Moodscope's blog



The cold with a sting in the tail. Tuesday September 24, 2013

Last week I had a cold.

The sniffle, the sore throat, the stuffy nose: we’re all used to colds. We don’t think much of them; we just get on and cope with it, while stocking up with paracetomol, decongestants and balsam tissues.

So I had a couple of early nights, made sure I didn’t visit my very poorly uncle who absolutely mustn’t catch a cold, and ignored it as much as possible.

But then, just when I thought the worst was over, it whipped round and caught me off guard with a slam dunk of utter exhaustion. Thank Goodness I was with a fellow Moodscoper when I nearly fell over in the middle of Cambridge!

Not since the last but one depression bit of my bi-polar cycle have I felt anything quite so debilitating, and it was a saluatory reminder. For only the second time in twelve years of running my business, I had to cancel a teaching session.

So, while the other Moodscope bloggers and I are coming up with words of wisdom about managing your mood and spirits, it’s worth us all remembering that exhaustion is a very common symptom of depression and that, if that’s you, then actually, you probably just can’t do anything!

It was not going to get anyone anywhere if I started beating myself up for not being able to honour my commitments; I just had to get out of them as gracefully as possible and just hope people understood. I like to think they did. Perhaps that’s what more of us need to do more of the time. Perhaps we need to rest.

Difficult, I know. Often it’s far more challenging to cope with the guilt of not being active and involved, the fear that life will go on without us and we’ll be left behind, the horrible feelings that we’re letting others (and ourselves) down.

But exhaustion is just that. It won’t let us do anything other than rest. We have to have wisdom and the long term view. We also have to have faith and hope that “this too, will pass”.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

Permalink  |  Blog Home


Anonymous Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 8:07am

Nice post, Mary. This time of the year is renowned for parents, children, uncles etc. getting coughs and colds. They spread like wildfire in Primary schools. I have a friend with ME, and it was a shock to everyone when diagnosed. What's more surprising is that people thought that she would "get back to herself" in time. Like bi-polar disorder, it's others' minds that need opening. Peace and Love.

Julia Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 8:39am

Hi Mary. I sometimes don't accept a cold or feeling under the weather physically for what it is. Just that. I usually tend to relate it to my insomnia or depression or low mood when really it's a cold like everyone else's and I should do what everyone else who has a cold does, which as you say is to rest. I normally carry on regardless,blaming my physical feelings of discomfort on my stupid low mood or an accumulation of sleepless nights. It's only when my husband gets my cold that I realise that actually I was quite ill! I hope you feel better now.

Elizabeth Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 9:08am

Thank you, Mary. This is very, very important and actually a relief after all the other activating blogs. I made great progress in the last half a year, part of it caused by all the people writing here and showing me possible ways, but the reminder, that sometimes we just cannot do anything and in that case we just do not have to, is actually a relief.

Anonymous Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 9:41am

I really struggle with convalescing. Despite being signed off as "unfit for work" by my doctor, I find myself marking high scores for "guilty" (despite reading the text about "doing something wrong"). I feel like I ought to be productive and can't seem to give myself permission to "be ill". How do others deal with this? I realise I'll probably get better quicker if I relax properly.

Sue C Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 10:39am

Thanks for that!. I am feeling sooo tired again despite a good sleep. I sometimes get so bad that I can't hold what my Dad calls a "real" job - thank goodness for Kleeneze - I go out with my catalogues as soon as I feel ready, but come back having talked and smiled with lots of people - and it keeps the wolf from the door too!

Julia Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 11:10am

I have been in your situation. I was off sick for 6 months and eventually I left my job while still on sick leave. But I struggled with the guilt feelings too and my work colleagues didn't help by saying I would feel much better if I returned to work. It didn't help either that I kept in contact with my work colleagues.Eventually I stopped all contact which helped a lot (it might help some who are off sick to maintain contact with colleagues but not me). I think you just have to trust your Dr. S/he is signing you off. S/he is a professional. Your work colleagues or whoever is making you feel guilty are not professionals. Only you and your Dr know how you feel. Be brave. Have confidence in your decision to take time out of work and whatever is stressing and making you ill right now.It was the best thing I ever did taking a lengthy period off work. I was able to distance myself from what was causing me to be ill. I knew if I went back before I was ready, it would be great for the first two weeks or so, my colleagues would be extra nice to me etc etc but then the rot would set in and I would start to feel ill again. I hope this helps. I have to stop now but if you like I can try to help some more later. I know exactly how you feel re. the guilt.

Kuntas Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 12:07pm

Great article, well said.
Somehow in this day and age of constantly being busy and on the go,
We may feel guilty to just take rest.
At least speaking for myself taking a few moments to breathe, helps greatly :)

Anonymous Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 12:26pm

I think Julia puts it well, Anonymous. Remind yourself of the extras youhave provided to the workplace over the years. Aren't you entitled to the time off? In my experience, it's often the consciencious people who "burn out". Treat yourself as you would your best friend. Be kind to yourself. Work colleagues do not say the most helpful of things but then they do not necessairily know what it is like.

Anonymous Tue, Sep 24th 2013 @ 2:02pm

Being sick is often related to emotions. When we are sick, our body and the universe is telling us to slow down and rest. There is something we can do-accept accept accept. This is what is meant to be right now for me. I don't need to judge it good or bad, productive, or unproductive, it just is-the more one is accepting of the state of mind/body without resistance the easier it shall pass through-same with happy times. To be in a state of observation and stop running from pain or clinging toward pelasure, to accept and be at peace with either, as they come and go-

Anonymous Thu, Sep 26th 2013 @ 12:54am

Hiya Mary

A tip in an article on Dr Joseph Mercola's health site says to get a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide (cheap from a chemist). From this, use a dropper to put 2-3 drops in an ear while lying down. Let the hydrogen peroxide gurgle then settle in your ear for 5 minutes. This helps cut cold and 'flu recovery times by days.

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.