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Personalities and Comfort Zones. Thursday July 21, 2016

Leah wrote recently about her old pair of walking shoes and used them as an analogy for the discomfort of a new approach to our depression/bipolar etc.

Then Andrew made the comment on the 15th July that it is almost comforting to wallow in that cloying sadness.

I am grateful to Andrew and Leah for giving me the opportunity to examine what is real sadness and depression and what is actually normal for our own individual personalities. I acknowledge this wasn't the point of either of their blogs but this is what I am choosing to take from their excellent writing and base my blog on today.

When I look back on my childhood and teenage years, early twenties, before I knew I suffered from depression, I see the same person as I can see now but someone, me, not defined by depression.

Life becomes more complicated for everyone as they get older; we take on more responsibilities at work and if we have children, with a family. Whatever our increased responsibilities are, I think that our personality will shape how we deal with the challenges. Our personality will also dictate to a large extent how we react and what permanent damage is done.

Therefore I am saying that although my insomnia is bad and the subsequent depression also bad, it's not the whole picture. Nothing exists in isolation.

A different personality to mine might not have been phased by the same things/life events that were thrown at me. Their choices would have been different and they may have been better (or worse) equipped to deal with them.

I understand that we can choose to try to change our way of thinking and get away from the comfort zone of staying with our depression. After all for many of us, this is all we have known for a number of years now. However we must not try to change our innate personalities which existed pre depression days.

One of the great and comforting aspects of Moodscope is that we all seem to have similar kind, sympathetic, caring and creative personalities. We care about others and feel frustrated we cannot for the most part, be what we want to be in terms of communication, creativity and light heartedness. We care about others more than we care about ourselves. This means we want number one i.e. us as individuals to be better so that we can continue to help and make the world a better place. This might sound a grandiose scheme but I firmly believe us Moodscopers are a lovely lot and I cherish our similarities.

Jul
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

Belinda Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 6:30am

What a lovely positive post Jul, Thank you. Belinda x

Hopeful One Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 6:43am

Hi Jul- Thanks for that -I am proud to be a Moodscoper too for much the same reasons as you. Moodscope helped me come out of my dip initially by allowing me to keep a tab on my mood with a score. I do not do my scores much now as I can tell how I am doing much like one can tell whether a dish is under salted or over for oneself..

Now the superb Blogs that fellow Moodscopers write ( and yours is one of them) keep me on track.

One sentence in your blog ' We care about others more than we care about ourselves.' bothers me. I believe one cannot care or love another more than one cares or loves oneself. Getting out of depression involves rewriting our Old (mind) Tape so it becomes the New Tape to the point where we can discard the old.Start by loving yourself. The loving kindness meditation is a good start as it recruits our oxytocin/endorphin brain neuro regulatory system to start working for one..

The Joke Squadron found this today.

Donald Trump went to a school to give a presentation to a kindergarten class. He asked the class, "Who can give me an example of a tragedy?" One little boy raised his hand and said, "If I got hit by a car, that would be a tragedy." Trump said, "No. That would be an accident." Then a little girl raised her hand and said, "If a school bus full of children went over a cliff, that would be a tragedy." And Trump said, "No. That would be a great loss." Then one boy raised his hand and said, "If you and all the people on your campaign died horrible deaths, that would be a tragedy." And Bush said, "Yes, that would be a tragedy. Can you tell me why?" And the boy said, "Because it wouldn't be an accident, and it wouldn't be a great loss." (with apologies to macraez a fellow joker.)

Leah Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 9:24am

hopeful one, There is one sentence in your reply that I have much concerned with." I believe that one cannot care or love another more than one cares or love oneself". I was brought up to believe the caring for others more than yourself with the way to conduct yourself in life. people who care for themselves more than others are selfish people. of course when I still care and love oneself. the capacity to care and love for others makes us into very compassionate people. I've probably argued this principle with you and others here but I remain yet to be convinced of your argument. I respect what you believe that I live my life differently.. .

