Moodscope's blog



My Cornish Pixies. Tuesday August 16, 2016

Like many a child and adult I have enjoyed JK Rowlings books about Harry Potter and his wizarding friends. Although to me it is not all fantasy; you see I really do have some Cornish Pixies.

For those who managed to avoid the whole Potter Craze or just cant remember, Cornish Pixies are little demon type creatures that create havoc when they get loose.

I have pixies that live in a cage in my head. Most of the time I am able to keep them controlled. As long as I rest, eat properly and sleep I can find time to check the locks are secure and that they are content.


If I get so tied up in work, plans and ideas that I forget my own needs then the little critters find ways to break out and pandemonium takes over in my head. They whisper nasty things in my ear about me, that there is nobody who can help me, that I am no good and they will never ever go away until I kill myself. They find the switches in my brain that trigger anxiety and switch them on so I start getting anxious over nothing. They play with the sleep switch so I keep falling asleep in the day but cant sleep at night (They like having me awake at night, I find it harder to catch them!), they dig through my memories and find dark, nasty thoughts, then spread them across my brain so I cant ignore them and they hide the nice memories where I cant see them.

When they get loose like this catching them again can be difficult. So I have to try and catch them using various techniques and squash them back into their cage.

If I read a good book some of them may get bored and go back in the cage for a nap (Slam – got some!) If I can get some medication to bypass the sleep switch they are playing with and get a proper nights sleep I can sneak up on them and grab them whilst they are dozing. (in they go...)

Medication can also help with the anxiety and so eventually they get bored of trying to mess with switches that no longer work. (Swoop... got you!!)

My friends help to reassure me that the pixies are lying about me and so provide hoods that I can put over their heads to shut them up and get them back in the cage.

If I rest I can concentrate on rediscovering the nicer memories and start clearing away the bad ones again.

Sometimes getting them under control may take just a day. Sometimes longer and sometimes I may need some outside help but seeing the dark thoughts and feelings I have as coming from the Pixies helps me to recognise that underneath I am still there, that these are just passing thoughts that can be tackled.

Its not me it's the Pixies.

A Moodscope member.

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

Permalink  |  Blog Home


Lou Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 5:59am

I really like this post a lot as I refer to my depression as Gremlin & like your pixies when he is driving emotional havoc ensues. Close friends are even able to tell me when they are talking to Gremlin and not me - which is very disconcerting as I don't always realise when he has snuck out of his box and into the driving seat. Great to know there are other people out there who see their MH issues as devious little monsters. And so evocatively described too.Thanks so much for sharing.

Mimine Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 6:50am

I love your post Penny as it is cleverly analysed and I find the imaginative way of describing your issues quite sweet despite addressing something very real. I will try to translate it to my sister who suffers from bopolar and like me is French. May I also take this opportunity to say, without wishing to sound in any way patronising, how much I find the contributions to the blog and the comments, very insightful and always very eloquently written. Thank you all for helping me understand my own mental health issues (depressive tendancies) better too!

LillyPet Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 6:58am

Hi Penny,
It's good for me too to distance myself from the negative thoughts. I'm aware that They're lurking around at the moment, and relationships with others can get murky. I barely slept at all last night so am going to go easy on myself today and will hopefully catch up on sleep tonight.
Thanks for uour very timely blog. I'll remember not to let those pesky little critters mess things up today!
Hugs to all LP xx

LillyPet Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 6:59am

Hi Penny,
It's good for me too to distance myself from the negative thoughts. I'm aware that They're lurking around at the moment, and relationships with others can get murky. I barely slept at all last night so am going to go easy on myself today and will hopefully catch up on sleep tonight.
Thanks for uour very timely blog. I'll remember not to let those pesky little critters mess things up today!
Hugs to all LP xx

Hopeful One Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 7:04am

Hi Penny- Even though (cough cough) I have not read a single Potter book you are absolutely right in regarding your wayward thoughts as Pixies -a figment of our mind thought stream. The important think to remember is that our thoughts are not US. They are spontaneous creations of our mind stream over which we have no control.One eventually realises( meditation is a fantastic way to achieve this) that, if left alone, they die just as spontaneously as they appeared. BUT they have a terrific gravitational pull...come in contact with them and one will be pulled in with all the consequences you describe.


Man who lives in glass house should change clothes in basement.

And Finally, Confucius Did Not Say. . ...

"A lion will not cheat on his wife, but a Tiger Wood!"

