that though. I'm sure she has days where she feels cross, lonely and stressed. Yet I still put her on a pedestal. I dream of walking on fluffy clouds, reacting calmly to all situations, never raising my voice, never acting on a negative impulse. I fantasise about immersing myself in nurture and healing and love. And as I walked back from the class this evening, I promised myself (for the millionth time) to bring more calm and peace into my world.

The problem is, the second things get hard or stressful or I feel down, the thought to nourish myself goes out of the window. I don't even see the thought: it has run away long before. Autopilot has already kicked in and before I realise it, I'm engaging in the same self-destructive habits as always. And once I'm there, damaging myself once again, it's ten times harder to drag myself out and to more positive things.

I've tried meditation (sends me to sleep), exercise (great for working off stress but not relaxing), watching TV (strangely stimulating) and more. Actually, the best thing for me is just sitting silently with my eyes closed. But with two small children it's nigh on impossible to find the space, the pause, the breath, which will calm me down and keep me from taking self-destructive actions. I also mostly just don't remember to do it when I need it most.

So I have a new idea. I'm going to try listening to calming music. It won't stop me running round after the children and my jobs list and it won't stop the stresses from coming. But I can play it in the background and perhaps it will keep me grounded enough to stop my subconscious taking over before I've given it permission. Singing is good for the soul after all.

I'd love to hear others' successes with finding peace and intercepting negative patterns of habitual behaviour. Also any music suggestions would be great!

But for now, I'm off to find my gong and incense sticks, and of course some calming music.

Shizzle
A Moodscope member.

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

12 comments - Permalink


23

May


Who Are You? And What Have You Done With Mary? Wednesday May 23, 2018

I'm in charge now.

My brother is too busy: he has a demanding business to run, with never enough staff to run it. My sister is more than a hundred miles away. She's busy too.

Well, yes – I'm busy. But my business is flexible and I'm on hand and so I am now in charge.

In charge of selling my mother's house.

What's different now is that I don't recognise myself. From nowhere an efficient and business-like person has emerged. I am brisk on the phone. I am making appointments in a timely manner. I am unapologetically expecting people to do their jobs.

It's spread to my own business. I am following up enquiries and then chasing payment.

I'm a different person and – being totally honest – I'm not entirely sure I like her. It's certainly not comfortable being her.

I'm used to the charming, diffident and (let's face it) ineffectual person I've always been. But there's no doubt this new Mary is getting things done.

And – of course – there is a worry that this is not really me. This maybe the medication or, even more scary, this is the mania breaking through that medication.

Before, when the mania came, I felt I could do anything! I could achieve anything! I was invincible! And the rest of the world was too slow and too stupid and just plain dull.

So, is it mania again? And – if not – what is it?

Well, part of it is being trusted. If it were not for the medication, neither my brother nor my sister could afford to entrust me with this. Things would go wrong because they always did. I would forget appointments, fail to complete paperwork, and make irresponsible financial decisions. The medication means they can trust me and that means a lot. I don't want to let them down.

Part of it is getting back into Personal Development Training. Taking the time to work on your life, rather than just living in your life makes you reassess things. It makes you realise what is important to you. It means you spend less time on those things which are meaningless and more time doing those things you love, or working on achieving the things you want. (You can call them goals if you like. I won't, because I dislike goals on principle.)

Part of it is reaching 55. Heck – if I can't have authority and maturity now, then when is it ever going to kick in? Haven't I earned the right to tell it how it is? With courtesy and consideration, naturally; but without prevarication.

So, no, I don't think it's the mania. I'm not sure what it is, but I don't think my family and friends should be worried.

But, if you don't mind, I'll carry on being a little worried myself. Until things settle down, at least. Until I've become used to this new person and got to know her.

And hopefully, to like her.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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

27 comments - Permalink


22

May


Another day. Another death. Tuesday May 22, 2018

A beautiful soul takes his life in a moment of... we will never know. Will we say 'it', that menacing shadow, had become too much to tolerate and this was the only option or will we recognise that to hold yourself up through many years of holding yourself up is not unlike doing constant gym pull ups, hour by hour, day by day. And it really is.

Living with moving mental health can be like walking around doing all the things that life needs whilst wearing an over-sized coat made of heavy weight chain mail. You can operate. You can smile. You can present your best self. You can work. You can be honest with people that it's there. You can cope. But all the while you do so wearing this giant's coat made of metal and it covers your hands, tangles at your feet, it pulls and it snags, it cuts and its hot and its sore. Sometimes you want so desperately to Take Off The Coat.

Young men are the biggest casualty. Some women seem to have a little tap and can sometimes depressurise just enough to hold safe. But young men often seem to be built without that gauge. It's hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, gone.

How do we care for those who are battling mental health on an half hour by half hour basis. Well, this is not long enough to go into detail so I will say this... we often struggle to tell you we are struggling because we can't deal with admitting it to ourselves let alone someone else. We need you to know us well enough to see. We need you to recognise the subtleties of our words, our movements, our habits and we need you to perhaps dial in your care. Yes, dial in. Those who battle this war can tend towards being gentle souls. We can't always cope with how you want to help. The orderly doctor appointment or cheery phone call checking in on us might do little except make us pull on our Eleanor Rigby faces that we've kept in our jars for these moments. We need you to watch. We need you to blend in. We need you to think how help would be helpful. A gently placed "I really want to be more of a support and I would like you to tell me how" could be a breakthrough moment. Even "I have no idea how to help but I want to and I want you to teach me and if you can't I want to just sit with you".

We are difficult to help. Admittedly. But that doesn't mean we don't want to be helped. It means you may have to recognise that the help you want to give isn't always the help we need. Phone numbers are just numbers. Be subtle, be gentle, be honest and don't stop. It means that you become part of the fabric not part of the solution. The solution may never come but the fabric is here right now. And to those mourning a loss, there might be just a little comfort in lifting your sore eyes with admiration at how someone pulled up, how hard, how often, how long, how many and know that we witnessed a warrior.

Love from
The room above the garage.

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

40 comments - Permalink


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