Posts

12 Aug 2022
Bookmark

Nothing to do with fences or Royal mail. I am talking about Moodscope Posts.

 

To some extent this is a continuation of my recent Post about communication. It also follows on from the very popular Post written by Jul on 2 June. 

 

First some background. During the first few years of Moodscope, Jon Cousins, the founder, issued daily emails to members. In May 2013 Jon left his creation and it remained in the capable hands of Caroline and her team. Quite soon members started to submit their own Posts for publication. This still continues and has been a great success. 

 

At this point I would like to give deserving credit to the regular weekly ‘Posters’. I am, of course, referring to Ratg, Lex, Mary W and Leah. For several years now (I know Mary and Lex started over 7 years ago) they have written Posts each week so their total contribution exceeds a thousand. They provide the backbone for each weeks Posts.

 

The ‘publication’ every day of a new Post has produced a library of over 3,000 Posts with associated comments. This is a treasure trove of information as there is an enormous variety of topics. It would be very useful if it could be analysed in some way. I appreciate there is a cost to this but it would be interesting.

 

Personally I find writing Posts therapeutic. I started in May last year and have now written about three dozen. Ideas pop into my mind from time to time and I keep a small notebook/pen and an online document folder to make sure they are recorded.

 

Sometimes I will start a Post, write around 200 to 300 words and then it dries up. I leave it for a while for it to ‘stew’ and then return to add a bit more. I usually do a bit of ‘googling’ on the subject to find something different or interesting and it can take four or five attempts before it is finished. 

 

I like to include something personal, humorous and thought provoking.

 

I look forward early each morning to reading the daily Post. I will either write a comment almost immediately or let the content of the Post go round my mind a while before replying.   

 

If you want to post a comment today I would like your views on:

1.  Do you think it would be useful to have a facility for analysing the content of previous blogs?

 

2.   It is said that there is a ‘book’ in all of us. So therefore there must be a ‘Post’. Do you have something you want to write about? 

Teg

A Moodscope member

PS. If you do wish to write a post for Moodscope just email it to support@moodscope.com

A Moodscope member.

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 support@moodscope.com to submit your own blog post!

Comments

Janet

Aug. 13, 2022, 4:50 a.m.

Daily, for the past year and a half, I have written 3 things that I am grateful for and I share this with a few people who do the same. I have often thought about the nature of gratitude, how it can be a positive asset in my own recovery and well-being and remain meaningful on a daily basis. I would quite like to do longer pieces focussed on gratitude, but I am not sure that others would appreciate this or find it if value?

Reply

Sally

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:06 a.m.

Personally I would find that of value. In the midst of a wobble it’s necessary to be reminded of good things and positives. My mind tends to shut out joy and contentment and creativity at those times. Therefore any nudge or reminder is helpful as a potential kick-start.

Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 13, 2022, 8:45 a.m.

Please write for us when you are able - a gratitude blog is always welcome ;-)* and as Sally says - we all need a nudge to get us out of a low - it all helps x x x

Jane

Aug. 13, 2022, 3:31 p.m.

I for one would! it is so helpful to be reminded of good things.

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 13, 2022, 6:58 p.m.

Absolutely, Janet. It would be of immense value. Please do write! Caroline prefers a maximum of 500 words, but sometimes something can be said in 200 words, or really, really needs 800 (like my blog on getting sober). If you're not sure about your skills as a writer, Caroline is the most brilliant editor too. So, please, please do write that post on gratitude!

Janet

Aug. 13, 2022, 4:52 a.m.

Sorry, I meant to add that currently I am recovering from a badly broken wrist so writing at any length is a bit tricky right now!!!

Reply

Janet

Aug. 13, 2022, 4:55 a.m.

And I meant to say - there will be qualitative researchers ‘out there’ who would jump at the chance of the material available from Moodscope posts. Do you not think?

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:09 a.m.

Hi Janet Thanks for your triple reply! Particularly with a broken wrist. Gratitude is really important and I would love to read your further thoughts on this subject. It has been mentioned a few times in the past but a fresh view would be great. I agree about researchers but I would like the results to remain "in house" at least in the early days. Txx

Lu

Aug. 13, 2022, 6:53 a.m.