Lizzie Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 7:43am

I have just had some TMS treatment and the psychiatrist told me some people can't cope with feeling well. And I understand it because it's difficult to come to terms with life decisions.i suffer from anxiety and well as depression and in trying to make it right I feel it is all wrong.
Waking up from depression is scary and I feel I want to go back in time and change things. Understanding that we don't need to put everyone before ourselves and we are allowed to be selfish to keep ourselves well.
Caring compassionate people can sometimes be used and let down when others walk away. High expectations of ourselves can be projected onto others and we can feel let down when people do not respond in the way we would have liked.
Seeing my own brain map after an EEG helped me to understand what a low level my brain is working at.
And you can see how overwhelmed it is. As areas of the brain light up. I was told it is capable of being stimulated.
It is hard to maintain a healthy outlook when faced with an under functioning brain and you have to climb mountains to top it up.
Vulnerable people who are sensitive are often put down by others and it is easy to slip down.
Be proud of who you are as we have to battle to stay well enough to cope with what life throws at us on top of a malfunctioning brain.
Lizzie

Lizzie Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 7:43am

I have just had some TMS treatment and the psychiatrist told me some people can't cope with feeling well. And I understand it because it's difficult to come to terms with life decisions.i suffer from anxiety and well as depression and in trying to make it right I feel it is all wrong.
Waking up from depression is scary and I feel I want to go back in time and change things. Understanding that we don't need to put everyone before ourselves and we are allowed to be selfish to keep ourselves well.
Caring compassionate people can sometimes be used and let down when others walk away. High expectations of ourselves can be projected onto others and we can feel let down when people do not respond in the way we would have liked.
Seeing my own brain map after an EEG helped me to understand what a low level my brain is working at.
And you can see how overwhelmed it is. As areas of the brain light up. I was told it is capable of being stimulated.
It is hard to maintain a healthy outlook when faced with an under functioning brain and you have to climb mountains to top it up.
Vulnerable people who are sensitive are often put down by others and it is easy to slip down.
Be proud of who you are as we have to battle to stay well enough to cope with what life throws at us on top of a malfunctioning brain.
Lizzie

Lizzie Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 7:43am

I have just had some TMS treatment and the psychiatrist told me some people can't cope with feeling well. And I understand it because it's difficult to come to terms with life decisions.i suffer from anxiety and well as depression and in trying to make it right I feel it is all wrong.
Waking up from depression is scary and I feel I want to go back in time and change things. Understanding that we don't need to put everyone before ourselves and we are allowed to be selfish to keep ourselves well.
Caring compassionate people can sometimes be used and let down when others walk away. High expectations of ourselves can be projected onto others and we can feel let down when people do not respond in the way we would have liked.
Seeing my own brain map after an EEG helped me to understand what a low level my brain is working at.
And you can see how overwhelmed it is. As areas of the brain light up. I was told it is capable of being stimulated.
It is hard to maintain a healthy outlook when faced with an under functioning brain and you have to climb mountains to top it up.
Vulnerable people who are sensitive are often put down by others and it is easy to slip down.
Be proud of who you are as we have to battle to stay well enough to cope with what life throws at us on top of a malfunctioning brain.
Lizzie

DAVE Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 7:59am

Jul you captivate the essential qualities of the BP sufferer, compassionate, sensitive and caring.

When we walk down the street, we have absolutely no idea of the complexities of the person approaching us, we may smile to acknowledge them as they pass, may be because we need to feel akin to others, a sort of self-confidence confirmation that they and we are acceptable.....equal as members of the human race.
What we cannot comprehend is why others react with different responses to our acknowledging their presence as they pass...We need to keep at the front of our minds that we have NO idea what they have on their minds, we must NEVER assume the negative...

