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Mood managing. Saturday November 30, 2013

Battling, and benefitting, from bipolar all my life (undiagnosed until I was in my 40's, when I finally understood what was 'wrong'), the drugs, without doubt, literally saved my life – but cured the symptoms but not the cause.

Over 10 years or so, the chems saved the day, but I kept having to go back on them from time to time.

My enlightened GP suggested CBT, and I tried to engage with the philosophy. I understood the how, but I had no structure to benefit from the technique.

He became aware of Moodscope, and suggested this as a way forward.

3 years and 1000 scores later, what do I know?

Essential to do it every day.

Quite permissible to slightly change one's interpretation of the cards – not frequently though.

Dwell on each answer and analyse the cause – some easy, immediate, some tricky and convoluted.

Over time, it becomes much easier to take an emotion by the scruff of the neck and challenge yourself to do something about it, or if positive, do more of it.

In my case, through intensive analysis over those 1000 scores, I have identified dominant ladies and a hatred of raised voices and arguments, possibly caused in my formative years, as having a huge, lastingly destructive effect on me.

So, I gradually got braver, started to stand up for myself, and I am now far better able to marshall my thoughts and argue right back when the tirade starts.

Which in turn brings pride.

And practice makes permanent – the more I deal with issues as they arise, the less angst and grief I suffer.

So now I am free – my confidence has enabled me to give up both the 'props' of alcohol and SSRI's.

Thank you to the Moodscope team for enabling me to look forward to the rest of my life in a positive manner, re-enforced every morning.

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PWD Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 7:43am

Well done Charlie a great read with a good result

Anonymous Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 9:22am

Great blog this morning thank you so much

Anonymous Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 9:38am

Fantastic - I've done about three 'years-worth' of flipping the cards, ( with some gaps, to be honest ) and would agree

Anonymous Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 10:16am

Wonderful to start the day with such a positive, uplifting story - thank-you for sharing this Charlie and for being an inspiration for many. Frankie

Anonymous Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 12:02pm

Such an upbeat, light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel story. Your informed and practical advice - often difficult to get hold of - is hugely appreciated. Go well.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 12:24pm

Well done Charlie , some of you might want to look at the Thrive programme Rob Kelly gives you the tools , very empowering :-)

Anonymous Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 1:36pm

Wow! Totally amazing. Great suggestion for utilizing cards to maximum benefit.....Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations!!!!!!

Anonymous Sat, Nov 30th 2013 @ 8:50pm

A lovely story to read this morning. You help others see that, with the right guidance and determination, we are all capable of healing ourselves. Am happy for you, Charlie.

Anonymous Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 2:29am

what is CBT?

Silvia A Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 3:03am

"Quite permissible to slightly change one's interpretation of the cards – not frequently though."
I thought the opposite would be right. I mean to have a permanent interpretation of a card.

"Dwell on each answer and analyse the cause – some easy, immediate, some tricky and convoluted."
I just answer each card. Do you mean I should spend more time thinking about each answer?

Anonymous Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 9:18am

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing ... cheered me up

Anonymous Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 9:29am

cognitive behaviour therapy - counselling to you and me! The opportunity to share your thoughts with an experienced counsellor who will help you to recognise "stinky thinking" thought patterns and to change such thinking into positive thinking. Experienced counsellors will help you to explore negative thinking in a safe environment and to let go of unhelpful (sometimes long-held) thought patterns. Richard Carlson (author of the "Don't sweat the small stuff" series) and Joseph Bailey's book "Slowing down to the speed of life" is excellent. Also Susan Jeffers "Feel the fear and do it anyway" (or any of her work) is good. Good luck! Frankie

Anonymous Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 9:40am

Interesting question; I understood the dwelling on the answer to be once you had answered quickly, instinctively, THEN dwell on your answer and reflect on why ... some answers will be obvious to you; some not which is where it becomes "tricky and convoluted". I think that just answering each card is right in order to get a realistic picture of where we are at; we may choose to "dwell" on our responses once we have made them so that we gain more insight. I find the opportunity to annotate the graph really helpful - it helps me to put scores (high and low) into context which in turn helps me to keep some perspective ... Frankie

Anonymous Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 1:43pm

tx! for clarifying CBT. What cards?