Tutti Frutti Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 9:35am

Hopeful One - There are some really funny bits in Harry Potter so I recommend you give it a go some time. Just got back from holiday and have been catching up. I love the "Confucius" comments. Love TF x

Melanie Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 12:34pm

I love this. It is very helpful. Thank you!!

DAVE Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 7:56am

Hi Penny,

Your analogy of depression is very graphic and real in your head, you mentioned that when tired overdoing it at work maybe activates these 'pixies' to control your thoughts and pull you back to that place of fear and dread.

That's understandable because maybe your workload and style of life reflect upon activating these 'pixies'.

You're probably responsible and an asset to the company that pays your mortgage, and maybe they know you know that without your job you're sunk !
Have you ever thought, or perhaps you may wonder who's doing who a favour. If you're an asset to your're very good at what you do....but maybe you don't realise this, and that your company put more work upon your shoulders and 'use' you.....tiredness deep down, when your mental consentration can take no more...these 'pixies' come out to play havoc on your exhausted mind and take over ? ?

Establish and Evaluate yourself, question...Am I a LIABILITY or an ASSET to my workplace, how good am I at my work ?

If the latter is true, this will give YOU self-confidence, as then you MAY recognise that you're taken for granted and not appreciated...If so then looking around to find a new job that you know you can do maybe not so demanding will keep the 'Pixies' residence permantently closed.

Then reaching out to those in need who struggle in life is so uplifting, lifts your spirit from within and serves two purposes in one shot ! !

It's only a thought not knowing you, but as Bipolar Sufferers our conversations are WRAPPED UP IN THE SELF ! ! we revolved around 'Our' lives.

But if we look to those in need outside ourselves, it has a dramatic effect it's far better than all the medications dispensed.

Nothing personal Penny, but positive comments from blog moodscope members whose comments are positive and work for them....Surely we must at least try their suggestions... It may not work but we will comment many times until we establish for 'Ourselves' whether or not there suggestions work for us.

it is a positive move and for some a change of life !

God Bless.


Penny Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 12:48pm

Thank you for the thought Dave and I hope it helps someone. I have already taken that step, I run my own company I am a potter and a tutor. I love my job and that can sometimes be the problem, I dont stop working because I love it so much and I fail to notice that I am getting physically and mentally tired. Then suddenly the pixies are free...

Orangeblossom Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 8:09am

Thanks Penny, I loved your blog. I also have a name for the little voice that says naggingly "you should do this or conversely you shouldn't do that,." She is called " Frau Should."

Angela Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 8:54am

This spoke to me so much! I'm now going to take steps to keep the little ******* in their cage more! Thank you so much and love to all xx

Trish Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 9:10am

I love this and can really relate to it, thank you xx

Andrew Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 9:35am

Hi Penny....Another very eloquent description of the 'noise' that fills our heads some (most? all?) days. I like the analogy. Although I have to say that de-personalising the feelings/thoughts/emotions...i.e. making them someone/something other than 'us', be they pixies, black dogs, critical voices or whatever, serves a dual purpose in my mind. On the one hand, it makes things easier to understand, both to ourselves and when explaining to others. This is good, and helpful. however there is a downside. It makes things harder to change. It emphasises to us that these creatures/coices/things are out of our control, and although part of us, not us. we refer them 'them' in the third person. My battle is to embrace somehow these things, make them part of 'me', and somehow thereby to control them. To control me. To make 'me' (the whole of me) better.... to imagine that these creatures are like a broken bone in my body...part of me that I am healing.
It's a tough one to do, and I have not succeeded yet. But I believe that if I can control me, then I have a better chance of oversoming depression if I personalise it more.....otherwise, as you so eloquently point out, 'they' will ambush me!

Not sure if this makes sense...!

Take care anyway, and don't let the b*st*rds get you down!!

Lorraine Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 9:45am

Penny thank you so much for this, it really resonated with me. I have been struggling for a long time to try and find a way to try and box these sorts of thoughts off. I have been trying visualisation, which has helped with other things in the past, but just couldn't seem to find a way of visualising my own thoughts.
You just handed me the tools :-) Even better my Nanna used to carry a 2 pixie charms in her purse (for good luck at the bingo), I now have them in my purse and what better pesky pixie hunters could I have!
Happy Hunting!

patricia Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 10:21am

Penny loved your analogy with pixies, I too find coping when they come to the fore and the black dog comes visiting, sheer hell.
In one of my very bad "spells" (just realised what I've written pixies spells ha ha)I was bemoaning to my son that my head was full of black thoughts, he said to me that "mum" those thoughts are always there it is just. you choose to listen to them more when you are down. How right he was, yes we have choices it is getting the balance right the Psychologist once said to me when he drew a graph of Bi Polar showing the two extremes we experience he said I needed to be somewhere in the middle, a work in progress, I'm retired, but still working on that one!!!