"Oh they can see through me, we may think, I have a mental problem"...Why...simply that we have NO idea what challenges with which they struggle..for eg they may have BP depression, and don't know why they feel as they do...NOT yet diagnosed, there are a thousand reasons why they walk past, and ignore us, some adversities are physical, relationships, death in family, probs with their children taking drugs, they may have just come from the hospital and been told their demise is imminent...thousands of reasons for their failing to acknowledge our presence.....YET tomorrow morning passing this same person...They smile and respond....Isn't life exciting...A bit like Forrest Gump.."Life is like a box of chocolates..."You never know what you're gonna get".

But perhaps we may choose to take the line of least resistance and that NEGATIVE thought crosses our minds and says....I'm odd, queer, or feel very very self-conscious....we must be POSITIVE....Train the mind to think and say I'm as good and no better, that they are good BUT no better than I.

Please Moodscopers try the CONFIDENCE affirmations that I suggested last week to regain and RETAIN your self control and composure.

Their are many many other groups who meet up to associate with one another. I do voluntary work driving for the multiple Sclerosis sufferers three days a week twice a day...

They really struggle in life....One lady Ann Chapman, 65years old in a wheelchair, has just been diagnosed with terminal Cancer, she has maybe 2 or 3 months to live. She paid me a lovely compliment by asking if I would give her a blessing of comfort.....what can I do... Make these folk laugh and smile, give them encouragement....I am so blessed I have 2 legs to get around unaided, a vehicle to get me to different places of interest. But MOST of all I am at home with my wife, a roof over my head, food in the larder, and a bed to sleep on at night. This lady is in a nursing home her mind is alone and her thoughts must be very difficult to share with strangers, away from her husband....

I've been labelled for 52 years Bipolar, Crohn's disease heart problems and other NON self-inflicted adversities....Besides this lady, I have absolutely NOTHING wrong with me.

I awake and am greatful to be alive...So my mind is trained to be positive in every think I do....Why because I shall only pass this way once.....Therefore if I am physically able to help those who suffer with NO thought of reward, but grateful for the 71 years that I have been given thus far....

So please try very hard and strive to train our minds to count the blessings we each have and remember we are not the only ones suffering in this world, TAKE AWAY THAT WHICH YOU AND I already have and we would have GOOD reason to feel in need of these comfortable blessings.

We are lovely people suffering as we do but to consistently strive to be of service to others, takes away the negative thoughts that seem to dominate and rule the hearts so dear to others who are just waiting for you and I to collide.

God Bless Jul,

You have such effective insight and focus deeply upon that which MAY be pulling us down into the very depths of despair, but all is not lost......There is always another day God willing.

Dave.

Leah Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 9:28am

Great blog Jul
As always you have given me much to think about.
I'm not sure I had much of a personality because I was about 9 or 10 when I first started noticing that I was different.
I feel your honesty and capacity for logical reason will give many moodcppets food for thought.
Take care

the room above the garage Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 11:02am

Lost my reply :-(
I always love reading your blogs Jul, they give a fresh angle on things for me and give my brain food, thank you, love ratg x.

the room above the garage Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 11:08am

I don't know what else to do but pour it to you...I'm having the most god-awful time and today feels like it couldn't get worse. I struggle to accept help as I find it hugely disrupting and simply not helpful which leads to feeling even worse. But today, I feel like I am sitting on the edge of a cliff. I am hiding my tears (badly, I'm sure my eldest noticed) and need to go out in a minute with my children but I need to tell someone because I feel I might implode. I never, ever go to the doctor as the meds did not help me so I prefer to keep myself on track using everything but. I feel so awful I am even considering the doctor. Even considered going there now and waiting to be seen without appointment. I feel so desperate today and yet more tears have just arrived. I will need to run to the bathroom to cry them in secret...just enough to stop the well from running over I always think. Maybe its a good thing, maybe I should be worried if I couldn't cry. Sorry everyone, I rarely fall apart. Today, I realise how solo I run. There is nobody.

