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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Friday, November 8, 2013

Scope Out Your Mood, Online!

I know I've been freaking out my three many loyal readers lately by mentioning the depression issues I've been having lately. By the way, I am actually doing better today, and may have found one of the reasons for my low mood. I'm also pretty severely anemic (which I have been since I was a little kid, and whether or not I eat plenty of leafy green vegetables doesn't seem to have much of an effect on my anemicness), and I generally take iron pills and multivitamins on a daily basis. But when I had my stomach virus, I stopped taking my iron and vitamins, because they irritate my stomach even on a normal basis, and my stomach couldn't deal with those supplements when I was struggling just to keep toast down! I got out of the habit and just never started up again. So the past few nights I took my iron pills, and in the mornings I took my multivitamins, and today I am feeling a lot better... at least I didn't pass out right after work! (As I am writing this, it is Thursday afternoon, but I am scheduling it to be published on Friday morning in order to keep with the NaBloPoMo thingy.)

So anyways... I was thinking about depression, and I just started to write a whole paragraph on why I am not on meds right now and whether I should or should not be... but then I realized I don't actually want to write about that right now. I was writing to show you something cool I found online. It is this website called Moodscope. It is a free website that helps you keep track of your depression and anxiety on a daily basis. 

What you do is log on each day and take the daily test. The site claims that if all you had to do was fill out a chart or rate your own depression from 1 to 10 or something, you'd get on autopilot and stop taking it seriously. So instead, you have a card "game" that asks you to rate 20 feelings on a scale of 1 to 4. Ten of them are positive feelings, such as "inspired," "attentive," and "proud." The other ten are more negative feelings such as "irritable," "jittery" or "guilty." As you rate each feeling, you have the option to write a comment about that feeling. For instance, you might rate "Jittery" as a 3, and comment, "I have a job interview tomorrow morning."

The site takes your scores and turns them into a numeric score for the day, so you can view, on your chart, whether your overall mood is getting better or worse. This could help you see if you are really going through an episode of depression, versus just having a few bad days.
A screenshot of my mood chart for the day. Since I have only charted my mood
once, it is not very exciting yet. My mood is totally boring right now apparently. 
You can also sign up to have your daily score emailed to some supportive "buddies" of your choosing. Just be sure to pick buddies who are actually going to be supportive, and reach out to you if you need it, versus buddies who will just think you're getting a low score on purpose in order to get attention. You know you have people in your life who think like that! They are not the best choices to see your mood score every day! If you have a doctor or you're in therapy or something, you might even want to add your doctor or therapist as your "buddy."

This site is free, but you can also sign up for a few extra features. The cost is $10 per month. I'm going to sign up for a month or so, to see if it is worth it, and I'll report back. The main extra features you get are "Triggergrams" and "Affectograms." I am not sure how these work, so I'll probably write again later.

Anyway, I thought I'd share that because I know some of my readers probably deal with depression and/or anxiety, and maybe this would be useful to them or someone they know. I like to be useful when I can!

And now, for this strange story...

My grandpa called to talk to my mom, but since I answered the phone we were chatting for a minute, and he asked me about work and I mentioned that several of the children in my class have had lice. It is pretty much a school-wide outbreak so they are checking all of the kids on a regular basis and sending them home if they have lice.

My grandpa: "Are the kids in your class Hispanic?"

Me: "Um, about eight are, and three are Caucasian."

My grandpa: "Well, that explains it! It is probably from the chickens they have in their houses!"

Me: "Uhhhhhhhhh....... ???"

(This story is meant to be a weird illustration of my grandpa's thinking, not anything against Hispanic people. I have no idea why he thought Hispanic kids would have chickens in their houses! I am pretty sure that none of the Hispanic kids in my class, and most likely none of the Hispanic people in the Chicago suburbs, have chickens in their houses. But if I had my own house, I would totally have a chicken. I am fairly certain of this. And then I'd probably get lice, assuming that this is what keeping chickens in one's household leads to.)

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