Anonymous Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 3:41pm

Not sure you can describe CBT without mentioning the main cognitive distortions that rule our thoughts until we recognize them for what they are, distortions.

Anonymous Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 5:21pm

You're welcome! The cards are the 20 moodscope cards you choose in order to get your score - maybe you haven't done them yet but are just accessing the daily blog ...They are well worth doing; you get a graph at the end indicating where you are at (high or low). You also get the opportunity to annotate the graph so you can explain any highs or lows which I have found particularly helpful. The important thing for me is not the daily score necessarily, but the trend day by day - upwards or down ... Frankie

Melanie Lowndes Sun, Dec 1st 2013 @ 7:48pm

Dear Charlie, I found your post very touching. I could so relate to the dominant ladies and raised voices and arguments - I experienced both when young. Good on you. Keep going! Melanie x

Anonymous Mon, Dec 2nd 2013 @ 11:46am

Further info re. CBT -it is only one type of counselling approach, there are many others, but CBT currently is popular. There are many many counselling approaches that are nothing to do with CBT. Different types suit different people with different needs. CBT focuses on thoughts, beliefs and patterns of response.

Anonymous Fri, Dec 6th 2013 @ 6:09pm

Thanks for this post. I came to a similar conclusion about the daily need to track myself. I have a fond place for Moodscope because it helped me understand I needed to track something everyday. I'm also a Do It Yourself (DIY) type, and so have searched for similar tracking sites where I can use my own concepts that fit what I need.

My challenge was success-triggered mania, what I called my Icarus Pattern. Using what I learned from research I discovered the four key things that built to a crash. Before each I put a density or percentage score as applied to myself:
40 Reactivity to success
35 Confidence based on mood, not abilities!?
20 Ambitious goals
10 Goal pacing

So my own 'cards' relate to these specific domains. Currently I am between one success (no crash) and pacing myself before working towards the next.


Silvia A Tue, Apr 8th 2014 @ 2:13am

This is one of the best blogs ever. It's been almost six months I've been using Moodscope. My daily score really improved. Recently I noticed that I so often say "I am not fine today" while the reality on Mooodscope is quite different. Now I am paying more attention and trying to see what is not good in a given day. It is not the entire me that is bad. And there is no reason to lose the battle beforehand.

Silvia A Mon, May 5th 2014 @ 8:09pm

Today I've just reached my highest score ever!!! It is a very good one. Not to mention that in my worst days in past 2 or 3 months my score was 20 points above the initial ones.
I doubt I improved so much. Maybe I've became more complacent. But there are concrete changes in my behaviour. The most relevant one is that I am more active. This was the very first thing Moodscope helped me. I noticed that activity really changed my mood. I knew this before Moodscope but using it every day proved me that I should stand up (instead of being sitting in front of the computer the whole day) and do things. I also learnt that I should not spent two sequential days without leaving the apartment where I live.
Another thing that helped me was a Lex blog and how I changed my behaviour. Also the use of a timer all the time to make me alert .There are many other things I am doing. I'm really engaged in improving my life, but these are the most relevant concerning Moodscope by now.

Silvia A Tue, May 6th 2014 @ 2:49am

Frankie said: I love the idea of the timer to keep you alert (and change activity I'm guessing?)

Timer: to remind me that the water is boiling, that the clothes are fine after 20 minutes emerged in a solution to remove stains, that I have 30 min to leave in order to be on time so I can have 3 x 10 min to complete tasks and need not to check my wristwatch every 2 minutes. I can do a little of multitasking and do short tasks ( that are not the best choice for the moment) without getting lost. Also to chronometer how long do I need to complete a task. I found many tasks takes much less than I "feel" they do.

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