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Monday August 25, 2014

Isn't that the quotation? By Nietzsche I think? I have usefully trotted it out as a platitude to myself whenever I have suffered any kind of hardship over my life, in an attempt to chivy myself into bouncing back. As I get older though (I am closer to 50 now than 45) I realise how untrue this is for me now.

I can only speak for myself obviously but where I used to feel able to bounce back from adversity, I am now feeling my own increasing vulnerability.

I have always been fiercely independent, but sadly not through choice, having had to take care of myself from quite an early age. In doing so though I became quite proud of the toolkit of coping mechanisms I developed in tandem with various mental health services, which I subsequently shaped with my experience and wisdom. But I have frequently had no one other than myself to implement them with, having only been able to rely on an extremely limited social support network (I find it peculiar how some people seem to think you can 'catch' mental illness), while battling depression, secondary to severe Gender Identity Disorder. All things I have nursed across my entire life.

But now with each knock back, however minor, (a recent job application rejection set me back about two days and I already have a job!) I am feeling that what little social capital and coping resources I have accrued in my life, have been progressively depleted to almost zero now. And I know that my only two remaining friends (who are significantly older than me) are themselves becoming more vulnerable and less leanable on.

So where does this leave me?

I have now realised and accepted that the five year downward spiral I have been experiencing is a long-term trend rather than a blip, and is now irreversible. As I will get older (unless of divine intervention) the progressive number of knocks I will continue to receive will hit harder and hurt more.

Perhaps when we are younger our coping mechanisms are quite resilient, and the quotation is true enough...maybe we can learn from that which does not finish us off. But over the course of my life that damage has now added up, to a point where I soon will no longer be able to cope...then...then what? I know this for sure - that which has not (yet) killed me will get me in the end.

Mark
A Moodscope member.


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Comments

Sarah Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 7:53am

Mark thank you for sharing, I agree with you that when young it was easier to bounce back from difficult times. I think feeling vulnerable as we age is natures way of protecting us, but you should feel proud of your achievements of coping with life and all the difficulties you have gone through and not be so hard on yourself. Being so honest on your blog is brave and requires inner strength. When people appear to sail through life with few set backs it seems unfair to the rest of us. But I have come to realise that our little tool box of coping will take us forward into old age. If someone has never dealt with these things before and then later in life something happens they will not cope as well as you. Sarah

crafty wee midden Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 7:53am

Mark, thank you.....much of what you wrote apples to me also(though Im a decade older)....thank you for your honesty, and fir being so realistic in your writing: I've never liked that expression and as I get older find it increasingly difficult to deal with the things life brings. And yes, the things which would once have affected me little, if at all, now do so much, much more; and I too had to deal with learning coping methods right from when I was a child. Few understand, and as you say....it's as though they fear they will catch something: the depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, and other things. Losing my husband almost three months ago was pretty much the last straw as far as understanding goes, for me; he was the only one who truly knew and understood how my life had been. I'd been losing him for some time....years, of being his carer, watching him gradually fade, seeing all the things that made him 'him' blink out like candles. And my mother, killed in a fire just over 2 years ago....I think, often people don't know what to say. Heavens, * I* don't know what to say, or think, or how I feel....but I would far rather have an honest response, like yours, than the endless stream of platitudes...some of which Ive heard myself saying to myself, all the while thinking inside, "What? You know what a load if crapola that is!"....the 'no gain without pain/he's in a better place/it's a blessing (which Is a slight truth, as living as he was would have been a nightmare, for both of us...selfish, but yes)....lets see....oh yes, the neighbour who said to me - twice - "at least you'll feel more free now" ....what the hell? And that gold star, everyone says it, and what a load of horses manure, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" so, a big fat thank you for saying everything you did. If you are ok with me sending a hug, please consider yourself hugged. You helped me, a lot, today ....all the best from Alex

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 7:55am

Wow mark, I'm not quite sure how to respond to your post except to say thank you for being so incredibly brave and eloquent. You stopped me in my tracks on a Monday morn. It sounds trite but I sincerely hope things improve for you and you find the strength to keep up the good fight.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 8:08am

Thank you for your post - it sounds as if you have had a tough time. I feel sure that one day, all that you have been through will mean you are able to pass on the support, like you have been given, to someone else and you will have helped with your piece of life's puzzle - don't give up Mark - have you ever tried finding a Moodscope Buddy?

