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11

July


What is a normal mood? Saturday July 11, 2015

I am writing a blog for Moodscope because I feel good today.

I am not bipolar or at least I don't think I am and I have never sought any diagnosis for my depression apart from visiting the doctor every now and again when it gets really bad. I have been on anti depressants and sleeping tablets over the years for varying periods.

I have always assumed my low moods and are directly related to lack of deep sleep and when I have a good night and wake up feeling refreshed, then I know I'll have a good day like this one.

However, after reading the blogs and comments here on this page, I am slowly thinking that maybe the personality I was born with and which was shaped further by my upbringing and experiences, has a lot to do with my depressed state.

Maybe I am not depressed but just normal for me!

I have often said I don't know what normal is for me anymore.

It's like one doesn't know what a normal weight is in this body obsessed era. We know what obese looks like and we know what anorexia looks like but with so many pictures of celebs around, and so much advice on diets, how do we really know if our weight and appearance is normal?

In the same way I feel that our day to day feelings and moods may be actually a part of us, rather than something we should fight against and try to cure. We don't know anymore what a normal personality is. Well speaking for myself, I don't!

I don't know where my highs came from but I do know when they started. I also know that my lows or that's how I have perceived them for years, have always been with me. When I was younger, I was just the same as now (without the highs) but didn't consider myself depressed. Neither did anyone else who knew me

Today's society is very much in your face where if your face fits, you will succeed and be popular. But there are millions out there who live life not succumbing to pressure from society and are just themselves. I tried to make my face fit but sadly or perhaps happily, it never has. I don't like to conform and found it impossible to do so.

I am trying now just to be myself and not fight my depression. It's not a battle but an acceptance. I am not sure if this is going to work. But nothing has worked so far so I am hoping this new approach might be the answer. I am hoping the occasional high will disappear even though I love them. But they are not normal for me. Complicated eh?

Do you think you could be more accepting of your lovely kind selves too?

Julia
A Moodscope member.


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Comments

Anonymous Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 5:21am

Its Julia! :-)
It is complicated. And when I hear everyone's differences it shows me how complex doctors must find it. I also wish there was time and money to study it all in so much more detail, to unveil more...
I think my steps forward have come through acceptance. I'm with you! Next is to also be accepted by others and to remember "those who mind don't matter, those who matter don't mind". I need a thicker skin for that one but I'm growing... Thank you Julia, lovely to read you, love from the room above the garage x.

Hopeful One Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 7:20am

Hi Julia- a good blog telling us how things look from your perspective. You ask if you are depressed . Thats relatively easy to establish as I mentioned in a reply to another blog some days ago. Get hold of the Burns Depression questionnaire. The ere are others like the Hamilton or the PHQ questionnaire used by the NHS. Your GP Surgery will have a copy as they have to give this to any patient complaing of mental health issues. Don't be mislead by the simplicity of the Burns Questionnaire.It is good and fit for purpose. It is more detailed than the NHS one. It is also capable of being self administered and can be used for monitoring. Sleep is one of the first things to be disturbbed in depression I am afraid. . I can also recomment Colin Espie's book ' Ovecoming insomnia and sleep problems' which gives some useful suggestions although it is not aimed directly at depression. Also the book by Dr Alisha Goldstein ' Uncovering unhappiness' where there are many easy to follow suggestions to get out of the depression loop.

Sally Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 7:46am

I sympathise with Julia. Very similar for me. When younger, esp. Teens and twenties it was crippling. With age, I am kinder to the me who has moods and listen to my body more. If I am tired, I sleep. Even daytime. It helps, and blow it if others think it unusual or strange. I have learnt to adapt my style of living so as to minimise stressful periods, and am more contented this way. Very few people know of my moods, and that is the way I choose to live. I have always valued my privacy, and perhaps guard myself against ridicule, which was a constant growing up. Only now do I realise, it wasn't me, it was them.

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 8:17am

Hi ratg. Thank you! Lovely to read you too. It's a difficult one, being accepted by others. My dilemma is whether to tell anyone. I don't want to be labelled. I think by accepting our low moods, we show to the world that this is me; sometimes I am happy, other times not so. And also think.. how would a non depressed person behave? I remember sighing and moaning when I met up with friends if I felt bad and even if I couldn't explain why,it was accepted and I wasn't treated any differently.I might gradually cheer up with my friends or not but never felt I had to over compensate for how I felt.