Hi Teg, I was interested in what you were saying about analysing the posts. I read the posts every day, always intrigued to discover what they will say. They are so varied and cover so many different approaches to life, which I suppose is one of the reasons that I have been reading then since Jon first set up Moodscope. If he left in 2013 that means I have been reading them for more than 9 years, which in itself says a lot! I am wondering where anyone would start with an analysis of the posts? If I start reading a post and can hear a voice in it, then I sometimes try and guess who has written it. Interestingly I can sometimes guess, Mary and Lex and the room above the garage. Not sure though where I would take this thought in terms of your question but perhaps narrowing the field may be a start point but would doing that disregard all else? Have worked with students on developing their own research projects for many years and its these first questions and spider diagram of ideas, plans, accepted then rejected that takes time. Happy to help.

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:13 a.m.

Hi Lou Thanks for your positive interest. At the end of today I will ask Caroline if she and her team believe there is any merit in considering some kind of analysis activity. Txx

Sally

Aug. 13, 2022, 7 a.m.

Good morning, Teg. A brilliant blog. An analytic take which perfectly suits me, chiefly because I’m a butterfly mind, but do like logical arguments and structure very much. Just can’t do it easily myself!! The points you make are all valid. I am not sure about what you suggest about the archive being open and open to analysis…I just haven’t thought about this one enough. Will reflect on it…. My OH has just volunteered to be archivist for a charity. His years as trustee have come to an end . I think he will collate 200 years of information present in various forms, so that individuals as well as staff can more easily access the information interesting or helpful to them. I am putting my thinking cap on, Teg. Thanks for an excellent piece. A useful read and format. Go well.

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:18 a.m.

Good Morning Sally When I mentioned the information being open to analysis I was thinking for Moodscope members only. When your OH has finished his charitable analysis work............................! Thanks for the appreciation. Txx

Jul

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:46 a.m.

Good morning Teg. You will know that Caroline, a couple of years or so ago, produced an e booklet of some of our blogs. I think our blogs don't date in relevance and useful content. What was written when Jon first started Moodscope would still help many of us now so it would be very helpful if somehow we could re read the blogs easily. However I wonder how many of us have the time to do this. One a day is really helpful and I too thank the regulars such as yourself for writing such wonderful blogs. I didn't realise how much time and research went into your blogs Teg. They do make me smile often. Your cataloging idea is interesting and one which I will think more about. Have a nice weekend. Jul. xxPS thanks for mentioning me!!

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 8:40 a.m.

Good Morning Jul Thanks for commenting again. Idealistically we could have a reference library. Members could then use it more like an encyclopedia. This would obviously take money and resource. I enjoy spending time researching for Posts and I like them to be as good as I can get them. Not a perfectionist but heading that way! Enjoy the coastal sunshine. Txx

Another Sally

Aug. 13, 2022, 8:10 a.m.

Morning Teg, thanks for a thought provoking blog. I wonder, if our individual comments can be made into affectograms an triggergrams, could there be a way of using a word or sentence that would trawl all our comments for references. For instance: ‘lamotrigine’ might tap into comments where people have mentioned a medication that has or has not helped them or might have comments on dealing with the highs and lows of bi-polar. That example used a rare word, don’t even know why it came to mind, but I think you get my drift. AS xx

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 8:44 a.m.

Hi AS I must admit I have not thought too deeply about the detail of my suggestion. I was trying to gauge what the general thoughts were from as many members as possible. I certainly get your drift; thanks. Txx

Another Sally

Aug. 13, 2022, 8:10 a.m.

Morning Teg, thanks for a thought provoking blog. I wonder, if our individual comments can be made into affectograms an triggergrams, could there be a way of using a word or sentence that would trawl all our comments for references. For instance: ‘lamotrigine’ might tap into comments where people have mentioned a medication that has or has not helped them or might have comments on dealing with the highs and lows of bi-polar. That example used a rare word, don’t even know why it came to mind, but I think you get my drift. AS xx

Reply

Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 13, 2022, 8:44 a.m.

Oooh an interesting blog this SaTegday morning, thank you Teg! One of my thoughts is that if a blog is interesting enough, or has touched me in some way, I bookmark it and then I don’t take quite so long to find it!! Like Another Sally has mentioned, the affectogram/triggergram might work to find specific things one might be searching for. Think many of us stay ‘hidden’ behind names here because we don’t want ‘all and sundry’ to know who we are - especially if we mention things happening in our lives that are really private but appertain to the blog, including mention of our close or extended families, so if an ‘outsider’ was to analyse the blogs and responses, that might be uncomfortable for some Moodscopers - wary of becoming known. I too, go through blog posts slowly and check and re-check before sending - and always have to try and cut the words down!! Get over-excited and want to say soo much - too much!! Lolilol! Am always grateful and in awe of all the bloggers who spend the time each week on a blog for us. Thank you all who contribute. Love and Bear hugs x x x

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 2:11 p.m.