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 8:18am

Dear Mark - I think I know how you feel - it isn't so much I cannot cope so well any more - after a lifetime of what doctors have described as severe emotional and mental stress - I don't WANT to cope - thankfully I have no stress in my life any more - at the moment anyway! - but the slightest thing sets me off grumbling and feeling as though I have yet something else to get through!

If I might offer some advice - I have spent the summer learning mindfulness meditation - and it works - really - if you can find the book by Mark Williams which includes the CD so that you can learn to practice the meditations - its worth it.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 8:30am

Mark. You deserve the best. You have had so much pain. My heart goes out to you. I hope you can feel the love and support.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 8:33am

Dear Mark Sending you big hugs today.

Melanie Lowndes Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 8:44am

Dear Mark, I thank you also for being honest and for saying what perhaps more people feel than would be prepared to express to others. I am of a similar age - a little bit older and I watch the same issues coming round for me again as came round before with very intense feelings and vulnerability - this time round I am more aware - can I solve them? or do I simply need to bear and accept them? If it is of any help - and it helps me to think this myself this morning - my solace is to remember I am on a spiritual path, that this outer life is a game and I find much inspiration in what I read and in listening to the authors on hayhouseradio.com. Everything I read and hear (or almost everything) seems to have some resonance and relevance to where I am now and it helps me feel connected to everyone - none of us are alone - as many of the hayhouse authors keep reminding us - we are all one. Your issue is my issue and mine is yours and behind it all if we meditate as anonymous above says we can find a great peace and stillness. And if we can change our mindset in any moment and find joy or more joy than in the moment before we are achieving great things. All my best wishes and thanks to you, Melanie

Melanie Lowndes Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 8:52am

Funny enough just to add - the sort of thing you have quoted here was said to me many times as a child by my mother - emotional hardships make you stronger or some such thing - I thought it was true then - now I am not so sure - however again to point you towards a Hayhouse author Wayne Dyer wrote a book recently "I can see Clearly now" about how he has lived his life - coming from a childhood where he was sent with his brother a little older to orphanages and foster homes as his Dad left them and his mother could not cope - he felt it taught him self reliance and that his job was then to teach this to others. Again someone said above maybe this is going to be your source of an ability to help others - write about it! I say the same to myself - we have nothing to lose even if all it does is organise our own thoughts, but I think we each in our unique way have something we can offer others.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 9:34am

Mark
I hear a lot of pain here.
It reminds me of when I suffered a number of losses in my life. I began to feel it had lost all my old resilience and that life would be a continual downward spiral from then onwards. I believed my best years had gone and it was simply a case of sticking it out until the end of my days. At only 30 it seemed like there was a long period of bleakness ahead. This was compounded by the fact that I couldn't imagine ever enjoying my job again and the belief that I would remain friendless and lonely throughout it.
I needed help.
I was unable to see a more positive future because of my depression. I was struggling to accept things thT had changed and therefore re living the pain daily. I wasn't taking care if my needs. I wasn't doing things I enjoyed - I essentially didn't have the energy to change the things I could.

Gradually through talking to others who had recovered I began to see that there was hope... I could learn to enjoy the present not always be looking back... I made changes to my lifestyle ... I learnt to listen to my needs more...I found help from others through 12 step program's for emotional issues and I emerged from the downward trend.

Small steps. Living 1 day at a time. Looking for the good. Knowing I was not alone. Moodscope. Together these things gradually made a difference.

