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Your flexible friend. Monday May 20, 2013

When Mark introduced himself a couple of days ago, he referred to his good friend Sarah, another Moodscope user who also kindly wanted to contribute to the Moodscope messages. Here's Sarah's first message. I do hope you enjoy it. Best wishes. Caroline

I have several friends who use Moodscope, and we each do so differently. One or two find simply reading these daily emails provides sustenance enough. Some do their chart occasionally to touch base with they're at. Whilst others, like me, find regular scoring most useful.

Since I joined two years ago, I've flipped the cards 352 times. My score has ranged from 7%, on a day I felt so hellish my every thought seemed to hurt, to 90%, the day I got married. (If the 7% had been for the day I got married then I really would be worried.) My moods swing from periods when I score in the 30s and 40s to – thankfully longer – periods when I score much higher. When we're down, one of the worst aspects can be feeling we'll never get out of that hole. Here I've found seeing my history heartening – it reminds me I won't be there forever.

I've also shared my chart with others – my doctor, for instance. It provided something tangible to demonstrate what I meant by 'very up and down' and helped him get a picture of my overall mental health. Someone else I know found doing the test regularly revealed her dips were unmistakably linked to her monthly cycle – one week in four, she'd drop from 60% to 35%. Now she's opted for hormone treatment, and lo, her scores are over 60%, 100% of the time. That she's happier thanks to a few cards is flipping wonderful.
If you're someone who only ever reads the emails, perhaps doing the test occasionally might help boost your mood even more. Though feel free to ignore this suggestion. The real joy of Moodscope is its flexibility – it's a tool that adapts to every user. How ingenious is that?

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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PWD Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 7:19am

Flippin wonderful I like a bit of humour first thing it gives me a lift. Great post thanks for sharing it with us. I thought my 11% was bad as I felt dreadful but a 7 beats an 11 hands down. I always enjoyed Johns posts and was very sad to hear he was going to deal his cards elsewhere. but I am enjoying the change of styles. I have been told many times change is not always bad and as a person that does not like change I am changing thanks to moodscope.


Diana Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 7:45am

Lovely blog - and made the first bit of joy of the day. ( it is 7.30 a.m. - but still ! )DIANA

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 8:18am

That was a really thoughtful and sensitive piece which reminded me of the value of Moodscope. Thank you.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 8:31am

Hi Sarah, lovely blog, enjoyed hearing your experiences, and may you never have a 7 again - made me feel glad I've not had one! Moodscope is good :)

Julia Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 9:01am

Lovely blog Sarah. It's good you find the chart helpful. I do too especially the opportunity to explain one's score in the box. I have started to write every time I do the charts. It's great for looking back at the same time last year for example and seeing how my score compares (Often very close which must be significant..I must look into this!)I can read what I was up to last year on the same day and find this very interesting. I find this more helpful than the triggergrams as a general rule although they do throw up some surprising information.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 9:11am

Thank you Sarah.

I have been a 9 before. It was reassuring I wasn't alone and someone had experienced a broad range of scores (9-98) too.

I am bi-polar, more on the depressive side. I share this for other bi-polars who may be using Moodscope. Personally I have found my ideal range to be 70 - 80. Higher than that means I'm at risk of hypomania; lower means risk of depression.

I too share my scores with my Doctor which has made med management easier. I also share with 3 friends, one who has Bi-Polar 1 (more manic than depressive), and two best friends. The Friends part is so helpful to have 3 other sets of eyes on me to bring things to my attention.

I hope some of you Moodscopers found this experience share of value. I'm curious what other bi-polar disorder folks have discovered.

Judith Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 9:11am

I loved Sarah's blog and, as a person who excels in feeling guilty about absolutely everything, I felt much better about not having flipped the cards for over 700 days...and Paul, I've only learnt in the last couple of years that change can be good, or at least okay. I think that anxious people often not only don't want change: we're afraid of any movement at all, just in case....

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 9:35am

I haven't gone above 75 and I'm usually somewhere in the 50 - 70 range, which sometimes feels a bit 'low' .... but I feel a bit of cautious about going above 75 in case its starting a 'high'. I feel safe in the mid range.
Good to chat.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 9:49am

Hi Thanks for your daily message. I'm sending this because of the comment about your friends mood linking to her period. I most needed moodscope when peri-menopausal. It took it my moods to get really bad before I went to the Drs and found out what was causing my problems. I wanted to say to any other ladies out there its worth checking and if it is the menopause it will get better but you might need a bit of help getting there. The daily emails from moodscope have certainly helped me.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 10:11am

i stopped doing this - as I found my mood was so low - but I was only testing this as possible tool for my bipolar friend ..and had to come to terms with the fact that i was struggling with low mood most of the time myself ..its hard to want to do anything other than sit and sleep..I hope to start again soon as i try to tackle this ..I would not have realised that not everyone felt so flat and life was so much like hard work , and sad most of the time.. and I am taking action so hping it will be here to help me..