Hi Mrs Bear Privacy has to be the number one priority. Any research must concentrate on content of Posts only. The names of writers, dates etc would have no part to play. I am really just getting members views and I totally understand if some feel uncomfortable with any idea of anonymous analysis. Keep the fur cool Txx

Orangeblossom

Aug. 13, 2022, 8:56 a.m.

Thanks for the blog Teg. I don’t like the idea of blogs being analysed. It has an underlying element of judgement which does not sit comfortably for me.I have written a few logs in the past but not in the past ear or two. I wouldn’t write any more if I thought that they were being analysed as I would feel that I was being closely scrutinised & judged.

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 2:17 p.m.

Hi OB I totally understand you viewpoint. As I tried to explain to Mrs B, any analysis would be limited to anonymised content only. No personal judgements to be made. If my idea is counter productive, that is, it persuades members not to write Posts, then it is not worth pursuing. Thanks for your comments. Txx

Oli

Aug. 13, 2022, 10:18 a.m.

Hello Teg, thanks for writing. For your second question: yes, I frequently reply to posts here so I’m confident with writing and yes, there are things I’d like to write about but I don’t often submit a blog. Funnily enough a main concern is that I have moved on quite a way from the person I was who had clear, measurable mental health distress. In another life I remember years ago talking to people who’d achieved comfortable sobriety and at that time I couldn’t connect much with them. It was *actually* helpful — but I didn’t realise it at the time. Maybe I need to think about this a bit more. For your first question: I’m not a researcher but I’ve done academic research (which contributed to published research — but I think my claim to fame is that it is world’s smallest footnote in the history of science). I (possibly) know just enough to know what kind of scale task it would be to study the data here. One would probably want to significantly narrow the focus to a specific research question or set of questions. There are big methodological considerations which are outside the scope of what I can say here but the gist of the first things which come to mind are: retrospective data mining is probably not useful IMO because a lot of poor quality studies have been poor quality precisely because they’ve used that retrospective method. The criticism is that people are finding signal in a lot of noise mostly because of researcher bias. I’m not a fan of purely corralational studies. I have wondered, with a slightly different perspective, if there are questions to be answered along the lines of what’s going on as people interact with sites like Moodscope. However, that would be a prospective study rather than looking through blogs. Personally I’d be mainly interested to see if there’s anything interesting about the way people use the information from their scores because this is one of the more unusual features of the Moodscope site. Even data around use and non-use of those data might be interesting — basically, is it useful? If so, how? There’s work already done with self-help/ mutual support sites. I found the work done with addiction quite interesting, but I would wouldn’t I!

Reply

Dragonfly

Aug. 13, 2022, 5:04 p.m.

Great reply Oli, but it's made my head hurt a bit :(

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 5:08 p.m.

Hi Oli I am sure you have a few Post ideas that we would love to converse about. I take some positive and some not so positive vibes from your comments. The issue of Post content analysis obviously raises many issues and a few are very complex. Thanks for your thoughts, always interesting. Txx

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:04 p.m.

Your replies, Oli, are always so intelligent, well informed and considered. I think all these years of data are an excellent mine of data for research. But what research and why?

Tutti Frutti

Aug. 13, 2022, 11:05 a.m.

Hi Teg I think it might be useful for members to be able to search for all the blogs that have covered a specific topic in order to be able to reread them. I know that there are some IT platforms that allow you to do this sort of thing because we have a system at work for disseminating current work developments. The writer just needs to tag the article against a list of topics when it is loaded onto the system and then users can search by those topics. I am not that techy and have no idea what software is behind this or what it costs but it can definitely be done. If it was affordable this could work to allow searching of blogs and the search topics could be added when the blog is published on the site. Obviously it would only work for searching for future blogs. I sometimes find that I gloss over blogs that aren't on a topic that relevant to me. However, since I am fairly open about my mental health I sometimes get asked by friends for advice when they/someone they know has an issue. There are definitely times when I get asked about topics that I know have been addressed on Moodscope but where I would never have bookmarked a blog because it wasn't that relevant for me. It would be great to be able to find those blogs again when needed! Love TF x

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 5:14 p.m.

