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Thank you for helping me gain some balance. Sunday June 28, 2015

I've been a "Moodscoper" for about three years now.

It took me a while to see the benefit but now it's one of the most valuable tools in my mental health first aid kit.

An individual daily score tells me something. Where I am in relation to my 'norm'. In particular it tells me where I am in relation to HEALTHY.

Over time I've been able to learn what a range of scores mean for me. As it's subjective, the numbers themselves mean little. But you know that for me, health lies between about 50 and 65.

Above that and I'm probably doing too much - getting a bit over busy, over excited and likely to tire myself out.

Below this range is cause for concern - I may be, or may be heading towards depression.

This has been fantastic because it means I spot a mood trend before I feel it myself. I notice a week of lower scores and can take steps to help myself.

Equally I can see progress as I start to improve - something that I usually find difficult to recognise.

Over time, I've learnt that daily plotting is best - I get a fuller picture... But I do what I can! When I'm well I'm organised and there's a great graph. As things slide downwards I'm a bit more erratic initially then start plotting like mad - I want to be well and this helps!

If I'm 'very' well I get too busy and eventually I realise I need to slow down... Much as I might be enjoying the buzz I know what I really need is stability.

I have one buddy. My husband didn't manage to read my reports so I felt uncared for. We agreed it was best to take him off.

Initially my other friend commented on my scores. I found this unhelpful... If he misinterpreted things I felt unheard. If he was too anxious I felt pressurised. If he didn't see the significance I felt invalidated.

Now I've asked him not to comment it's much better. He sees the score and I can use it to help me talk if I need to.

So thank you moodscope for helping me gain some balance and for helping me be real about what's going on.

A Moodscope member.

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Leah Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 6:03am

Thanks for your informative and uplifting blog. I am always interested to find out how people use moodscope and how it helps them. As someone who over comments on everything! I will take on board your thoughts.
Well done.

Wendy Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 7:57am

Thanks from me too. It's inspiring without making me feel inadequate. I will try to bear these ideas in mind - am sure you're on the right track. Nice one, Wendy.

Anonymous Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 8:51am

Hi Karen. Thanks for sharing your experience.Really interesting. And great how Jon (is it?) kindly sharing his original idea is going towards helping so many others so many years later. Love that about moodscope. Jen xxx

Anonymous Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 8:58am

Like Karen I find the graph just as useful in keeping an eye on when my moods go too high... Sure some days can feel super fun and buzzy, but looking at that zigzag of dots, it does remind me that what goes up can come thumping back to ground...
For me I know that anything over 70 means I have to take a second look at what I am doing... Do I need to get in earlier bedtimes, maybe I need to leave the credit card at home, I probably need to think twice about my choice of clothes, and of course the most difficult of all, I need to self-monitor what I say...
This might seem odd to some, but unrealistic overconfidence has had problems of its own, and its horrible if the bump back down to earth is made worse by lack of sleep, and regrets about stupid things said and done.
So wishing everyone a steady weekend . A xxx

Julia Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 9:18am

Hello Karen. I think I might start doing the graphs again after reading your blog today. You have inspired me. And I will try to be honest when doing it. Before I didn't like the score dropping too much so never really answered the questions truthfully. I was interested to read that you tend not to notice when you start to feel better and your graph helps you with this. Not a day goes by when I fail to notice how I'm feeling. I would even say not an hour goes by! Clearly I need to focus on something else.

Anonymous Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 9:26am

Hi Karen; really well said!
Yes, I have found that doing the graph every day is the most useful as it helps me to spot patterns
- also looking back to this time last year to see how I am faring this summer/winter/whenever.
And being able to comment which allows me to become more objective and to step back ...
And feeling part of this wonderfully supportive community ... thanks go to one and all! and especially to Caroline and team ...

Jac Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 9:46am

Absolutely! It is so interesting to hear how others do and how they feel about things. Sometimes it is seeing someone share what I feel and sometimes it is the differences. But it is so very helpful. Thank you for this, Jac

Leah Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 10:31am

I am similar to you as I know how I am feeling and think about how I am feeling all the time. I suppose I try not it let dominate my life but I am aware all the time . I find when I try to ignore my feelings it just creates problems so I embrace my awareness. As regards to charting my moods, I find it hard to put a numerical value on a mood or feeling, but try my best. Leah

Anonymous Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 11:06am

Thanks, Karen, a timely reminder for many of us to keep doing the test. I'm sad that your husband couldn't find the time to read your score...even if he just responded with a ? If the score was low...this is what mine does if mine gives me the opportunity to tell him why (if I know why) and it lets me know he is aware. It also lets him know I'm under par and may need a hug when he gets home.
I also buddy for someone and I wish she would, or could do the test more frequently, as I don't hear from her very often, but I know she is pretty from a 'selfish' point of view, I want to know she is ok!

I can't often comment on her score, due to the lack of them, so I send her a liddle joke, or 'funnie' or tell her what's been going on in my world! When she does respond, she wants more, so at least I know the funnies work! Btw, I'm a different Karen, aka who comments regularly, but I wish I had been you, to have written such a good blog! Karen x

Anonymous Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 11:11am

Like you Julia and Leah, I used to let the feelings 'dominate' me, in that I sometimes checked to see how I was feeling all the time! Especially when doing the Moodscope test and even checking these blogs each day. I'm not as bad as I was at this. I think it's like being on a diet. The minute you decide the diet starts now...all you can think about is food!
Karen (the other Karen!!)

Mary Blackhurst Hill Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 11:42am

Ah A - I feel for you. In the same position here, constantly watching what I do and say. A horribly insecure feeling. I've come to the conclusion that the highs are even worse than the lows because of the knock-on effects. Steadiness, my friend, steadiness - as you say. All good wishes to you.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Sun, Jun 28th 2015 @ 11:45am

Thank you Karen for reminding us of the value of daily plotting. I find it essential when I look back at my affectograms. My score doesn't change a lot when I'm high - but you can see it very clearly in my affectograms. For anyone who doesn't yet do the full Moodscope - these are so incredibly useful!

Sue Mon, Jun 29th 2015 @ 2:35pm

Karen, can't express how poingnant your post is for me just now. I'm realising with each passing how imperative it is to check in with the cards each day and you've inspired me to continue to do so.
Also, isn't this paragraph insightful...
"Initially my other friend commented on my scores. I found this unhelpful... If he misinterpreted things I felt unheard..."

Doesn't this really go to show the importance of taking care of and responsibility for ourselves...learning to carry our own security with us too...because only we know our own pain and feelings. No other human.

Excellent stuff Karen. Thank you xxx

Karen G Tue, Jun 30th 2015 @ 7:27am

Thank you everyone for your appreciation and thanks for my blog... It's the first one I've had published and it's made me contemplate doing more

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