Leah Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 11:25am

Ratg Oh dear what do I say I wish I didn'tlive on the other side of the world so I could just run over to your place and give you a huge hug and tell you everything will be ok. I have been where you are you can feel your frustration and desperation through the words. I think while your children consume your time and energy they also give me a reason to keep going. ratg, I've always felt a special connection to you and your words and that is a special talent you have. So many moves will be crying as they read your words and nod in agreement. Please feel free to ask Carolyn for my email and contact me anytime. Do not apologize We are all here trying to make sense of things. I feel so helpless because I can feel your pain through your words .I really want. to do something to help you. Please go to the doctor or tell someone in your area as you need to unburdenxxxxx. huge hugs from Leahx

Leah Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 11:28am

Sorry about the voice to text mistakes but you know my heart is in my words.xx I'm so glad you were brave enough to pour out and try and make sense of your pain that is the first step.

Skyblue Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 12:20pm

Oh ratg, my heart goes out to you. I'm getting exhaustion vibes here. How can you not be completely depleted what with the constant mothering and no support? You are probably the world's best mother but you are also human AND an artist writer and you probably need much more time to yourself than you're getting at the moment. Exhaustion mixed with the need for (some) solitutde in my experience is a toxic mix and can bring on a nasty depression from scratch. Can you possibly crawl into bed earlier than usual for the next few nights and just 'be'? is there someone who could be with the children for a couple of hours so you could go out for a coffee and just watch the world go by? I know these are feeble suggestions. This will pass, as you know...and if you choose to ask for help this time, doing so mightn't be so bad:) Sending you lots of love. xx

Hopeful One Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 12:26pm

Hi RATG- soooooo sorry to read about your distress. Remember I mentioned' Loss ' previously ? Could it be that what you have lost your freedom with the need to look after your children 24/7 fmeaning that you have no meaningful 'me time'. For now hold on ... Think of anything that could be construed as positive.... Remind yourself that the situation is temporary.... Hugs and xxxx

the room above the garage Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 11:53pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so tired I can hardly keep awake. Just want to say thank you for the supportive and helpful words. I'm falling into bed and up early but I read and I will consider it all as I lay head onto pillow. I feel better at night. Daytime is breaking me. Terrified of what waking will bring. Leah, Skyblue, HO, you are treasured. Truly. Peaceful sleeps all xxx.

the room above the garage Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 11:12am

I have the children with me 24-7 at the moment as they are on holiday. If I need to fall apart, I have a controlled fall-apart during the day when they are in school. I have someone with me as I wake and someone right up until I collapse asleep. Eldest daughter is not needing to sleep when I do, but I need to give her some time in the evening because she waits patiently all day as the other two take my time. Goodness this is not helpful. Just a nutty rant. Off to blow the nose.

Richard Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 11:40am

Thank you, Jul. You open your heart, and love appears. Similarities between us Moodscopers is good, but vive la difference too!
Have a fine day, my friend.
Peace & Love,
Richard.

Sally Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 12:01pm

Wise and lovely words Jul, thank you.

Skyblue Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 12:04pm

Whew! Your blog causes a lot of different thoughts to pop up, Jul. Such a good one! Sorting out what is 'real sadness and depression and what is actually normal for our personalities' is a really valid point. I don't think we can ever change our innate personality...and why would we want to, anyway?...but depression can cover it over with guck and rob us of its truer joyful expression. But, as you say, what we can learn to change is our thinking. Moodscope people have certainly taught me a better way to think, for which I'm really grateful. Thanks Jul, I'm still working through some of the thoughts your blog produced. xx

Jul Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 12:34pm

"Thank you for your comments today. I am out of the country and although I tried earlier to log onto the moodscope page so that I could reply to the ones so far , I was unable to. I can read all your lovely comments though (just not replyl!) and will try again later when back in the hotel.
I have asked Caroline if she will post this.