Kären

Steve Roche Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 9:43am

Dangerous thininking Mark. Unlike many people here I don't think it is helpful to accept that everything inevitably gets harder as we get older.
It does depend on what one is doing - emotionally, mentally, spiritually - to increase one's resources, understanding and wisdom. Age is not the main factor in how we deal with the world.
Many many people find the reverse is true: that all kind of things that used to bother us when we were young cease to be an issue with increased maturity.
What is ceratin is that if we programme ourselves with gloomy predictions 'I will find it harder, I will be more vulnerable, I won't be able to cope'... that IS the future we will create. Our unconscious mind guarantees that.
Start saying and believing something different and we create a different reality...

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 9:58am

Thank you Mark! And Melanie I love your replies! Also we are still alive as we do feel. We have not been killed by the stuff we've incountered. Has it made us stronger probably: sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Still being alive we have the possibility of trying out new ways of using and refining our old tools and also the possibility of finding new ones. I believe in a journey of the soul and life in all its forms helping us with that journey.

Writing here Mark seems to me like you are doing something radically different. Be proud of yourself for all the coping mechanism you have. And if you think they seem not so effective anymore or every time - that's how it is for me.(my solutions alter over time) then be sure there are other ways of getting support and/or finding strength that will show themselves to you. I find that for me a key thing is to keep beliving in that and keeping my eyes open.

All the best,
Karin

Kelley @ Love Stitch! Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 10:23am

Hi Mark - honey I too know how you feel - I recently said it was like being a battery that had been charged too many times: each time it takes longer to charge, and even then the charge doesn't last as long as it used to! I know another saying: 'If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got.' Sometimes when I feel that no matter what I do I'm still stuck, I remember this, and think 'Hey, let's try yoga/meditation/aromatherapy/mushroom soup - who knows, a change might help' and sometimes it does. We never know what the next day brings, good or ill, and so trying something a wee bit different is always a good step to hope. Even it if is just a new flavour of chocolate... Sending you hug, Kxx

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 11:02am

You only live once! Your blog post seems to be so full of baggage, time to let some of it go, stop defining yourself by your illness. I agree with anon above - mindfulness will help but try and find a class to go to - the support you will find will change your life. I treat my depression as I would any illness with treatment (including medication and a weekly mindfulness class) and lifestyle change (diet, walking, swimming and me-time).
Forget that quote and go for this one "see what can happen if you just let go..."

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 11:12am

Mark truly I feel sorry to hear your untold pain but this was a depressing and rather negative post to read on a wet bank holiday monday. I appreciate you honesty but half the battle is not giving up and that is where moodscope is so powerful it reminds us of the better times when we get low. I hope your next post will be of a more hopeful tone.
Kind regards

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 11:13am

Excellent wisdom Steve

Plectrude Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 11:13am

Hi Mark, I am only 40- meaning younger than you, but I relate to what you have written. As I get older I do feel more vulnerable about the knock backs- a failed relationship attempt has caused me a 1.5 years of trauma recently. And I also feel like the experience I have had is so personal to me that it just cannot be shared with people unless you are really close and this can happen only when you're ready and this is delayed by all the emotional obstacles- I had a seemingly normal childhood, but I actually had to take care of myself emotionally since the age of 5 or earlier which caused a trauma and I have felt effects of this all my life- it affects my ability to form relationships for starters. I have also recently felt that what is missing is the feeling like I am needed and this gets me down. And here I have a thought for you- maybe you should do some volunteering? Personally it always makes me feel strong when I can help someone. I am sure with your wisdom you would be able to help people a lot and it will make you feel needed and connected too. I think people who have had to deal and survived a trauma ( or similar) are still a minority and it is difficult to fit in in the standard relationship/ connection patterns, but there is nothing to stop us from feeling connected in other ways. I hope this helps.

Theresa NZ Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 11:29am

Dearest Mark, may the Good Lord send you some human angels to love and nurture you. May he heal your hurt. Amen

C A Morgan Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 11:58am

Mark, you say that the ‘five year downward spiral ‘ you have experienced is irreversible but this is a feeling not a fact. No-one of us can predict the future with any accuracy and even though I’m sure it feels like it to you right now but trust me it can change and you can recover.

I can’t possibly know exactly how you feel but I can empathise and relate as I suffered a period of about 10 years in my life with recurring episodes of severe clinical depression. When I was gripped in a depression I often felt that my future was extremely bleak and that there was no way out of it.

