Moodscope's blog

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September


Boys Don't Cry. Friday September 1, 2017

I casually remarked to the Man with Two Brains that it seemed to be the case that the majority of the bloggers and contributors to Moodscope were women.

That familiar smirk, he's about to say something he thinks is very clever.

"It stands to reason doesn't it? You're all nutters. These forums are all filled with women having a good moan"

I should explain that he is so-called high functioning Aspergers. One of three brothers, no sisters, off to boys boarding school aged 12, followed by a largely male college at Oxford, Officer in the Navy, then career in engineering. Only three girlfriends in his life including me. I say "girlfriends" but soft-hearted charitable ladies would be more accurate.

All of this makes him eminently qualified, in his eyes, to be an expert on female psychology. We once read a book and did tests on the extreme male/female brain. We are each perfect examples.

To be fair to him, he is very respectful of the few women he encounters in his professional life. We have had very many rocky patches in our years together. Were it not for our adored rescue dogs I doubt we would be together today. One particularly bad patch was last winter. I asked if he would consider finding himself a therapist. If I am honest, it was not because I hoped it would help us stay together, things seemed to have gone too far. My main intention was to allow us to discuss parting without bringing on one of his meltdowns.

To my great surprise he agreed. His chosen therapist was a woman of around my age (I am older than him). They got on well, and he accepted a lot of her insights. We are still together, and I have no doubt he will go back to therapy if the need arises.

This got me thinking though. Are there actually more female members of Moodscope? Do the men feel intimidated? I wonder if they are more inclined to do the daily test. It is a bit technical and maybe they relate to it more easily. I hardly ever do the test, but I do read the blogs and comments nearly every day.

I would really like to hear the male viewpoint on mental illness, anxiety, mood swings, despair. Are they having to put on a brave act with everyone in their lives? I think it is true that in all age groups men are at much higher risk of suicide than women. Why is this?

Come on boys, have a good moan, you never know, it might help.

Valerie.
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

Molly Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 1:22am

Usual Molly here and female ! But I really think that men do not experience the same feelings that women do. I think they are more 'black and white'. I did some research on this once and I cannot give any intelligent feedback but their brains are generally different and do not experience as many feelings and emotions that women do. That is why men moan about women being a bit complicated, as they do not see or feel as much as we do.

For instance if they want to buy a pair of shoes, they pick the first suitable pair they see whereas women generally need to look around for more (and go back and buy the first they saw!).

There are men in touch with their 'feminine side' and there are women who are not girly (I am a bit of a tom boy, but a pretty one). On a good day. Joke.

Also males do find it hard to open up I think, probably can be a matter of putting on a brave act as you say. To admit any issues they have, is some sort of failure as they are 'supposed' to be brave and strong.

Or maybe they just literally deal with it all in a different way.

A very interesting blog Valerie. Molly xx


The Gardener Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 1:51pm

This really is a goody. Having had my hot water system repaired (found out wasn't working when Mr G was in the shower Should have heard the yells!) I can put my mind to other things. Had lunch (not a very good one) with a couple of married gays - they are, at sight, two of the most 'masculine' men you'd wish to meet. One admitted to frequent bouts of depression - though very high up in his profession (cause and affect, perhaps). The other had been married. I would put cat among pigeons by saying that ALL men think they are right - in arguments (mine, sadly) seen always as the silly little woman. Ergo, if they are always right, to admit to a weakness such as depression it won't be until disaster hits, nervous breakdown or heart attack that the truth HAS to come out

The Gardener Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 2:59pm

This is bigoted - personal (all of this subject has to be 'subjective'). My view is warped by a father who was obviously bi-polar and an absolute tyrant. Our marriage has been 'warped' for want of a better word because I spent years classified manic/depressive. When issues arrive which OUGHT to be threshed out - if I get emotional the the subject easily be closed because 'she's depressed so can't think clearly'. I presume he really believes this, not a cop out, because now, if I cry (and believe me I have reason to) Mr G tells me to stop at once, crying gets you nowhere.