Just one thing for Hopeful One. Thank you for your comment and observation that we should care for ourselves before others, or before we can truly love others. I didn't express what I was trying to say properly! What I meant was that it is probably a symptom of depression or something that caused it in the first pace..that we care for others before ourselves. However I actually think it's kind of a good quality; it shows kindness and compassion. And kindness and compassion is shown in bucketfuls by the Moodscope community. I do appreciate your comment Hopeful One and understand exactly what you mean. Julxx"

Anonymous Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 12:42pm

Hi Ratg,

You helped me a few weeks back when I felt very bleak and I would like to thank you and give you a sense of how valuable you are and how this feeling will pass. One step at a time and keep the compassion for yourself up high and the current expectations minimal. It may feel like there is nobody, but the part of you that is so good at responding to others can be available to the internal you, who is howling right now. And feel the rest of us cheering you on through the ether.

the room above the garage Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 11:57pm

What amazing advice. Xxx

The Gardener Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 3:16pm

Been cleaning windows - loath the job. Going to fetch Mr G from respite - all in trepidation - his mood afterwards can be awful, but I'v had a day to 'myself'. Teenage years. My father was bi-polar, awful marriage, broke up when I was 15. I was an only child. He fell out with his relatives, my mothers, of course, and all the neighbours. It was an exceedingly lonely teenage - but my pa bought me horses, so I got out on to the farm where they were kept, and met Mr G as a student there. It seems, from the age of 20 when first son was born that I have been 'cramming' everything into my life which I missed as a teenager. Not in a spirit of deprivation (war involved, of course, l0 when it ended). But my pa instilled in me that I could do everything if I put my mind to it - despite life with him being pretty hellish the bloody-mindedness it generated probably made me determined (and bloody-minded). It certainly prompted a lifelong need for people - that need is greater now than at any time in my life.

The Gardener Thu, Jul 21st 2016 @ 6:19pm

Not really pertinent to the blog - but relevant to what depression does to our character - in my case the old conundrum 'nurture or nature'. My 30's and 40's were 'coloured' by what was termed 'manic depression' with the effect you all know on ours and others lives. Now although I am often exhausted, sad and frustrated - I am still facing enormous challenges which totally daunt my friends, young and old. As said above I was brought up in the 'hard' school, my Pa never took no for an answer. Am I inherently a 'toughie' or did that early training (regarded as near slavery by many) set the way I live/lived. Be nice to hear from others who were 'late' developers, who, like me, went to Uni as a 'mature' student - or, like many, sacked from their career job in their mid-40's (depression maker with a vengeance) retrained and embarked on a most fulfilling life. One man, who had been a lawyer for a major international company, sacked, used his languages and a Dip Ed to become a teacher. That's it - Mr G has come in and indulging in the very worst of his evening behaviour - normal for Alzheimer. Some brilliant brain has just discovered that if the 'patient' is over 80 then the 'carer' is quite likely to be long in the tooth. Add stress, excessive heat, and desperate need for sleep then the situation is a mite difficult. This is confused, but the threads of my life are more entangled than a kitten with a ball of wool.

Kit Sun, Jul 24th 2016 @ 9:31am

lovely blog post, chimes with my feelings too.

Jul Sun, Jul 24th 2016 @ 12:24pm

At last I can post. But too late. Probably no one will read this but no matter.I hope ratg you are feeling better. I know what it's like when you cannot escape from children24/7and you just need to be on your own. My overriding emotion was guilt on days like that. I was so self absorbed but at the same time knew I should be with the children and connecting most of the time. I just wasn't. Thank you Skyblue and Leah for your support and lovely words. David and Gardener too. I really related to what you wrote Lizzie. Thank you. Belinda and Sally thank you too. It's comforting to know you liked my blog.And Richard, you and I connect. I know this. We may be totally different but there is a place in each of us that says Hey I know you well. So Peace and Love to you. And Kit, I like the words..chimes with my feelings. I am happy with that. Jul xxx

Leah Mon, Jul 25th 2016 @ 3:01am

Jul, never too late I am here looking reading following!! I like your thoughtful summary of such a fascinating blog.xxx

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