"Your score has dipped!" emailed one buddy anxiously. "Are you alright?"
"Just concerned about your score…" delicately enquired another. "You have been so stable recently..."
I sneezed, blew my nose, took another swig of Lemsip (Proprietary cold and 'flu medicinal drink for those of you outside the UK) and thought about my reply...
"I'm fine. Just full of cold. My aching head feels like a pillow stuffed with rocks, my body hurts all over, and some kind of alien monster has taken up residence in my lungs and sinuses and is exuding green slime in copious quantities..."
No – no – that was too much information. I couldn't possibly tell my concerned buddies all that.* Instead they got the restrained version.
"I have a cold and am not feeling great. My score reflects this. Please don't be concerned."
But of course they are concerned. Just as I was concerned a couple of days ago when a dear friend of mine posted a dramatically lower score than usual.
I texted him. "Are you OK? Do you want me to call you?"
To which came back the reply "All blocked up. Talking hurts. Virtual love appreciated but whatever you do, don't come near me!"
I took him at his word. Fairly easy since we live a couple of hundred miles apart.
Yes, it's difficult to be cheery and upbeat when we're physically unwell.
If we are in pain, exhausted and/or nauseous we're not going to have great scores.
I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to be enthusiastic when I'm ill. I certainly don't feel strong or energetic and I may feel a lot more irritable than normal. (Noises off) Oh – I have just been told that I am definitely much more irritable and hostile when I have a cold. Thank you husband, dearest.
And this is where the annotation function of Moodscope is so useful. It enables us to track back and see exactly what caused these unexpected blips. I would encourage you too to make full use of the comments box.
Sometimes a low score is nothing to do with depression. Sometimes a low score reflects the row you had with your nearest and dearest. Sometimes it reflects the worry you feel on behalf of another who is going through a bad time. My low score today certainly reflects the heartbreak of a close friend. It's not my heartbreak – but I feel for them. I think it's called empathy.
And sometimes a low score is just a cold.
A Moodscope member.
* Please note however, that I feel I can freely share with you!