Hi TF Thanks for your encouraging reply. Interesting to read about the system you have at work. I am less techy than you so I have little idea what type of system would be needed. I certainly agree with the view expressed in your final sentence. Txx

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:07 p.m.

Some years ago, Caroline and I discussed a tagging system and search function within the website. I was willing to go through the posts and tag.... except it was a mammoth task even then. Then - well, I was ill again, and it came to nothing. Definitely time to resurrect the idea!

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:37 p.m.

Hi Mary I was not aware of these earlier discussions. I await Caroline's comments with interest. Thanks for all your comments today. Txx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:53 p.m.

Hi Teg and Mary. That's right, we did set up a system to tag all the blog posts and I did around 1.5k of them before other things took over my time. It is something we are still looking at for the new revamped site which we'll tell you more about very soon. x

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 15, 2022, 5:01 p.m.

Ooooohhhh - revamped site: exciting!

Valerie

Aug. 13, 2022, 2:24 p.m.

Hello Teg, The few remaining brain cells I have are not at their best in this heatwave.I am not sure how one would set about analysing all the posts on Moodscope.Would this also take into account the nature of the comments too? Being driven by the heart rather than the head I am more interested in the things I have learned about all those who contribute,their coping mechanisms,how they tick.What I like best is that you can't pigeon- hole us,we are each much much more than a list of symptoms of mental illness.At the risk of being called sexist I think it is very typical " male brain",the desire for lists and systems.I can see why you and others would find this useful,but it would not be something I could feel inspired by.***

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 5:20 p.m.

Hi Valerie I am getting many mixed messages today. Some like yours very much against and others in favour. I am grateful for them all. To suggest that lists and systems are a male prerogative however, greatly surprises me. I know that there are many ladies on this site who are more than capable! Thanks for taking time to comment. Txx

G

Aug. 13, 2022, 6:38 p.m.

I don’t think Valerie was saying that women weren’t capable. I think she was saying that males are more likely to think this way.

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:08 p.m.

More likely, maybe. But me? Oh, I love me a list and some organisation. But then, you knew that from my post on Wednesday, didn't you!

Jane

Aug. 13, 2022, 3:40 p.m.

Hello Teg. I like your suggestion of analysis of the corpus of posts. I'm an academic myself and find many kinds of research fascinating, even outside my own field. One thing I know a *tiny* bit about is text analysis using various software programs (I'm actually reviewing a manuscript for a publisher on the subject right now). As Oli said, I think a specific research question is key -- that is nearly always what drives research. That does mean that the project would likely need an outside scholar to be doing the work -- unless you have a Moodscoper in mind already? If you feel the response here is positive enough, and you decide to move forward, I'd be glad to help if I can.

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 6:54 p.m.

Hi Jane Thanks for your helpful reply. Possible advancement on this topic is not within my remit. I will ask Caroline for her views as any analysis work will have repercussions for Moodscope. Least of all financial. Nevertheless I thank for your comments and offer of help. Txx

Dragonfly

Aug. 13, 2022, 5:23 p.m.

Hello Teg, I'm afraid I don't understand what analysis means in this instance. Are you suggesting that members could search for keywords and topics, and/or that subjects would be categorised? Or is it that the data itself from blogs and comments would be analysed, and if so, to what end? I'm sure the intent is not for any analysis to be judgmental, as OB worries, but I don't find your response clarifies anything for me. Comments here appear to be divided in the understanding of it too. As Bear mentions, blogs can be bookmarked for future reference. but this doesn't of course allow a search facility. I don't have the in depth research or IT experience that others on here have, and wonder how such a project would be implemented or facilitated, and by whom (Isn't that right Lex?!) Some people make use of Moodscope facilities far more than I do, so perhaps this will have an appeal.

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:03 p.m.

Hi Dragonfly I am sorry if I have caused confusion. What I had in mind was some kind of search facility for particular subjects within MH. The main point I was trying to make was about the huge amount of information that is contained within the daily blog postings and comments. To utilise this in some way would seem to be a good idea. Like yourself and many others I have very little knowledge of research or IT matters. Txx

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:12 p.m.

