"Will you be my Moodscope Buddy?" a friend asked. And then, "I had a Buddy before, but they didn't really 'get' it and – well - it didn't work out."
Yes, a buddy must be chosen wisely and trained with care.
So – what is a Moodscope Buddy?
A buddy is someone you nominate, who automatically receives your Moodscope test results. You can have up to five buddies with the Lite version of Moodscope, and an unlimited number on Essential and Plus.
The advantages of having at least one good buddy are obvious. If you are having a bad day, or week, then they can take action if necessary. If they don't see a score from you for a while, they can contact you to make sure you are okay. For me, having bipolar disorder, my buddies have been essential in letting me know when I was going into one of my manias (because I rarely recognise them myself) and in telling me firmly to get myself to the GP when my score was so low they knew I was incapable of making that decision for myself.
Who should be our buddies?
Many people nominate their domestic partner as a buddy. It has certainly helped my husband know what to expect from me on certain days. Parents, children and siblings can be buddies. Sometimes it is as much for their own peace of mind as yours. Our friends and family want to know if we're okay – especially if they do not live with us, or locally enough they can just drop round to see how we are.
For some, their psychiatrist or therapist is a buddy.
I would recommend nominating at least a couple of good friends you can trust. Preferably friends who know each other, so they can consult if necessary.
And – you must train your buddies.
Everyone's scores and range of scores are different. For one person a score of 25 might be perfectly satisfactory, for another, 80 might mean they were a bit down. It is up to you to know what your own scores mean and educate your buddies accordingly.
What do you want your buddies to do if your score goes above or below a certain number? Do you want them to email, to call you, or to knock on your door? I find it is useful to agree with my buddies that they will read my score every day and that I will do the test every day. Before I was on my medication, this was vital. It was also important that I did the test every day and the most organised of my buddies had an alarm on her computer to remind her to check that she had received my score that day. If not, I got a reminder text, and then a phone call.
This might not work for you, but maybe it's a good idea to agree with your buddy how many days they should let it go before reminding you. And not all buddies do the same job. Some may use your score just as information, as does my husband; some may be more active. You need to find the right balance and that is why you may need all five, or – if you are on the Essential or Plus plan, all one hundred and five!
And – if it doesn't work out with one buddy, then it doesn't. Not everyone is cut out to be a buddy. Being a buddy is a commitment. It can be a lot of work. Many people will have neither the time or the discipline/organisation to be your buddy. It doesn't mean they are not your friend or that they don't love you; just that they are not the right person to be your buddy. Look around and see if there is someone else you feel able to trust with your scores.
You might know another Moodscope user who could be your buddy.
After all – you can be sure we do absolutely "get it".
A Moodscope member