Molly Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 7:35pm

Dear Gardener, I guess we all have our own experiences of men, I was always one to say that I didn't think two genders should be separated but but but - I can think of many buts. I just feel so much for you. A cry is good for the soul. I have no idea if your husband has always been this way or if it is his illness but I wanted to send love to you. My husband is very black and white and 'macho' but he is so emotional it amazes me, he cries more than me :-) I used to hate seeing a man cry but now I just think "oh he is off again" usually at sport when there is some victory !! I guess that is a nice kind of crying. Anyway got carried away there, just want to send you a hug Gardener and make sure you still have a good cry even if it has to be in private xx

The Gardener Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 1:21pm

Oh Molly, macho. Men and driving. K suffer from tachycardia (always stress related). My cardiologist said that whenever it happened, day or night, I was to come straight to the emergency dept of the hospital. It happened on late evening soon after Mr G had to give up driving. I went and called up the para-medics. They did on the spot tests, but were a little unwilling to be virtually ordered by a patient to take her to hospital. They phoned them, reply 'bring her straight in'. Mr G said it was not worth getting up if he could not drive me. Went to hospital, all tests, pronounced OK about 2 a.m. Doctor said 'I'll fetch your husband'. I told her I was on my own. She was appalled. She got me a taxi, but, of course, I had to pay - I got home, found cheque book, paid driver and went to bed. Mr G did not even both to come down. He, like your guy, will cry at some sob-story on the TV. Thanks for replying, this blog really bought out some interesting stuff. xx

Molly Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 6:42pm

Dear oh dear Gardener, this is a sad story. Thank you for sharing. I think you deserve a medal ! Thank goodness you have some supportive friends (in real life and on here). Love Molly xx

Caroline Ashcroft Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 6:52pm

Molly - naughty!

Molly Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 7:00pm

What's naughty ?

Molly Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 7:50pm

If anyone feels that my comment above was in any way offensive, or rude, then I would be grateful if you could say, as I was just supporting Gardener and I am at a loss to know why I have been 'naughty'. Gardener often talks about her friends and aquaintances in her life and I wanted to assure her that we are her friends too on Moodscope.

Benjamin Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 8:06pm

Molly; I think Caroline was pointing to a double-entendre, unintended. That you believe the genders shouldn't be separated and could think of many 'butts' - to add the t. I don't think there was any implication that you had been rude, crude, offensive, etc.

Molly Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 8:52pm

Thank you for your response Benjamin but it wasn't about that x

Benjamin Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 9:33pm

well, then I guess I didn't see it even when looking.

Molly Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 10:06pm

I didn't see it either because I was just trying to be kind. Actually ruined my evening.

Caroline Ashcroft Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 10:17pm

Hi Molly, I'm sorry it ruined your evening, there was a misunderstanding which I have explained via our email conversation. I know you were being kind, which was very nice of you. Can we leave it at that now as I wouldn't like to spoil anyone else's evening. Carolinex

Molly Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 10:35pm

I have replied to your email and accepted your apology, but if I wish to tell people on Moodscope that it ruined my evening then surely that is my right to do so? Your last sentence, I actually started crying when you said that as how is anyone else's evening to be ruined? I do not see how anyone else has been affected?

Paul Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 6:47am

I will be the first man to reply and can only speak for myself.
I allways read the blogs and occasionally comment. I think moodscope is very helpfull most of the time
I think it is a lot harder for men to open up as I feel weak and a failure to open up.
I am part of a large family and only my wife is aware that I struggle a lot of the time with anxiety and depression, I hide it and throw myself into work to distract myself.

I try to bring humor in to my life as much as possible and has has been said on here it can help to smile and it gives me a lift to make others laugh. If only people knew behind the joke is a very sad man. But I rather that they don't know I don't like to be pitied.
I have tried many things to help but nothing seems to help for long.

Thank you for the interesting blog today men and women do think differently but we would be lost without you lovely ladies.