Here in Devon it is another beautiful day I'm going to Mind to have Shiatsu, heaven.

I'm thanking the Lord for the day I'm going to have.

Hope everyone one out there has good moments today as well.

toni Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 10:34am

I really love this analogy, Penny, thank you so much x

The Gardener Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 1:33pm

I too love the analogy. I've never had the pixies - my memories of depression were an absolute dearth of positive thoughts - sort of living in polystyrene. Something which DOES take over is getting upset with somebody - I am of the generation who would not let my venom out with a third party or do nasty things on facebook, so I brood, and brood. Whether I'm hoovering or doing something important on line, my brain is totally subsumed (can it be?) but angry thoughts. It comes down to the three people I've really disliked in my life - one I am still forced to put up with as we do a lot of work with her partner, and we meet up at all social occasions. Each one has been manipulative, possessive, has done immense harm to the families of the wives they have 'deposed' and get away scot free. Why should my brain be 'taken over'? Am I jealous? Certainly not. Furious? Yes, unforgiving, unchristian, intolerant? Don't think so, but wish I could consign these ladies to their rightful place. When the first wife of the current man - (who tells me when his defences are down that life his hellish) died her husband phoned us. He was so upset because his 4 sons, who loath mother's replacement, did not tell him she was ill, nor when she died. We had been friends before the rupture, and he said 'I want to tell you, and not let **** tell you with a victorious air that 'SHE's dead'. I got on well with both my sisters-in-law - and had to do a lot of tongue biting when number 2 would pin me in the corner and go on, spitting vitriol, and number one wife and the children of the marriage. Perhaps these thoughts are akin to Penny's 'Pixies', because I don't like them and can't get rid of them. Positive note - day very hot - Mr G at respite - getting to grips with things as far as possible - and agreed, with eldest son, that everything I have done is correct, all looks lovely, all practical but it's a 'no win' situation

The Gardener Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 1:40pm

Should be 'about' number one wife. And the children of that rupture suffered serious psychological harm. When they were all young those two got on famously with our five - we said let them stay, loads of room. But first wife would not let them, scared stiff they would enjoy themselves and 'go over to the enemy', it was a bitter rupture and she hated us the rest of her life - I sent her love via our niece when she was dying horribly of cancer, but she would not accept it. Sorry, a bit off beam on the blog - but slightly allied on mind being 'taken over'.

Paul Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 5:03pm

Hi Penny
Fantastic analogy today I am slightly dyxlexic so I read the heading as Cornish pastie ha ha. I really enjoyed reading your blog and now I want a nice crispy Cornish pastie, but don't want the pixies today or any day but that's too much to ask. Thank you for your blog.

DAVE Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 5:49pm

Thanks Penny,
I know where you're coming from.
I was in business for 20 years, eating and sleeping all the excitement and problems that go with the responsibility towards those who patronised it.

But to find the balance necessary to maintain mental stability takes a lot of effort.

I use to go get away from all, just for an hour or so, test driving expensive fast cars, with no intention of buying...Going to the pictures in the afternoon...just to get my mind in focus and balance, for me it was a real release.

I was in my car or office and did not get much excersise...sometimes almost in desperation, as I couldn't sleep sometimes, in that case I'de get up at sometimes 3 or 4am, get on my bicycle and go across to the country park round the lakes, watching the birds getting out of bed and the sun rising, it was beautiful, and in complete contrast to my focused career.
Maybe some folk thought I was mad, but I didn't care I needed the distraction.

Something similar that gets you in to the fresh air early in the day might help restrain the pixies ! !


Moonlight Tue, Aug 16th 2016 @ 8:04pm

Love this Penny. I think it is very helpful, and so relatable.

Nicco Thu, Aug 18th 2016 @ 12:43pm

Thank you, Penny, for such insight. I can now view my own dark thoughts in the light of little pixies which I will find very helpful. (I can also relate, btw, to Gardener as I had similar situation with my husband's mother).

You must login to leave a comment.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.