By Yohanna Abdullah
Sunday, 14 October 2012
How moody are you today?
Today I rated my mood as a 5 on a scale of 0 = catatonically depressed to 10 = totally manic and out of this world. I have been a 5 for most of the past month which means my mood has been stable. I am neither too high nor too low. I began charting last month when my mood was a 6 for three days in a row and I was feeling happy. It is a nice place to be, feeling a little euphoric but not too much. I knew though it could develop to 7 (euphoric) and 8 (ecstatic) and so on if I am not careful so I decided to do a mood chart.
I write my mood rating daily on a calendar that is hung in my kitchen for my mum and my daughter especially to check and note my mood so that when the mood is too high or too low they can address the issues. If it is a 6, I would be cautioned against going out too much or engaging in socializing. I have Bipolar Disorder (Type 1) which means I tend to be of the manic rather than depressive variety. I reckon my lows are never rock bottom lows, maybe a 3 on my mood rating.
I became an officially moody person in 1998 when I had my first case of mixed episodes, alternating between highs and lows. I was down in the pits when I discovered that my then husband was cheating on me. I had been having a stressful time in my marriage with issues with my then mother-in-law and even my parents’ marriage was going through a turmoil which affected me deeply. I didn’t know then but my family had a history of bipolar disorder. Right now I have two other second cousins who are afflicted with Bipolar Disorder.
I find that charting my moods make me more vigilant on myself. It is to know myself intimately so that the mood can be controlled before it escalates in either direction. I used to use it as a means to monitor myself a few years ago and while I did it, I had a whole year and a half without a single episode. That is why I am resorting to this management technique again. Do you use it? Does it help you?