Paul


Lexi Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 2:25pm

Hi Paul! I for one do not see you as weak and a failure if you open up - quite the opposite. I sometimes think we've failed as a society to label men as men and women as women...in the end we're all just beings with feelings. Labeling women as "emotional" (in a negative context) when they show natural emotions and men as "weak" when they show theirs has messed us all up! Thank you for your honesty. You are definitely not one to be pitied. Admired for your bravery is a better way to view it I think. Xo Lexi

Valerie Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 4:29pm

You are certainly not weak Paul,and I am so pleased you are able to confide in your wife.I bet she would be lost without you x

Michael Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 8:23am

I joined Moodscope back in 2011 and back in those days the daily email/blog was always written by Jon. Since he moved on and other people contributed there has been a noticeable drift towards mainly female bloggers. Although I read the email everyday it's not often I check the blog here on the website, but I did the other day and I was struck by how much it seems like a female place now. All but one of the replies to the blog were from women and it was all very 'feminine'. I remember thinking that it no longer felt the same as it used to and it now seemed like a place for women. So it's interesting that this blog came up today.

I think that women do the comforting stuff a bit better than the blokes and maybe that's why there has been this drift towards it becoming a more female environment? I'm in no way saying anyone has done anything wrong, and I suppose us blokes should have made more of an effort to contribute :)

Can Moodscope give out any gender statistics of the membership? I imagine there's more female than male, but of course that might not be the case at all. I wonder how this has changed over time? Maybe women are more likely to reach out for this kind of help, or maybe it's an equal split in the membership but women contribute more? I know this may be wrong and I hope it's not going to offend anyone but maybe the female feel to the blogging and comments does discourage some of the men to join in now?? I know that's how I felt the other day. As I don't visit here very often it does feel a bit cheeky of me to pass comment, but today's topic resonated with me because of my reaction the other day.

I suppose I used the sight to get me through a tough time, and now I'm on a more even keel and don't need the help then I also don't feel the need to come on here and comfort others. Is that a gender thing? Are women more alturistic?

Valerie Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 4:37pm

Not everyone who posts is offering comfort Michael.We all have times of feeling vulnerable,and Moodscopers are a pretty non-judgmental bunch.You can seek feedback,honest opinion,and maybe the female angle on your situation. I think in general women are more quick to offer kindness with words and men seem to do something practical to show their sympathy.Both are wonderful to receive x

Michael Sun, Sep 3rd 2017 @ 12:28pm

Oh yes, I totally agree, not all blog replies are simply offering comfort, and not all offers of comfort come from ladies. But the particular day I came on here the comforting messages from other women were in a predominance and, rightly or wrongly, it did create an impression. :) These blogs are so useful and I always appreciate the insight, so I really should read the replies on here more often too.

Orangeblossom Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 8:30am

Hi Valerie, you have provided lots of food for thought. I only open up to those to whom I am close. Thanks for writing the blog. I appreciated it a great deal.

Oli Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 8:56am

Oli, male. Sometimes read, always test. No anxiety about posting but don't post if I've nothing to add.
On gender differences, I've definitely wondered something like the following:
IF strong mental health patterns (helpful or problematic) are related to coping with major life changes, THEN I'd imagine women may be more prone to problematic patterns simply because of the numbers. I.e. women (it could be argued) experience more physical changes then man and possibly greater social changes too during a life (motherhood etc.).
It's purely speculation, and just to repeat, if there's any difference I'd think it more likely to be down to numerical patterns rather than intrinsic differences. Basically, women seem more exposed to big life changes and maybe this has mental health consequences.
Could be rubbish; I accept that.

Valerie Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 4:41pm

Not rubbish Oli-I totally agree.There is a young lad I chat to who is hoping to undergo a sex-change.I've tried telling him that being a woman is not all it's cracked up to be,but he is determined! Then again,he will be cheating by avoiding all the biological stuff.x-

the room above the garage Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 9:03am

I feel suffocated when there isn't a balance of male/female interaction. More male writers would help everyone. It doesn't have to be anything more than own experience. Thank you to the lovely boys for commenting today. And thanks Valerie. Love ratg x.

Andrew Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 9:38am

Hey, guy here. Been here several years now (and was introduced to here by my dad who also uses this). Mostly just read the blogs and very rarely do the test. Rarely feel the need to post on the blogs, and that's mostly because I'm a fair bit younger than most bloggers here so can't relate to a lot of what's blogged about.

A lot of the reasons men sadly don't open up or post very much I feel is due to toxic masculinity. It's a very real and very dangerous thing where society forces men to "man up". It's bad to cry, to open up, and it's taught by your parents and your peers in even small ways (like telling little boys not to play with dolls). If a guy is slightly feminine then they're ostracised, so they hide those things including emotions.