But I did recover and am living my life now and doing things I couldn’t have imagined or even believed were possible back then.

However, I couldn’t do it on my own and needed expert professional care and support. Yes, like you I built up a toolbox of coping strategies but there were points when these didn’t work and I had to find and accept help again to keep on the recovery path.

I’ve also worked with the UK mental health charity Mind and have met many people who have felt like you but who have recovered or are recovering with expert support and care.

It sounds to me that this is where you are and truly I think that you need more than sharing and listening to us amateurs, albeit with lived experience, here in the Moodscope community.

If you were having a heart attack would you like help from someone who has had experience or a health professional such as a Cardiologist? Daft question really?

What you are experiencing now is acute and needs expert health care and support. I know it is probably the last thing you want to do but you really owe it yourself to go and get help. I don’t know what country you are in but in the UK it is sometimes not easy to access the help you need but it is worth the effort.

Please seek out expert, professional help whether that is from health services or charities or both. My heart goes out to you as I know how tough this next challenge seems but it can be overcome and yes life will be better - I’ve also worked with the UK mental health charity Mind and have met many people who have felt like you but who have recovered or are recovering with expert support and care.
little by little.

Please don’t give up but accept you cannot be expected to do this on your own and seek out and get the help you need.

Elizabeth Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 12:15pm

Yes, thank you. I felt rather bad about the blog today :(, though it left easily.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 12:25pm

I agree completely Mark and as I've become older (early 40s) I hate that phrase and it is often used flippantly by people who clearly haven't experienced anything majorly traumatic in their lives. The carefree approach, independence and strength I had when younger has been severely affected by things in my life and I have v low coping mechanisms now - doesn't take much to completely destabilise me. I think you're really brave Mark for writing about this in your blog and wish you all the best. Rachel

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 12:45pm

Neitzchi had a truly once-in-a-generation mind. But he was also a peer who suffered more than his fair share. You too. Me too. I am closer to 60 than you & am being hit hard by a chronic immune disorder flare. I too am alone pretty much & must fend for myself for the basics. So I accept that today is probably not going to be good--pain, fatigue, feeling impotent.

I see my therapist today ( thank God). Yesterday my score was a 32.

I see one of the secrets of life is to accept the seasons of life. Both during the changes through the year and the changes through the years. Do what you can today. Your energy will come back. Wait! Did I just write that to you or myself?!

Thank you for sharing. I know I am not alone in this day or even season.
Best of the day to you.
Margaret
Pittsburgh PA

Melanie Lowndes Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 1:18pm

May i just add that I have just had the longest telephone conversation of my life with a new (woman) friend. We spoke about everything and we laughed a lot about some things - some blackish humour too! I feel a changed person - I cannot think how I woke up this morning feeling so down - that is how easily and quickly one's energy can change so please everyone just look for that little bit of feeling better in whatever it is and see it as a great achievement and then build on it!

Lex McKee Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 1:19pm

As a generalisation, Friedrich Nietzsche was not a happy man! Whilst, like all of us, he had the capacity for great joy, his life was not easy - perhaps a consequence of his deep introspection and brilliant mind. What he shared was his truth - not ultimate truth.
I believe (and it is only a belief) is that it is not what happens to us that makes us stronger but rather the way we 'process' its significance. I think we can make everything serve us, and assign our own 'meaning' to what happens. Since, like you Mark, I so often have to get on with things myself, my mission now is to make - and I like that forceful word - yes, make everything serve me and my chosen purpose. I do not like getting older and more vulnerable, but that is unlikely to change. There is still a ton of stuff I can bend to my will and purpose! I'd love to chat to you on some other matters too - so I'll ask Caroline to give you my email address if you're game.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 1:44pm