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 8:19am

Thanks for this info Hopeful.I saw Colin Espie a few times privately when I lived in Scotland and he had a practice in Glasgow. He was the expert in insomnia at the time.

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 8:23am

I am like you Sally. I value my privacy and once I gave up work, I too was able to structure my day around how I felt. I still do and feel I am very lucky to have the freedom to do so..

Melanie Lowndes Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 9:07am

Dear Julia, what a sweet blog. And so are all the replies and your responses to them. Thank you. I tried something the other day when I could not sleep - I spoke to my insomnia, welcomed it and asked it if it had a message for me. I cannot remember what happened after that because I fell asleep! I too sleep in the day sometimes if I have time (and am lucky to have a flexible occupation). I think Acceptance is a great key. I looked at the Burns Depression questionnaire and I thought oh dear! I don't want to go down the "I am depressed" route ie I have a condition because I feel that all of it is teaching me. It is the same as that I don't take pain killers for headaches (I am lucky not to have them often) I simply wonder, why do I have this headache, drink some water - thinking about it - next time I have one I will try treating it like my insomnia - welcome it and ask it if it has a message for me. Love and blessings to you.

Anonymous Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 9:42am

Thank you for this Melanie, I love this idea of befriending what arrives.There is a Rumi poem along these lines.I have accepted I am a square peg and left my round hole rather late in life to dig myself a square one. Im much happier and accept myself more.Its ongoing....

Elizabeth Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 9:55am

Hello Julia. I remember your commentary to some blogs from two years ago. What a change! Looks like you came over some self-pitty. I find it a great achievement. Congratulations and love from Elisabeth

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 9:57am

Yes Melanie (and Anon), it's a great idea to welcome rather than fight against, for instance insomnia or related negative thoughts when trying to go to sleep.. Dr Guy Meadows my favourite insomnia expert now (!) suggests this very thing. You have reminded me Melanie thank you. I'm afraid when I filled in the questionnaire my GP gave me before he would agree to prescribe anti depressants, I lied/ exaggerated my condition in order to get some.

Leah Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 10:06am

Julia,
Thanks for an interesting and thought provoking blog.
Apart from your second paragraph , a lot of what you say I can relate to.

Normal as they say is only a setting on a dryer or washing machine or it used to be, nowadays they say regular! I have never wanted to be like others" but I suppose I would not mind being a bit less complicated.

My partner says I am not what he would call moody, but yes I do have different moods- interesting distinction that I really don't see.

Accepting who you are , is difficult. I found when I stopped worrying/obsessing/ recording up or down days it did seem to help.

Thanks again for a great blog .

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 10:12am

Thanks Leah. You have made me think about conforming to a norm which goes against the grain with me too in many situations. My partner tells me I am never boring!

Leah Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 10:15am

Hopeful one,
Some people may find the questionnaires helpful as they rely on a subjective response and may not be that accurate. I did an online cbt course that asked questions about behaviour in thoughts in last week and determined I was depressed ( which I am not) because I answered I felt tired, woke early and worried a bit - I don't know many people of my age who wouldn't answer yes to those three things and they aren't depressed either!! I know those questionnaires have their place but I feel sometimes they are not helpful. Just my humble opinion.Cheers

Leah Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 10:17am

First line should read- some people may find the questionnaires are not helpful ..

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 10:50am

Hi again ratg. I have been thinking about what you said re. a thick skin. Sometimes I think depression is a substitute for a thick skin in that it's a sort of barrier between us and the world outside. We can if we choose, hide behind it. I know I do.

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 10:58am

I am going out now with no internet connection for a couple of hours. (I am too mean to pay for roaming in France!) so will reply to comments later today when I get back. Best wishes. Julia

The Entertrainer Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 12:28pm

Hi Julia
I think there are far more of us who don't/won't/can't/don't want to conform than we realise. Because we are outside what the generalised media wants to promote as the 'norm' - we don't have an obvious voice. However, there is nothing, and I do mean this, nothing to stop us finding one another online like we do here. And we do have a voice... and it is being heard. And YOU, dearest Julia, are part of that voice - a noble role in history.