But men feel all the exact same emotions women do, as we're very much the same, just men have this pressure on their shoulders to hide any of them that are considered unmanly, and then we don't really learn how to cope with them but they still very much exist. It's silly to say they don't, as emotions are an automatic thing but men are taught to ignore them.

I'm thankful I grew up with my mum and sister so I was less exposed to it all (most of my friends are women as well) and feel I can be more open and emotional, but I do often get judged because of it. But really anytime a man wants to open up, or is genuinely emotional even in movies, then I'm super encouraging about it. Men need to cry more.

Valerie Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 4:45pm

It would still be good to hear your story Andrew.Some of us may be knocking on a bit,but can still recall what it was like to be young.I don't think you will find any toxic males-or females- on here x

Charlie Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:20am

Like Michael a founder member on Moodscope, 6 years ago my enlightened GP put me on to it, realising how daily CBT might help me cope, (as well as the medication with my bi-polar), a condition not helped by pressures of being a tenant farmer on the urban fringes of London. It did help, and it still does, though thankfully I don't need the meds any more (might be age related, now 61, worst phase 45 - 58).

I'm a daily tester, frequent blog reader and only post if I've time. I'm not aware of being encouraged by the fact that the early blogs were written by a bloke, and I find the blogs now, with apologies to Jon, to be more real and less theory, genuinely based on a wide range of personalities, ages and life experiences.

As to male bloggers, only statistics would help give us a clue I guess - certainly I treasure the routine of 9.30 breakfast (just in case you think that's idle, I can't face breakfast before our starting time of 6.30!), coffee and Moodscope; 7 days a week, but I run out of time once I've done my score and diary.

So why post today? Because Valerie's thrown in the challenge, my colleague's back from a week's contract and taken pressure off me, so I have a bit of time.

Which, before I upset anyone by inferring it's only people with time on their hands that blog, I know that to be emphatically not the case - but there are those better at translating the maelstrom of thoughts into words, and maybe girls are better at expressing feelings anyway, generally, so therefore if there is a preponderance of girl moodscopers, then logically there will be more girl bloggers.
And I for one are happy with that - Moodscope is a community that works, too much navel-gazing can sometimes be interesting, sometimes counterproductive, but always gives food for thought and support.

the room above the garage Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:49am

A great routine, up, work then breakfast. I like.

LH Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:32am

I find this an infuriating blog. It is these sort of comments separating the "male" and "female" experience of life or mental health that put up barriers. To suggest that 50% of the world population have a shared experience of any emotional or behavioural states is so narrow it acts to re-inforce stereotypes.
There are many men who can cry and express their emotions and many women who find these things difficult.
As a couple of the male respondents have said above they can only speak for themselves as can any female respondent.
As many write using a pseudonym I have often not known (or cared) wether they are male or female but focused on the comment.
Maybe those desperate for a male perspective on these things should speak to all of the men they know to give them the opportunity to "open up".
Wishing all men and women strength and courage through life's challenges x

the room above the garage Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:51am

I'm sorry I can't agree. Even by glancing through the replies it's clear some barriers have come down today.

Jul Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 1:58pm

I think Valerie's blog has produced some interesting replies from everyone, male and female. Yours too LH (except I don't agree the blog is infuriating, far from it) Jul xx

Valerie Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 4:52pm

Ouch-that's me told! Stereotypes,like clichés,come about as a result of widespread experiences and patterns.We are all individuals,but to deny that there are differences between the sexes,beyond those imposed by society,seems absurd to me.

Leah Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:40am

Valerie,
Great blog.
I maybe on my own here, but I don't divide the world into genders I see people as people which different personalities. Maybe because I don't have many feminine characteristics or stereotypical remain skill and I don't have male skills or traits and am not masculine . So what does that make me. I really don't notice if I am at an all female gathering or the only woman among males until someone points it out.

There so many more people who read than post but not sure there would be more.

I think a diversity in gender is great, but so it is desirable in ages,experience location, skills, lifestyle, ethnic background , abilities, etc etc.

Valerie you have started the ball rolling. I wonder if I had called myself Peter would people assume I was a typical male.