Mark, i felt like that once.
Learn to be in the present moment. Nothing really exists outside of that. Have you read the power of now etc?
When you fully grasp that you are choosing every single thought you have in your head and that your life is merely a reflection of the thoughts you hold, you can start to master the process of creating a better life by choosing better thoughts. Problem is this requires constant attention and vigilance and most people just cant be bothered to do it. But the rewards are worth it, trust me. As Andy Shaw says in A Bug Free Mind (the biggest game changer i have ever come across), if your life is shit, its because your thoughts are shit. I am not here to plug a product. I would recommend getting the free chapters on his site or using something similar. But its do-able.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 1:54pm

Thanks for writing Mark . I was wondering if you had read my brain and thoughts. I am nearer to 45 but I already feel like this. The last 5 years has involved one trauma after another and I can relate to all you have said with the one exception that I do have many friends at the moment. However it is all a bit depressing. I am still trying to bounce back and booking holidays to get away helps.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 2:21pm

Hi Mark. Expect to be surprised by joy. Let that one thought take over for the next while. When you wake up, expect something good to happen that day. Force yourself to feel the thrill of that anticipation but don't allow it to be tied to anything specific. Do it again and again and again in spite of disappointment. Little things will come to mean a lot and joy will be found, even fleetingly, in the smallest of things and in ways that you cannot anticipate. And you will then be able to build on those small moments. We are programmed to heal, we are programmed to evolve. Have faith in your innate wisdom and knowingness. And remember you're not alone. We are all struggling in one way or another to find the joy. xx susan

Mark Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 3:06pm

Thank you to everyone who has written and commented. When I find the strength I would like to reply to some of your posts individually as you bring up some interesting thoughts and issues. If anyone would like to write individually in the meantime though please do (I am happy for anyone to have my email address Caroline). You are all very very kind to take the most precious thing you have (your own time) and give it to me for a few moments. I am sincerely grateful

And thank you to everyone who has said 'seek help' (I paraphrase obviously!). To clear that one up - as a Transgender person I have been in the queue at what I am told is the busiest Gender Identity clinic in the country for some time now, and continue to be passed around the mental health system. So yes, I am in 'the system'. What happens will happen with regard that, but I just wanted to mention it as some good folk brought it up.

But I wanted to write again, most importantly to say sorry. I am very sorry indeed to anyone who was troubled or concerned by my post - not for me, but for themselves and how it made them feel. I had not considered that might be a potential outcome. When you are suffering it is not what you need and it obviously was not my intention. Please accept my sincere apologies. I wish nothing but peace of mind to everyone on here.

Thank you again,

Mark

lel Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 3:36pm

Its a very brutal statement lacking in compassion. Not fully appropriate for those of us without good support systems and one uttered in my experience with those who good support systems around them. So I say "Discard it". If it doesn't help, bin it. Hey, I am rooting for you. Get on some good music and try and do something with it on. I am cleaning kitchen cupboards with some Santana, The Jam etc on and its lifted me from weeping all day.

lel Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 4:20pm

Lovely statement, Susan. I will keep that one in the pocket on my heart. Thank you

Dawn Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 5:16pm

Mark, thank you so much for your brave, honest and truthful post. It has helped me so much knowing at least one person feels like me. You see, for years I have known my problems too will kill me in the end. Despite what people like to believe, sometimes mental health problems *are* incurable and cannot be lived with. To know this in your heart is to be in a very lonely place, as the whole world is so hooked on the dreaded 'positive thinking' or CBT bandwagon.

I personally cope by practising intense mindfulness and trying to deal with only the very immediate future as far as possible. I think maybe there will be some kind of miracle, or that the end will be easy when it comes. In the meantime, mood stabilisers and my dog in particular help to improve my quality of life and there are many things in life I enjoy. But I know when my own support system goes - my mom, that is the end of it for me.

In your case, things are hugely complicated by your Gender Identity issues. I honestly cannot say how courageous I think you are dealing with these on top of everything else. To feel ill at ease in one's own body must be horrendous, and I do wonder how you might feel if things were more resolved in that department. would it be possible for you to take a copy of your blog to the clinic so they can see exactly how desperate you feel, and would that make them view your 'case' as more urgent? I don't know how these things work, but what I do know from experience is when you're this low, anything is worth a try. After all, you quite literally have nothing to lose.