"Just Julia" works for me! "Don't go changing, trying to please... ...(we) like you just the way you are!"
au revoir
L'xx

Anonymous Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 1:16pm

What a lovely thing to say Lex!
and
Hi Julia
Great blog - thank-you; I too am slowly becoming more accepting of my physical limitations and fatigue thanks to my medical condition; I now need to become more accepting of my family's situation in relation to my alcoholic sister ... (yes, she's back and upto her old tricks ...) but, oh, it is a daily challenge ... and this week it is an hourly challenge ... so your blog is really well-timed for me - thank-you!
Enjoy France ...
Frankie xxx

Di Murphey Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 1:33pm

Dearest Julia ~
We are here for you, and each other as The Entertrainer has so eloquently stated.

It is far better to love the world from the peripheries without restrictions than to love from inside as we reject, shun and isolate others who do not "fit" into that particular mold.

I congratulate you and send you courage (the Latin root means "heart") for a life well-lived.
Lovingly,
Di

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 1:41pm

http://www.metrolyrics.com/just-the-way-you-are-lyrics-billy-joel.html
Frankie is right..what a lovely thing to say Lex. Thank you. It was lovely for me to come back from my excursion and read your words. I tried not to think of my blog while I was out and then started to have doubts about it. Oh dear. But you have stopped me doubting Lex. Moodscope and people like you, have helped and continue to help me so much in finding solutions/ ways of looking at life and myself. I hope, if ever we do meet in the flesh, that mutual support will be the thing that shines through.

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 1:51pm

Thank you Frankie but I am so sorry your family is causing you problems just as you are more at ease with your physical limitations. We've spoken before about our sisters. Being physically distant now from mine is a great healer;when we are in each others company, old issues still rise. For me they will never disappear completely. The only way I cope is not to get involved in her frequent dramas. Easier said than done for you at the moment it seems but I am hoping you will get a break from it all soon?

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 1:57pm

I love your words Di.and always do. Loving the world from the peripheries without restrictions is something I will remember. I didn't know the word courage is associated linguistically with heart. How very interesting and a big thank you for your encouragement today. And love.

Hopeful One Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 5:57pm

Hi Guys- until someone finds a reliable blood test for depressiorn or a reliable brain scan or both questionnaires are all we have got. In answer to Leah 10.15 am NOBODY would diagnose depression unless the symptoms were there for two weeks constantly minimum. And one's total score is what counts not answers to three questions . I feel don't think that questionnaire was designed to diagnose depression.

Anonymous Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 7:49pm

Hi Julia, i'm so late in responding today....and don't have much to say other than i love your blog. It is all so complex, isn't it? Everyone has swings in their moods -- which is how the nervous system operates -- but we depressives seem to be unable to find equilibrium easily and we end up in pain, so acceptance of our individual rhythms is so important. You are always so sweet and generous with everyone....and now you've done a blog. And it's a lovely one. Thank you. Hugs. susan xx

Julia Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 8:20pm

xxx Susan. Thank you. Equilibrium is not easy to find. What a good point! I hope you have had a nice day today. Mine has been nice with all the lovely comments which have really boosted my spirits no end.

Anonymous Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 9:35pm

So write more blogs Julia - please!
Frankie xxx

Anonymous Sat, Jul 11th 2015 @ 9:38pm

Great blog

Julia Sun, Jul 12th 2015 @ 8:11am

Hi Elizabeth. I am sorry I didn't reply to you yesterday but I have been trying to work out which Julia you were referring to. It's nice to be congratulated but sadly it wasn't me! There have been one or two Julias who have written comments over the years. I too have made the same mistake by assuming someone was a person I "knew" but in fact I was writing to a completely different person. I suppose in one way we are all anonymous even when names are used on this site! I don't know if you recall but I was spooked once when someone signed in as Julia from France. It turns out that there are over 50 "Julias " who are registered in France on Moodscope!

