I’ve included in this blog, a screenshot of my Affectogram for the month of May.

Those of you who use Moodscope Plus may recognise it. If you don’t use Moodscope Plus, I would recommend you consider it, as I find this graph incredibly useful.

The Affectogram provides a record and visual information about how our scores are made up. We can see instantly which cards are consistent and which go up and down. Whereas our daily score is just one number, the Affectogram gives us more data behind that number.

After more than ten years of using Moodscope, I know my perfect score and how it is made up. If I score consistently 2 on all the Red cards, and 0 on all the Blue cards, it comes out at 73%. Your “perfect” score may be different and be made up differently. After all, with twenty cards, all with four possible scores, there are 1,099,511,627,776 possible combinations.

A note before I go on: for me a “perfect” score is when I am feeling positive with normal levels of energy. It is a place of serenity and even flow: feeling good, but not too good; neither in mania nor depression.

I’m a visual person, so the graph is helpful. If the bottom half of the graph is all pale yellow, and the top half pale orange I’m golden (pun intended); that is, things are nicely normal.

So, what happens when the colours look different?

A score by itself is a bit of a blunt instrument. My score of 73% might be the “perfect” score, or it might include dangerous levels of determination and inspiration, offset by hostility and irritability. If I see this pattern, I might be entering mania and need help in managing myself.

A low score can be made up in many ways too. It might just mean I am feeling tired, so don’t feel very strong, active or alert. Right now, with all that is going on with my father-in-law and the house sale, the nervous and distressed cards are getting far higher scores than they normally would. If all the cards, red and blue, start scoring zero, then it’s depression – and I need support and help. This month has been unusual, and my scores have been much less stable than usual. While I can let my buddies know what’s going on, hard data is always useful. Sending them this screenshot lets them know not to worry – or if they should worry, of course.

Information is only ever as good as the data behind it. As you can see, there were three days when I forgot to do the test. What was going on then? Was my score a smooth transition between the two on either side? Was there a peak or a trough? And, why?

And we need a system of scoring. It doesn’t matter what your system is, so long as it’s consistent. I wrote about this in Scoring the Cards, published 3rd March 2021.

If this seems a lot of work, then, yes, it is. On the other hand, is anything more important than our health? If we are to be responsible about managing our mental health, then I believe it is worth investing our time, energy and just a little bit of money in it.

A Moodscope member.

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