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Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

I read about Moodscope in the most recent issue of Newsweek and loved the idea immediately. It’s an online service that asks you to rate your mood based on twenty feelings each day and issues a score to rate your overall happiness that day. It lets you chart your daily mood fluctuations and add notes on the scores to explain what happened in your life that could have caused your mood to increase or decrease that day. You’re supposed to take the test as a part of your morning routine, before your day really begins, so that you can see your mood baseline before your life alters it that day. It helps to weed out results caused by acute situational changes, making the data more useful for the user.

It also lets you choose a “buddy”, a trusted person in your life that gets an email each day of your scores. If your score drops your buddy can contact you to see what’s going on or offer to talk. The site founder discovered that the simple knowledge that someone was informed about your moods led to an increase in mood. The Hawthorne Effect, a phenomenon where people who know that they are being studied change their behavior or the outcome of an experiment, is actually encouraged on the Moodscope site. It also can save someone’s life. Everyone has heard the story of how a man planning to commit suicide one day changed his mind after a stranger showed an interest in his life; Moodscope can do the same thing. If you’re feeling really low and your daily score reflects that, a simple email from a friend can help pull you out of your funk because you know that someone cares about what happens to you.

I’ve been using Moodscope for less than a week, but I can already see a benefit for me. The numeric score takes my confusing feelings and lets me see them logically. It’s easier to think objectively about how I’m feeling when I have a number to focus on. It also makes me aware of where I’m at emotionally before my mood boils over into my life. This morning I received my lowest score yet, a 34% out of 100. Because I knew that my mood wasn’t very good, I did as many errands as I could on my way home from school rather than wait. If I do errands later in the day I become really irritable and grumpy, so I finished what I could early to make my life easier today.

Check it out if you think it could be useful for you! I’m really excited about the possibilities that Moodscope has and look forward to utilizing it to the fullest.

-Ashes

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Like most of my bipolar symptoms, I didn’t know that my irrational rages were a part of the disorder. I think sometimes that bipolar should be called “tripolar” to include the anger that flares from the littlest provocation. I know that many people with bipolar consider the anger and irritability to be part of their mania. I think it does fit into our high points, but is still different enough for me that it doesn’t quite mesh.

My rage and irritability comes from things not happening on the way I expect them to. I love the time before Koios wakes up because I have time to just relax and be myself without having to feel obligated to interact with anyone. If he’s awake before me or wakes a half hour after I do, I get irrationally pissed off. I expected to have my time alone, but when I don’t get that it throws off my plans and assumptions about my day.

Errands are another thing that drive me nuts. If I’m doing them alone I’m okay, but if Koios is with me or my mom needs to come with me to do something, it angers me when they change the plans as we go along. There’s always one more thing that they need to do that I didn’t expect.

Young children are another big trigger. Children will not listen to direction and they hold everything up. Even when they beg you to play a game with them they take forever to actually sit down and play. And trying to go anywhere with young kids is impossible. Every two seconds you have to stop because they need something.

My need for routine is the basis of these rages. I have to know what to expect so I can prepare myself psychologically and emotionally and when something comes from left field it throws me off. I deal with the above situations by trying to be open with the people around me. Koios knows about my need to have time for myself in the morning, so he doesn’t engage me in conversation or anything. He pretends that I’m not there so I don’t feel like I have to be “on”. I usually do errands by myself if I can so I don’t snap at whoever is with me and upset them. As for kids, I will not babysit anyone younger than 10 because I can’t control myself. I also avoid doing things with people who have kids because it’s just not fun for me. I have to concentrate all of my effort on not freaking out in a rage at the behavior that the kid can’t really help.

Someday I might be able to control my anger triggers better, but anger isn’t an emotion that I understand. I see it as more useless and draining than depression because you get so wound up over something that you normally can’t change. I don’t like the way anger makes me feel, so I don’t want to examine why I’m angry when I’m not filled with that shitty emotion.

Please excuse typos. I have to write this on my phone until I get the internet again.

-Ashes

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