Hi Caroline Any thoughts? A lot of differing opinions about this huge information resource. Of course I realise you must consider the wider picture taking into account all the implications for Moodscope particularly financial. Teg

Reply

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Aug. 13, 2022, 8:02 p.m.

Hi Teg, I think an analysis of the blogs and comments would take a lot of resource which we don't have and probably a lot of financial resource if it were to be outsourced which we also don't have! I do however think it would be helpful for people to find the blogs and comments on a particular subject and this is what we are aiming for in the future. More details coming soon. I was interested though to read the comments and to see what other Moodscopers thought of the idea. Thanks Teg. x

G

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:14 p.m.

Teg, I hope you do not mind but I felt slightly disappointed that todays blog wasn’t a blog but a blog about blogs. Like Dragonfly I didn’t understand what it meant and after reading the comments, I still don’t really understand. But sadly I have little interest in ‘improving’ the site. I would imagine that role lies within the team if they felt it necessary. ‘analysis’ would involve too much thinking for me and would undoubtedly only attract a certain type of person who likes to analyse!

Reply

Teg

Aug. 13, 2022, 7:26 p.m.

Hi G Thanks for your comments. I understand your viewpoint. I tried something a little different today and I have had a lot of differing views. I wait to see whether any of this is useful to Caroline and her team. Teg

Ach UK

Aug. 13, 2022, 11:20 p.m.

Coming in late Teg, sorry. I find myself feeling uncomfortable with the thought of our " conversations of blogs and responses" being analysed and looked at for trends. I fear this would mean Moodscopers would not be so open when talking about mental health problems. The anonymity of Moodscoper's writings allows us to write perhaps more in depth which I have found gives me a deeper understanding view and more courage. On the other hand to be able to search the blogs by topic would be really helpful. . . . Thanks Teg for sparking off this important thread, very interesting to see the many differing thoughts that have come up. XX Ach.

Reply

Ach UK

Aug. 13, 2022, 11:20 p.m.

Coming in late Teg, sorry. I find myself feeling uncomfortable with the thought of our " conversations of blogs and responses" being analysed and looked at for trends. I fear this would mean Moodscopers would not be so open when talking about mental health problems. The anonymity of Moodscoper's writings allows us to write perhaps more in depth which I have found gives me a deeper understanding view and more courage. On the other hand to be able to search the blogs by topic would be really helpful. . . . Thanks Teg for sparking off this important thread, very interesting to see the many differing thoughts that have come up. XX Ach.

Reply

Teg

Aug. 14, 2022, 2:29 p.m.

Hi Ach I agree that anonymity and privacy are paramount. These should not be compromised. As you say some method of searching the blog contents for subject matter would be useful. Thanks for your contribution. Teg

Paul

Aug. 14, 2022, 5:15 a.m.

Coming in very late Teg Thank you for this blog I purposely left it late as I do not want to offend anyone I know we are are all part of a group that come here for support. My mood is nearly always s very low in the morning and the first thing I do is read the blog hoping for a little inspiration or tips to help. I have noticed there seems to be less and less of the type of mood lifting blogs we need. Often it has become more like an agony aunt column. I must say Mondays post from Lex are usually extremely helpful. I’m sorry if have offended anyone I am just putting my thoughts down. I have wrote a few blogs in the past and realize it’s not easy. Paul

Reply

Teg

Aug. 14, 2022, 2:34 p.m.

Hi Paul You make valid points. Members can write Posts for various reasons. Seeking help or sometimes in an attempt to help by passing on useful information or just trying to lift spirits. I try to write a variety and I promise my next Post will not be so "heavy" or technical. Teg

Lex

Aug. 14, 2022, 8:41 p.m.

Teg... Teggers... I thank you for the shout out... and the maths. I hadn't added up the masses of inputs we must now have from members... a truly valuable resource of staggering proportions. Love your posts. Lx

Reply

Lex

Aug. 14, 2022, 8:41 p.m.

Teg... Teggers... I thank you for the shout out... and the maths. I hadn't added up the masses of inputs we must now have from members... a truly valuable resource of staggering proportions. Love your posts. Lx

Reply

Teg

Aug. 15, 2022, 4:01 p.m.

Hi Lex A valuable resource indeed. It seems from Caroline's comments above that she is aware of the potential and we await details of the new site with interest. Teg

Login or Sign Up to Comment