Leah

The Gardener Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 12:18pm

Leah - I am only interested in a person's character and the 'rapport' with them. A lot of my 'public' life was spent in a near all-male atmosphere - and boy, except for a few notable exceptions, I was used as the 'whipping boy'(not a good analogy) usually the butt of very unhumorous sallies, and just plain rudeness in public places. Anna Ford once threw a glass of wine over Desmond Wilcox (I think) guess who got the flak? Rising to the bait only makes things worse - all you can do is make sure that you are capable of doing what you are there for - and firmly resist jibes about your femininity - and even more, about being 'feminist'.

Toby Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:50am

Hello all,
I'm a bloke, aged 54 and have only fairly recently (couple of years) realised that I've had mild mental issues on and off for most of my life. It was my (female) boss that suggested this site when I finally admitted to feeling generally blue and down. I did the test most days for quite a while, then got some meds from the doctor (Sertraline) which I took for a year. Now I rarely take the test - perhaps once a month - and sometimes read the blogs. To be honest, I find most of them pretty gender neutral - it was a while before I realised 'the room above the garage' was a woman.
I think it's been much harder historically for men to open up about their feelings/mental health, but that is changing. People like Alistair Campbell have really helped open things up. The younger generation have a much healthier attitude I think. Have you seen these guys: https://sanctus.io/ If you know a young man with issues, maybe point them their way.
Anyway, thanks for being here - I'm honestly not bothered how many of us are men, women, neither or would rather not say - we're all people.
Best of luck all.

Rupert Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:03am

Rupert here! I have never done the scores but read the blogs usually when I am feeling low and when I need help most. I don't think there is any difference on the mental health side between the sexes. Surely depression is a leveller which afflicts us all in a similar way. I think what is interesting is the higher suicide rate in men. Maybe they feel that talking just doesn't help rather than they don't want to talk? I have just spent a year in private therapy for an addiction which is linked and I think I actually feel worse now! Rupert

the room above the garage Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:37am

Hello Rupert, great to see you.

Bearofliddlebrain Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 7:21pm

Hiya Rupert....been wondering how you are...sorry the private therapy doesn't seem to have helped :( good to see you here. Bear x

Valerie Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 4:55pm

I think some therapies are unhelpful too.Give me good old Prozac any day.

the room above the garage Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:44am

Like Leah, I tend to see people as people, it's not a dream-like state of equality wishing it's just how I am. But already, with a male viewpoint in here today, there a rich state of ideas and thoughts bringing balance. Very healthy. I agree with the comment on 'man up' attitude. It is indeed bred from birth and sad. I've watched my dad grow into such a sensitive and feeling man from those beginnings, he raised his sons similarly and I love that they each have found their own self able to shrug off that armour.

The Gardener Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 12:07pm

Valerie, such an interesting blog, rubbed salt into a very open wound with me. I've often wondered about the gender business, but not concerned. Despite the pseudonyms it's obvious, by the content, if not by the name, what gender most of us are. Re Charlie's post, I know by repute that he is a past master at getting to the point quickly, and finding the time to reply concisely and pertinently. Leah did a blog on parenting - how many parents regret packing there little boys of 8 off to boarding school, no Mummy's lap to sit on, no Dad to kick a ball around with, the prospect of being bullied, whilst learning that 'boys don't cry'. The salt in wound? Because, the briefest of re-caps on my situation. Mr G had macular degeneration in the 2nd eye in 2008 - he could no longer read nor drive - devastating for anybody. Nobody could have had more help, from friends and professionals - comforting, re-assuring. He was angry with the world - who would not be? But life was NOT over - we continued to live a full life, including travel. He needed to rage - particularly over his jealousy (again, very understandable) that I could still drive. His upbringing (not public school) made him incapable of having 'mates' or 'buddies'. As a couple, loads of friends. The last four of those eight years have been complicated by Alzheimer's. He's had the best of medical attention, I've tried psychotherapy - no go. He's had 'physio' for the best use of his sight, no go. Now, everybody, but everybody, is my 'guru' said with scorn, even his very experienced eye surgeon. They would not tell me, but I do not think that he has 'unbent' with his children over a beer or Kir or two. I think, as with nature and nurture, that there are men who will never 'unbend' and those who learn that there is no shame in admitting that you are depressed, and accepting help. This is where Valerie's blog is so pertinent - how on earth to crack the shell of those who need help and get them to accept it.

