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Keeping an eye on things. Tuesday June 17, 2014

I'm a fellow Moodscope user who's been meaning to sit down and write some posts for the blog for a while now and today I've finally got my rear into gear,​as it were.

I look forward to reading the posts every morning before starting my day in earnest - they've become part of my loose ritual for steering my brain to a good place as best I can before facing the outside world, and I'm most thankful for them; they're a great humanity-connector. I don't tend to actually take the test until later in the day, by which time I've hopefully dipped more than a toe in the water and know where I am a bit more.

I've never been diagnosed with depression, despite some of my close family members having been, but I have certainly experienced the black fog that seemingly comes out of nowhere, draining me of any joie de vivre, mostly just for a few days but occasionally for a few weeks, with varying degrees of regularity.

Moodscope helps me feel like I'm keeping an eye on things - sometimes my score has been a bit of a surprise which reminds me of the need to check in with myself regularly; I have had a tendency to power on through, numbing myself out then picking up the pieces later.​ It's also good to actually see the peaks and troughs and realise that the troughs aren't actually as dominant or last as long as they feel - oh the dragging of time in a trough...

I'm not sure if my own particular fog is chemically or thought induced, most likely a heady mixture of both, but it's great to feel like I'm not entirely at its mercy (it doesn't have much mercy). Things are shifting all the time, even if it's only by the smallest of degree and as my awareness grows, so does my strength.​Onwards.

A Moodscope user.

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Mary Tue, Jun 17th 2014 @ 7:27am

Hi Lois. Well done for "getting your rear into gear" (a great expression). Lovely to hear from you. When things are good I don't do my Moodscope every day and then I regret it when I go down as I don't have so many good scores to compare the bad days to. Once I come out of this particular low I have promised myself that I will continue to do the test every day. It's a great discipline.

heather Tue, Jun 17th 2014 @ 7:38am

Hello Louis, I have just come back from a 2 week holiday in Gozo and hoping I won't suffer the post holiday blues. As you say, it is good to keep an eye on things and take some precautions and not feel completely at IT'S mercy. Maybe one day I will feel confident too and write a blog, Louis. Thanks for doing that, it was nice to hear from you and I enjoyed your comments. Moodscope is my friend when others don't bother to ring (or realise I am back from holiday !) and at other times when I am feeling lonely. Long live Moodscope !

Diana Tue, Jun 17th 2014 @ 7:39am

Agreed Lois - it can be a surprise sometimes to see ones score on the card-test !

Anonymous Tue, Jun 17th 2014 @ 7:47am

Well said Lois. I unfortunately live with Bipolar Disorder,mood scope is one the tools I use to give me some indication as where I am. By doing this I can recognise it quickly and do something about it.

Anonymous Tue, Jun 17th 2014 @ 10:14am

"I'm not sure if my own particular fog is chemically or thought induced"
Those words alone have helped, I know it sounds simple but when the fog is thick is is difficult to see.

These articles are a help.

Thank you Lois.
I hope I can contribute soon.

Julia Tue, Jun 17th 2014 @ 12:38pm

Hi Tim. I am sure you can contribute! Lois has written a really helpful blog today. It just takes a little time and courage to submit something to Caroline. Once you have taken this step, you will feel so pleased. Each contributor has a different and unique style which makes each blog very refreshing to read. We will love your blog Tim as we love everyone's.

Anonymous Tue, Jun 17th 2014 @ 12:48pm

It certainly makes a difference if you fill it in say after the gym rather than when just up, but worth trying both and being very honest. It is only a simple test and does not realy define us. Winston Churchill had his dark dog days, so you are amongst the best! I think you have hit it on the head though by saying that close family members have depression. Most people do at some time but patterns in the family often make us unconsciously choose a role and sometimes we have the role of the person not depressed. There are probably things that went on that might improve your situation if you did some online cognitive therapy. YOu don't have to do much or delve into childhood to realise that some of the things you might be doing just don't work for you as an adult and then you can change them. Lots of problems occur through dysfunction, alchoholism and guilt, that we are not aware of in the family and we do not see, however the patterns are often there. For lots of options look at and see if anything there interests you. Moodjuice gym is a simple online programme. Or given that there is depression around you can try visiting Al Anon which is for the friends and relatives affected by those addicted to alcohol and from dysfunctional families, which can exist when family members are depressed for their patterns of behaviour impact on us. It is not about blaming and shaming it is about changing and all the above are free. All our moods are chemically dependent and we can change them by changing behaviour. There is a habit though for doctors to ask if we feel 'up and down' and then they define us as bipolar or give drugs for that and as in most cases we are changing the chemicals according to something that may have happened to us as children we can also, with knowledge, change them back again. Get a Clare Weekes CD, she demands, in this wonderful voice to 'let it come, let it go' greata stuff. penedawn

Richard Tue, Jun 17th 2014 @ 6:15pm

Lois. Flying the "Onwards" flag. Brilliant.
Warmest regards,

Anonymous Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:33am

It's acknowledged and accepted by mental health professionals that a person presenting problems with emotional health is actually presenting the problems of the family. Worth reading J D Laing and also Anne Angelin Schutzenberger's "The Ancestor Syndrome" - "we may have no choice in having the events and traumas experienced by our ancestors visited upon us in our own lifetime." Fascinating reading.

Suzy Wed, Jun 18th 2014 @ 8:21pm

'Things are shifting all the time, even if it's only by the smallest of degree and as my awareness grows, so does my strength.?Onwards.' I like this. You're right the shifting can be almost imperceptible but it's happening, even if we're sometimes not aware. Well done ole gal.

Lois Wed, Jun 25th 2014 @ 9:32pm

Hi Heather. Yes, I agree - Long Live Moodscope and its community! My screen saver at work is a beautiful beach view from my holiday last Summer. If I think about it I can mentally transport myself back there and I kind of hope the image subconsciously makes me more relaxed! I hope the post holiday blues haven't hit hard, if at all. I look forward to seeing a blog from you in the future :D

Lois Wed, Jun 25th 2014 @ 9:34pm

Here here! And thank you :)

Lois Wed, Jun 25th 2014 @ 9:54pm

Thanks for all the good resources there both! I shall investigate... I bought the ironically titled 'Cognitive Therapy for Dummies' a while back but haven't got around to having more than a skim read so far. One thing that came out of it though was the idea of Catastrophising. I have always done this but wasn't necessarily consciously aware of it until I saw it written down in the book! I'm not sure how to get around these very strong visual images I have speedily flashing through my head of awful things happening to me or others so for now I imagine a load of glitter bursting through the air and the scene becoming a ridiculous dance sequence or something - it's the best I can do for now! I think a lot of my low mood issues come from a family trait of repression of self and of feelings and a need to please others so I've been tackling this in various ways including counselling and I'm connecting more with what makes me happy. I've also got a great Twitter list of inspirational people that tweet self-help ideas that hit the spot for me and it's always great to have a quick scan through these in the morning and when I'm feeling especially low. I'm getting much better at being an observer of the thoughts that pass through my head rather than believing that they are 'my' thoughts and the absolute truth! It's so empowering to know that we can change the way we think.

Lois Wed, Jun 25th 2014 @ 9:57pm

Thank you all! :D

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