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 10:28am

Bit worrying. Since the death of my partner in 2007 I have been trying so hard to rebuild my life and have seen my scores improve slightly from the 20% region to 30-35% since joining Moodscope two years ago. This post has alarmed me as it seems to suggest that there's something wrong in that I am never scoring over 50%. I had thought I was doing quite well. This has knocked me back.

June Jones Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 10:38am

Flipping wonderful blog. Thank you Sarah :-)

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 10:48am

Thank you - This is timely as I have been feeling low for the past 4 or 5 days and it has been worrying me a lot...

I usually do 2 or 3 moodscopes per week - but maybe more regularly would be good.

Many thanks - its a good reminder that we all go up and down - and being down sometimes - is normal..

Thank you

Julia Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 11:02am

I am not sure if I am bi polar but I have months of feeling low then one day of being high followed by yet more weeks and months feeling low .I attribute the odd once in a blue moon high day to having had a really good deep refreshing sleep the previous night.
I have found like you Anonymous that my ideal range on the charts is 70 -80. If I am having a good day, I try to modify the excitement and likewise when I'm low I try to negate it and compensate. An eminent sleep therapist I saw once told me that I coped well as I didn't go off the radar either way. I use my head to counter these extremes of mood I think. Anyway back to the charts and scores, I just wanted to write about my scores. I have been as low as 14 and high as 90. Also...I really like the explanations as they force me to stop and really think how I am feeling. But I am able to ignore the explanations too if I am in a hurry.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 11:09am

Thanks Sarah - and what a useful discussion emerging in these responses. This is exactly what Moodscope is about.

Sarah Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 11:21am

Hi anonymous. I'm sorry to hear my post knocked you back, it certainly wasn't meant to do that. I've a few friends doing Moodscope, as I said, and some of us are 'buddies'. I've noticed our scores vary a lot - I've one friend who, like you, tends to score much lower. Yet I don't think she's doing badly overall, I believe the main reason is she is more reserved in how scores herself. I think it's important to judge your scores against your own previous scores, and not mine or anyone else's. We all have a different way of appraising how feeling 'extremely attentive' is, for instance, and it may be that you are giving yourself 1s where I would give myself 2s or 3s for a similar mood. That you have come so far is wonderful, and by far the more important thing. I wish you well and take care.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 11:30am

I have just been diagnosed with bipolar - still ongoing diagnosis and they are still trying to sort out meds etc. out, so the mental health team recommended moodscope to me...Already I have found it helpful and think it will help the professionals, my husband and family what is going on in my head...although I don't quite know. I am finding it hard at the moment. Feel underminded by diagnosis and scrutiny on my every thought and feeling. Will I ever be myself again - Who even am I?

Julia Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 11:54am

I only commented on my score as I was pleased it was similar to anonymous' i.e. quite high even though we don't feel great much of the time. It must mean we interpret the cards in a similar way. I always thought my score was far too high for how I really felt so that's why I commented. It doesn't mean that 30-35 is too low as Sarah posted.She is so right to say that it's important to judge your scores against your own and no-one else's.

Julia Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 12:01pm

Not easy for you. I have found in the past that being the centre of attention and scrutiny when I am going through a difficult period, actually makes me feel worse as I feel so guilty and want to make myself better so everyone can stop worrying. But at first we need help and we ask everyone when desperate. I hope soon you will receive the best help to make you better. Moodscope is something we can do on our own with no-one looking on and commenting (unless we choose a buddy. Not everyone does). We all need space to work things out for ourselves.I am sure you will eventually. Meanwhile I struggle a lot with that question.. who am I really! At least we are not boring....

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 12:56pm

I am enjoying all the different daily messages. Thanks

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 1:08pm

Hi, please don't despair - I have a friend with bipolar and thought I'd 'lost' her to the illness but now she leads a normal and happy life - she got through it - and now its just like old times.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 2:07pm

It has helped me to have the cards defined. I think my scores are more accurate now.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 3:23pm

I enjoyed your post, Sarah, also liked the "guest" writer who contributed a couple of days ago. Jonathon's "voice" was unique. I hope you'll find someone who can provide that daily conversation.

Anonymous Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 10:15pm

Today's email caused me to feel so inadequate. Here are people getting scores of 60, or 30 on a bad day. What about me? How am I supposed to feel now, getting a regular 20, or perhaps 23 on a REALLY good day?

Adrian Hosford Mon, May 20th 2013 @ 11:07pm

No need to feel inadequate. You are not alone, many people score at this or lower levels.
The key thing is how you are doing against your own trend. The absolute score is not so important. The key thing is simply how you are doing compared with your own score. 23 is a really good score if previous scores have been lower. Also noticing what drives you up or down.


Ingrid Backhouse Tue, May 21st 2013 @ 6:52am

thankyou for your piece Sarah, its true it really is flexible , tho know i should flip the card each day, truth is , that some days i'm so low and zero energy even to flip!. i buddy up with two others, another boon! but wish another member of my family who is bi_polar would be willing to try it, so far resistant.

Caroline Ashcroft Tue, May 21st 2013 @ 8:39pm

That's great to hear. Thanks.

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