Have a Mood Day – Self-investigation on Depression
We are all living in a world that is under the threat of a virus. There is no escaping this threat and no country is left behind – from superpowers to least developed countries. Finally, in threat, we have all become equals. Even though worldwide and nationwide we may have become equals, individually we are still far apart especially in terms of our coping. For some, the threat is not a big deal but for others, this is the biggest deal ever.
Deal or no deal, we all deal with problems or problematic situations differently based on our individual perception despite the same problem we are facing. It is because we are all different in terms of biological factors like our genetic makeup, social factors like family, education and economic background, and psychological factors like our personality traits, thoughts and emotions. Therefore, in this pandemic crisis too some of us are feeling worse than the others.
Depressed or not
So, if you are feeling more distressed than your partner or your parents or your friends, it is alright. Let us start with that. Not all stressful situations automatically lead people to depression but it definitely increases the risk. If you have been previously diagnosed with moderate to severe Depressive Disorder, you must consult with your doctor immediately and work out your coping strategy and recovery plan. If you are feeling depressed as a result of the pandemic threat, you may not require immediate medical attention, but then again you have to make sure you are taking appropriate care of your mental health.
Taking care of your mental health is easy as long as you eat well, sleep well, exercise a little and have a positive attitude. However, maintaining a positive attitude in the present situation may be a bit more challenging than the rest. And if that is the case, you will need a pen and a paper.
To have a better understanding of your own situation and how you are coping, maybe start with your own mood-diary. Observing your everyday mood and noting them down will help you form an objective opinion of your situation and reaction.
You can score your mood from 1 to 10 (1 being the saddest and 10 happiest) three times a day – morning, afternoon, and evening. You may also add a ‘Remarks’ column to note down any particular event relating to your mood. Once you have observed your own mood for at least a week to 10 days, you can then decide if you need further help.
If you have scored less on almost all the days in the period under observation, you must get help. This diary can also be of help to your therapist/doctor in formulating your treatment plan.
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To recovery and beyond
Above all, the most important thing to know is that if you have managed to work on your journal for 7-10 days, it is a good sign regardless of the result. This is a sign that you are working towards understanding your feelings. This is a sign that you are putting an effort towards getting better both physically and mentally. This is a sign of self-understanding and self-acceptance – both equally important aspects of the path to recovery.