Big picture learning.

27 Apr 2014

I've been thinking about submitting a blog since my one year Moodscope anniversary. Julia's invitation made me take the plunge. I find I'm a bit intimidated by the articulate, wise words of the regulars with all those superior British idioms. Across the pond here we don't dip digestives in a cuppa, we dip cookies in our coffee or milk, which just doesn't quite express the sweet comfort that a cuppa evokes. Ah well, here goes, in my American twang.

I do a lot of backwards, big picture learning with Moodscope. When I first started, it looked like my mood went up and down dramatically every day. After about 3 months, I saw my first low period clearly in the graph. By 6 months I had a view of several mood cycles and could start to answer some questions about warning signs. Now with 18 months to view, the shaky up/down strokes of the days recede and a single fuzzy line tells a story of ten major mood swings.

Because I've filled in the comment box almost every day, I can scan for the antecedents of my mood cycles. I've learned from my Moodscope graph that I'm very susceptible to the inevitable ups and downs of searching for a job. I've been unemployed for most of the past two years. Every time I had a good job prospect I saw a huge jump in mood. Hope held my mood high for weeks as I waited to hear, then gradually dropped when I didn't hear. Then my mood tanked while I processed the reality that the job hadn't panned out. Then another job looked promising and up I would go again.

I also scan entries to see if there was any effect on my mood due to changes in medications. Now I can tell my doctor that before I started taking a med for bipolar symptoms, I had 3 month mood cycles: high for about two months, then low for one month. After starting that med, my cycles have been smoother, with longer periods of hovering near my average score. I would never know this from remembering back or from my sense of how I was doing based only on a written record.

I'm very grateful for Moodscope as a tracking tool. The more I learn about myself from the graph, the more committed I am to recording my score and comments (nearly) daily.

I'm also deeply grateful for the community that has emerged through blogging. I especially appreciate those who have shared uncomfortable truths about themselves, allowing the rest of us to breath a sigh of relief that we're not the only ones. Maybe if I get up the courage, I'll write again and risk making myself vulnerable by sharing how I deal with some personal struggles. Meanwhile, I hope more of you will take up the call to contribute to the blog, and know that you don't have to be brilliant, you just have to be you.


A Moodscope user.

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

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at to submit your own blog post!


Login or Sign Up to Comment and Read Comments