Ece Erdem Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 12:56pm

If you ask me, you don't have to accept that you are depressed and hard to find the balance. I was depressed my whole life especially high school and I thought I was normal. I thought that was the way I am. But
Then something changed. I feel into deep deep depression. I wasn't able to eat for months. I had panic attacks. I knew then I was not "normal". By normal I mean balanced. I got help. I came a long way. I changed. Now I am a completely different person for 1.5 years and my treatment is long over. I feel balanced. Not high, not low. Most of the time I feel that constant peace of being balanced. And now I know that we should not make depression a part of our character. It is not. Believe me. If you deeply wish to change your condition, you are able to come out as a completely different person. If we are not happy with our lows and highs, this means our life needs a shift. Balance may seem hard to get, but it is definitely not. Everyday situations may give you a little lift to the high but this should be temporary and you should again come back to balance. That's what I call normal. I knew it because I am that person that I longed to be now. Please give it a different perspective. You don't have to accept your depression. Yes, accept it but accept it to change it. Love you all.

Julia Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 1:40pm

Hello Ece. Thank you for this. What you write makes such good sense. What sort of help did you get? I would love to change but cannot see how I can. I am very happy for you Ece that you have found help and you are better now.

Ece Erdem Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 6:19pm

Julia, I have written a long piece. I will post part by part. I hope you read it. :)

Ece Erdem Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 6:20pm

Dear Julia,
I have some recommendations for you. First of all, I would like to explain the specific situation I was in. I was always a melancholic person. In high school, I used to listen to sad songs and when I was feeling bad, I would do that. That would eventually make me worse. I would do all the things to be sad most of the time. I didn't understand why. At some point, I thought I was not to blame, it was the conditions that made me so. My school was so strict and the academic programme was a huge burden. I didn't get along well with my family. I was always thinking with a huge arrogance that I was so realist that I saw the real face of the world. It was meaningless, and I was brave to see it and ? was also brave enough to accept that such a world is only misery. I used to look down on other people. I thought they were so superficial that they cannot see such a meaningless life. But wait. I was all wrong.

I started university. My conditions changed. My nothing improved in my mood. I was worse. I had intestinal disorders. I had terrible back pains. I had terrible sleeping problems. At some point, I started not to cry. I was not able to feel anyth?ng. Sadness, happiness, love- anything. I was constantly worried. I had a feeling of emptiness. I was in search for something, I didnt know what. Yet, I st?ll didn't accept I had something going wrong.

I always questioned existence. But at university it got worse. I was constantly searching for meaning and was not able to find it. I frequently asked existential questions. Who am I? Where do I come from? Why do I have to life if I will die one day? What is the purpose of living then? And so forth.

Ece Erdem Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 6:20pm

While the second year of university was coming to an end, I totally lost it. Had my first panic attack. Lost my appetite. I immediately went to see a phyciatrist. My father and my mother were doctors but they never understood I had something wrong. They thought (I thought the same) it was just the way I am. Cause I've been like that ever since I was a teenager. The phyciatrist said I have clinical depression. I didn't believe it. I thought it was only panic attack. But they way I talked, he got it all figured out. At the same time, I started overthinking everything. I developed OCD. ?t was terrible. I was even thinking what if my mother was actually not my mother. I could'nt prepare food because I was afraid if I touch a knife I would kill myself.
My doctor immediately started medication. He gave me Paxil at first. That's a really good medication for all sorts of depression plus anxiety plus OCD. The first 3 months were really bad. I also took xanax for only 2 weeks to get sleep. My doctor said to me that I was able to analyze the situation I am in and I accepted that I had depression. But the question was still there. Why did I become like this? I had every material thing in life. I had money. I had a nice family. I was studying law. I went to best schools. I was popular. I was beautiful. and everything. But then, it hit me. I will explain what was hitting me later.

After my medication started, my doctor recommended me two books. Because he thought that I was clever enough to figure it out by myself.He knew I was actually searching for answers and meaning in life. He thought what I have was an existential crisis. So he first recommended me ‘Authentic Happiness’ written by a psychiatrist named Martin Selingman. It explains what may cause depression. And he recommends religion (along other things of course) to help get out of depression. He also clearly explains what learned helplessness is. In depression, we are learned to be helpless. We tend to assume things will ALWAYS go wrong. Because we are used to it and we programmed our brain that way. His argument was that, if we can learn to be helpless, we can teach ourselves to be optimists as well! That made such sense. What was interesting was he recommended things that are so spiritual and involving meaning. He never included ONE material thing or he never said GO CHANGE YOUR CONDITIONS. It was us that needed to change. And it was completely possible. I highly recommend this book for you.