Good luck Mark, I will root for you and I hope that even if your predictions come true, your remaining time on earth is a little less painful than it is now.

Magsy Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 6:29pm

Hi Mark. I can't tell you how good it feels to hear someone voicing my thoughts entirely. I have had a lifetime of knocks, physically and emotionally. I have constantly been told be positive, think positive, don't give up, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, there are people worse off than you, etc etc. So much so, that I feel almost guilty that because I haven't thought that way, it was my fault that my life hasn't been happy. I feel I have nothing now left to give, or feel. I can't seem to care about anything or anyone. I have tried all the things mentioned, volunteering, part time working, learning some craft or other, but I seem to take one step forwards and two backwards. I suspect a lot of other people feel the same, but are ashamed to admit it. I still wish you all the best and hope things get better for you.

Caroline Ashcroft Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 7:42pm

Hi Mark, I will pass on your email address to those that would like to get in contact. I do hope you have found the comments a positive influence. I don't think you need to apologise, but it's very kind of you to have done so. I know your intentions were good and I was hoping that your blog might help other people in the same situation who cannot vocalise their feelings as well as you have. I have had emails that suggest this is exactly what has happened.

If it has disturbed anyone, please accept an apology on behalf of Moodscope as it was our decision to publish the blog.

Finally, thank you so much to all the people who have commented here today offering support and advice. Always, good and always appreciated.

Donna Mon, Aug 25th 2014 @ 11:53pm

Dear Mark:
Like Caroline, I do not believe you need to apologize. Actually, I can't imagine the strength and energy it took for you to write this post, feeling as you do right now.
I hope you can take comfort in the caring responses that you've gotten here. People you don't even know, personally, were greatly touched by what you wrote & are concerned about your welfare.
All the best to you,
Donna

Donna Tue, Aug 26th 2014 @ 12:05am

Dear Magsy:

As I wrote earlier to Mark, it takes a lot of strength & energy to even respond when you are feeling as you do. It may seem minor, but it is a giant step in the right direction. It's not your fault that you aren't happy & you shouldn't feel guilty for not being able to think, or feel, a certain way. I wish YOU all the best & hope things gets better for you, also, very soon.
Take care,
Donna

Anonymous Tue, Aug 26th 2014 @ 6:48am

Dearest Mark,
You are at the very important place where your ego is realizing that it doesn't have the answers. Its protection mode not only removes you from living, but also fails to keep you protected. Here you begin to find your true self and transition into it.
Much love,

Anonymous Tue, Aug 26th 2014 @ 9:29am

Very good words that myself and others with low mood need always to be reminded off. Sometimes it is hard to remind yourself. Thank-you

Steve M Nash Tue, Aug 26th 2014 @ 10:55am

I understand why Mark thinks this (because nearly everyone else thinks this - the world is against them, life gets harder, etc.), but I also agree with Steve in that there is nothing inevitable about life. Some find it harder, harder, and harder. Others find it easier, easier, easier. Whilst others, like me, understand the true nature of life - that we are the only 'enemy', the thoughts we think and believe - and that when we understand, life can be whatever we want it. Obviously, crappy stuff keeps on happening - it's life, good and bad stuff happens to EVERYONE - but we just take it much less personally.

I think this Moodscope site, and the fact that it allows you to monitor your moods (low mood - everything's crappy; high mood - everythings really rather nice) is absolutely brilliant. Just monitoring your moods really CAN make a difference to your life!

Plectrude Tue, Aug 26th 2014 @ 12:05pm

Hi Anonymous. I think we should be able to post whatever is on our minds without the fear of censorship. It is difficult enough to open up and write about personal pain without the fear of being judged. I thought your post was a bit judgmental and put unnecessary pressure on Mark. You cannot realistically expect all posts here to be positive. If we can't talk about our pain we will not be able to move on.

heather Tue, Aug 26th 2014 @ 12:38pm

Dear Mark, I am late replying but just have to say I hope that special person to share your life is waiting just around the corner. It is NEVER too late. Love from Heather xx

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