Tim Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 1:16pm

All v interesting (the comments, I mean; but also the blog). Me: male, 53, been here a few years, blog occasionally, comment more rarely ... rather too many clicks to get to where you need to be to do so, regrettably). I take value as value, whatever the gender of the speaker. Though I remember reading that "most effective communication comes from the least likely voice". In other words, you're more likely to be struck by, believe, or retain a piece of info if it comes from someone you didn't expect to be saying that. And I think that applies to men here. So, the more men can say 'feminine' things, the better. I've never, fortunately, found it hard to open up, but SHOWING emotion is probably much more (too much more) restricted in me. I do think women necessarily traverse more watersheds in the natural progression of a life; it's why we men their immature for rather long! The German Jesuit, Richard Rohr, convinced me why, at least in the West. In fact, he was the single most helpful input at the start of my depressed phase (ages 37-48 or so). And HE was pointed out to me by a male colleague: happily sensitive enough to see in me what was going on, he just dropped a CD of Mr Rohr on my office desk. And there's began some sort of "uphill ramble". Thanks, all :)

Mary Wednesday Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:33pm

Tried to reply to you earlier; internet connection conked out. Just to say - Please blog again, I love your writing. I get Richard Ruhr's daily meditations. At once profoundly challenging and comforting. So grateful to the friend who pointed me in his way.

Jul Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 1:54pm

This is such a great blog Valerie. Well done for thinking it up and expressing it so well. It's probably the first blog that has had so many men commenting so far. (My husband is a little like the way you describe yours Valerie) Jul xx

Benjamin Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 3:31pm

In general, in reaction to toxic identity politics and my background in certain kinds of science, I tend to focus on variance (ie. real diversity) rather than center of mass. However, I do observe some very different patterns in expressing emotions, coping with emotions, and so on. There is something about the otherness of the genders that creates some very particular ways of relating; and relating drives many mental state/mental health issues.

In truth, the only thing that ever drives me to actual, physical tears, is relationships with the fair sex; because, I observe, it is only in those relationships that I ever put anything at stake. Yes, those tears are entirely private.

At the same time, and for related reasons, I find myself dealing with weeping women not so infrequently. It is a privilege in fact, that I am given; something that I treasure. A moment, even, of depth in the relationship. It puts stress on me; because I care about the underlying pain, and I want to 'solve it' [yes, yes...] but I can hardly imagine my purpose without those relationships.

It was in the depths of dealing with some of these things several years ago that I came to Moodscope; and it helped. I read the blog infrequently, but for a period of months did the scores. I don't have a diagnosis, formal care, medications, etc, but it all seemed very stabilizing. More recently, I have read the blog more than scored; and have commented a little. It's also refreshing. I refuse to moan, or to consider it, frankly. Stiff upper lip? Maybe.

Ach UK Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 4:13pm

Thank you Valerie for posting this blog.
I had wondered how many people belonged to Moodscope and the replies to this blog have surprised me.

On count back so far today I see 8 comments from gentleman and 8 from ladies (not counting the secondary responses/replies). Brilliant. All life is here. :))

I am also heartened by many of the posters who mention that mostly they read the blogs and not often comment on them, as this to me suggests a much bigger audience participating in Moodscope than appears from the daily blog numbers. And thus the possibility of a huge amount of potential useful advice,comment and personal experience from many individuals for me to avail myself of to improve the way I cope and grow and enjoy my life.

Thank you everyone who has responded today, I look forward to reading more from you in future.

doug Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 4:59pm

male, major depressive episodes at 19, 25, 54 ongoing now for 3 years. Contemplated suicide each time, but in the early years I didn't want to hurt my parents, now I have a family and don't want to put that burden on my wife and sons.

I read blogs in the daily email but seldom comment. The test corresponds quite well with the depression screening tests from my doctors, so use it to keep track of state every couple of weeks. In some ways it is easier to deal with despair when the test confirms it is just the depression talking. Prozac got me to a high score of 38% but then it tapered down again to the usual 12-16% so went off the drug. I wish I had mood swings ;-) a bit of irrational exuberance would be a relief..