The second book was, Existential PsychoTherapy by Irvin Yalom. There it started hitting me. He supported the idea that all depression and anxiety come from the fear of death. I thought for a second when I read this. I started having panic attacks again. That was so true. When I think about dying, I was extremely tense and afraid of it. Then I asked some more questions to myself. What was I afraid of? If death was the end of everything, then why be scared?
It finally hit me. I answered this question like that: I lived a wrong life. (note: I was an alcoholic at such a young age. I was an atheist. I was such a badtempered person. I was bad, I was egotistical and this was true. Everyone knew it before, but me. ) I was not thinking about my life. I was just a leaf struggling through water. I never ever did a thing to make a person happy. And then I thought a strange thing. What if there is afterlife? Is this why I am scared of dying? I will have to pay what I have done after life. I came to conclusion that material world was an illusion. It was only a preview of the real world. I faced with the reality of death. I realized that I need to have a good life, I need live a good and ethical life if I want to be free and make my death worth it.

Ece Erdem Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 6:22pm

After that book, I gained a new perspective. Then one day, I suddenly realized there was a Higher Power. I was so weak, so afraid, I was not able to help myself. And the meaning of life, there needed to be God for life to have a meaning. I started to research religion. And there I found peace. I finally understood that feeling of emptiness was something spiritual. With God, there came great help. I went through religions, read most of them. Finally, by some strange coincidence I got a Quran. There I found peace. Islam was my way of life. By this, I mean you dont of course need to rely on religion if you dont want to. But, let me explain key points I learned from religion and these books that you can use for yourself:

- The way to be balanced and happy is to care about other people while also caring about yourself. Help someone, hug someone, say hi to a stranger.
- A higher power is needed. Because when we think about how deeply we struggle and cannot see a light out, there comes spiritual help. We need to seek for forgiveness and help. These will make us feel relieved and it will also help us to forgive others, forgive ourselves for past mistakes and start a new life.
- It is important to take your medications regularly. Because you have worked so hard to destroy the chemical balance in your brain my constantly making yourself unhappy. (at least I did :D) That’s why chemicals from the medicine are important to let your seratonin go high. Don’t ever attempt quiting medication without your doctor telling you to do so.
- From what I have researched, I figured out that almost every depression gets healed by medication. But it comes back. Medication is not enough, because it helps your brain to get on track, but if you keep the same life style you will make it turn into that original position that caused you depression. So, along with medications, you need to find other ways to help yourself. That’s your job. Yes, talking to people and sharing your problems is a good way. But at night, when you go to sleep, is there anyone else other than you? It is you who should save yourself, with the help of God. (of course in my situation, again I repeat, you dont have to think about religion but it worked for me. Thats why I’m telling you it might be helpful. )
- So, what can you do? I did some heavy reading while getting well. I read almost everything about psyhcology and our brain. Why those things happen and how to fix it. I started doing some sports, mostly yoga. I started taking time to look at the sky, to realize my surroundings, and what was happening outside me.

Ece Erdem Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 6:23pm

- Selfishness is a great way to murder our soul and happiness. By giving, you will realize it will immediatly make you happy. You can laugh at a stranger even if you dont feel like it, you can feed a poor person, you can clean your surroundings, you can help your family getting ready the meal and so on. But do something outside yourself. Don’t overthink. Just try giving it a go even though you don’t really feel like it. Eventually, you will feel like it! Because we learn by acting. If we can learn to be helpless, we can learn the opposite just by trying over and over again.
- And give in. Think for a minute. You can die tomorrow. What good did you do here? Accept God’s law. Accept that sometimess there is nothing you can do. We cannot change the circumstances but we can change our attitude towards it. People label events as positive or negative. In fact, things JUST HAPPEN. They are neutral. It is you who needs to decide how to label that event. Label everything positive. You failed your exam? Well, it is a chance for you to get a better grade next time. You had a fight with your family? By forgiving them or apologizing there is your opportunity to be a better person. Always look from the positive side. And think every event as if they are hiding something beautiful in it.
- Don’t give up communicating. But start talking about something other than your depression. That will make a difference. Talk less and listen more. Get to know the person sitting next to you. Direct them questions. You will connect better to that person. Because he will feel that you care about his life and you will make him feel important.
- List what makes you happy. Don’t procrasinate. Start now. Start small.
- Get a hobby. Drawing, playing an instrument, swimming, whatever you like. The first step to get out of depression is to get out of yourself, and your brain that assumes everything will get worse.
- You can get some pets! They are really helpful.

Ece Erdem Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 6:24pm

- But if you ask me the most important thing is that this world is not material. Materialistic views cannot make us happy. We need to reach for something higher because we as humans are sacred beings. God gave us value by creating us. And he takes care of every human being. But he has one condition: TRY! Try and I will help you he says. Don’t wait for depression to get better. Accept it but never give in to depression. Say to your depression: YOU ARE NOT A PART OF ME. THIS IS NOT MY CHARACTER. I WILL CHOOSE WHOEVER I WANT TO BE. AND I WONT BE MISERABLE ANYMORE.
- We have a spiritual dimension. That involves love, acceptance and mostly ethical things. We tend to feel happy if we lead a valuable and ethical life.
- Figure out the meaning of your life. Mine is being a good person. Because being good never runs out. That purpose for me is endless, it can never rot. Because every step you take being a good person, there is always better, you can never reach the best. So always try to work hard on things you think you dont like about yourself.


Things that come up to my mind are like that. But I would like to talk more about it. If you find those helpfull, please contact me again. And if you are in search of meaning, I would recommend you to go through spiritual teachings, anything you can find. And if you have belief in God, pray. And never forget he loves you. He will help you someday, but maybe today is not the day, or maybe you are not trying. Accept the divine law. Divine law is love. And being positive.
Love you. I hope everything gets better. Please relpy me what you think.

Ece Erdem Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 6:45pm

And never associate depression with your character. It is something you have for NOW. But it can change if you try. We never know what the future holds. Assume the best for the future. And try NOW. NEVER EVER PROCRASINATE.

Take care. :)

Julia Tue, Jul 14th 2015 @ 7:48pm

Dear Ece. I wrote a reply but it is lost. Oh dear! I was thanking you so much for making the time and effort to reply in such detail and in such a very helpful way. I will reply tomorrow ( again) I have read everything you have written. I am on holiday right now with my family and it is difficult to be at the computer right now. Thank you, your words have not been wasted and love Julia xx

Elizabeth Wed, Jul 15th 2015 @ 10:04am

Oh, I am sorry then, it is indeed possible I confused all the Julias for the one and only :)

I remember someone writing about having only very rare good days after a good nights sleep. That comment looked pretty desperate (which I understand). There was also a blog from "Julia" on insomnia on 14.6.13. Also on 30.1.14, as I look back. I thought it was all the same person.

Anyway, you write about a great personal achievement, and even if you are not the same person, the other Julias should read it! :) Good luck to you

Julia Fri, Jul 17th 2015 @ 8:01am

Dear Ece. I think the teachings of the prophets can help enormously and to live like the Bible or the Quran teaches us to live surely must be a good thing. Thank you for recommending the books. When I get home I will order them. x

orangedog Wed, Sep 2nd 2015 @ 1:37pm

Thanks for this blog Julia. I can really relate to it. I've struggled for quite a few years now with accepting my depression. I've always been angry and confused as to why it's hit me and why I feel low so much of the time. I find it hard that others can't see it and get angry with myself that I don't talk about it hardly anyone - I'm getting better at doing that now but still feel afraid that I will then scare them off and they won't then want to spend time with me. Having said that I'm really good at hiding it and everyone thinks that I'm a very laid back fun person - which is nice but I find that frustrating. I know I need to accept it more and not compare myself to others - like you say maybe everyone else is feeling similar. Thanks again x

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