There is a lot of research which shows that happiness hits a low around the early 50s.
http://papers.nber.org/tmp/56575-w23724.pdf
Perhaps if we can weather these years it can get better.

Adrian Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 6:52pm

I do the test regularly and find the process useful making me more aware of my mood and whats driving it. Occasionally make a comment but only when something to add. Read comments with interest - a rich goldmine of insight. I am sure readership is high even if comments are sometimes limited.
Best
A x

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 7:07pm

I. Am. A. Man.

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 7:08pm

butI'dprefertobeawomanandhavepermissontobehonestandopenaboutmyfeelingsbecausereallyI'mscreaminginsidemostofthetime

Molly Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 7:40pm

I actually wish I was a man !! Shall we swap?It really is okay Lex to be open about your feelings, I think women like that. Why do you feel you can't be open? M xx

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 7:51pm

Yes, Molly, let's swap. Though I really don't think I'd cope as well as you do with your challenges. Life, as I say, is "a package deal". As for me, I've been open about my feelings for years - one of the benefits of writing for Moodscope, but the VAST majority of men I meet are terribly bound by ridiculous cultural scripting over what it takes to be 'Manly' - destructively dangerous brain-washing... as the statistics sadly declare and confirm. xx

Molly Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 8:29pm

Oh yes, brain washing, another blog there. I hope you continue writing your blogs. I cannot imagine my husband writing his feelings down, he is in denial most of the time, even with me. So really we are living in some sort of pretence. I have always been open so I struggle to understand but then he doesn't understand me. Swings, roundabouts, slide down the slide and then have another go xx

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 8:45pm

Perhaps my strongest belief is that "Life is a package deal" - I'm really unhappy with my current life BUT it's a package. As such, there are aspects I utterly adore. Is there anything in your current life you really love, Molly xx

Molly Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 9:19pm

I wonder what you really mean by a package deal Lex? I'm not being dim, I would just be interested for you to expand. "We get what we get" kind of thing? Unfortunately, right now the only thing I adore is the dog I look after. I know that sounds sad, but he seems to bring the love out in me and he gives me lots of love back - I don't love much else. Although my bed is quite inviting xx

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 9:39pm

I get the whole pet thing... I get so much unconditional love from the cats... although, of course, it's totally conditional!

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 9:41pm

As for 'Package Deal' - this came home to me years ago when I worked with a very talented management consultant. He had the income, the car, the home, the business lifestyle that I aspired to... but the package of being him included his family life - which was unattractive. I learned in that moment to look at the whole picture whenever I caught myself being jealous of others. Looking at his whole life, if I asked myself, "Do you still want to be him?" I'd have to answer with a resounding "No!"

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 9:42pm

so, I'd love the Gardner's garden but wouldn't cope with looking after hubby. I'd love Mary's insight into colours, but I don't want to look after a family anymore. I'd love to have Caroline's impact on the world but I wouldn't like her responsibility. Does that help xx ??

Eva Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:31pm

Hi Lex, can you change the bits of the package that you don't like? I know that you sometimes can't walk away from responsibilities, but maybe you can change your attitude to the way you relate to the bits that you don't currently like? Just wondering...

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:45pm

That's a GREAT wonder. And, Yes, I think you're right. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I used to get jealous of other people's nice parts of their lives... until I realised you had to have the other parts of their lives too. Now I love my own life and am working on an ABC strategy. A is the stuff I cannot stand, B is the stuff that irritates but that I can do when I have to. C is the stuff that I love. So I'm seeing to eliminate the As, delegate the Bs, and focus on the Cs!!!

Caroline the Moodscope Team Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:51pm

Wow, Caroline's impact on the World - that is so lovely Lex, not true, but lovely. I would like your creativity, energy and confidence! Carolinex

Mary Wednesday Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:52pm

How interesting, Lex, that you are able to see the whole package. And yes - I love my family but there are so many times I would love to walk away. I could never walk away from my colours or the words; but from my family:oh Yes! Yet - when things have been at their worse: when I have so desperately wanted to run away, I look at the life I would have alone, or with that man (and for some reason there have been a number of them over the years) who wants me to be with him - and it would be no better - and I would also have the guilt of leaving. So I stay. Because the overall package is pretty good. As the girls get older and more resemble human beings than children, it gets better ( but if they present me with grandchildren then all bets are off). And my darling rock of a husband is incredibly sweet. I write sexy romance novels but real life is what happens after you type the words "The end".

Benjamin Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:26pm

I think what Lex is expressing is what I call 'trade space.' To the extent that you can adjust the conditions of your life, there are trade-offs, some of which are less than obvious at first. As a result, picking and choosing what to be envious of in someone else's life ignores the trade-offs that would be forced on you.

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:33pm

Loving' this, Benjamin

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:34pm

UTTERLY true, Caroline... just in a window you cannot see through yet... but we do xx

Lex Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:36pm

and... dearest Mary... my next grandchild is being born as I type.. and then one understands the joy of the Universe (to balance its phenomenal levels of sorrow) Let's all pray for a good birth for my lovely Daughter in Law, Naomi... feel like we are REALLY sharing tonight... and it's appreciated HUGELY

Caroline the Moodscope Team Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:53pm

Oooh, congratulations Lex. Hope everything goes well. Carolinex

Molly Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 12:21am

How very true Lex, I never used to get jealous but then along the way, I started to think, 'everyone is happy but me'. But looking at the bigger picture, everyone has their own battles to deal with. Very good point and certainly worth thinking about. I agree, it was good that other people joined in the conversation tonight xx

Valerie Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 5:10pm

As the only regular male blogger Lex I think you could be the key to getting more men involved.Your blogs are usually about self-help,various courses or books that have helped you.The general tone is very upbeat,accentuating the positive like the song says. And that's great. You come across as someone who has got it all sussed-very kind and approachable for sure,but not battling the kind of demons as some of the male members.I appreciate you have your professional image to think of,so finding a balance may be hard."Physician heal thyself" could be thrown at you. It would be interesting to have blogs from you when you don't feel so confident. x

Molly Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 7:45pm

Valerie, alot of males responded today, it was nice to see xx

Eva Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 10:33pm

Hey blokes, good to see you you all today, I'm glad you mostly get something from the blogs and comments.

Geoff Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:53pm

Better late than never, I'm just catching up woth all the posts from this great blog. I agree with what Paul said (early reply) when he says that men find it harder to open up. Over the last 12 months, I've been part of two different well-being groups, run by MIND UK. IN both groups, the intital ratio has been 2:1 in favour of females attending. But, what is more interesting is that as the females began to "open up" in these groups, the men became more distant and then disappeared from the group completely. Indeed, in the last group only myself and one other man remianed until the end of the sessions, compared to 9 women. Is it the male pride thing that gets in the way? I don't know. In my 20's, I actually took a counselling course. In later years, this has helped me to be open and honest with my counsellors, as I realised that bottling things up wasn't going to get us anywhere.
The more honest I was with my counsellors, the more honest I was with myself. I recognised my problems and was able to to begin tackling them. (I've still some way to go).

As for the Moodscope blogs, I read them everyday, but don't always comment. Whether you're male or female doesn't matter to me, I am grateful for your honesty and support. Perhaps, we men should pen one or two more blogs ourselves?





Caroline the Moodscope Team Fri, Sep 1st 2017 @ 11:58pm

I agree Geoff, you men should pen one or two more blogs!

Valerie Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 5:14pm

My other half would say that the reason the men drifted away was because the poor devils get enough of women emoting at home! How about starting things off Geoff-get blogging x

Jane SG Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:12pm

Please blog Geoff

Jul Sat, Sep 2nd 2017 @ 6:19pm

Valerie. I loved your comments yesterday. I agree about the Prozac!!You did wonderfully with your blog plus comments. You held us all together. Jul xx

Valerie Sun, Sep 3rd 2017 @ 2:48pm

Many thanks Jul! I thought it was lovely to hear from all the men,and so pleased that, even if they don't blog or respond, they obviously appreciate and benefit from hearing from those who do. xx

Jane SG Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 9:14pm

Hi Valerie, I've finally had a chance to read your blog and all the comments. Awesome! Really enjoyed reading all these replies. Well done Valerie xx

Caroline Ashcroft Mon, Sep 4th 2017 @ 11:47pm

I would just like to say that it is great to see so many males commenting today. We'd really love more blogs from the male members if any of you feel inspired...

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