"We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
British folk from my own generation and geeks from every generation will probably recognise that quotation from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.
I wrote those words to a Moodscope buddy on Friday 13th November about my "normal" score in the seventies. Maybe I should have taken better notice of the date. Because on Tuesday 17th I was back down to 25%. Oops!
Just when I think I have a handle on this condition it throws me for another loop. My experience for the last four years that I've been with Moodscope has been that depression arrives with Easter Bunny and varies in length and depth from mild and three weeks (no medication required) to deep and three to four months of spaced out zombie-hood only slightly alleviated by medication. When it leaves, it leaves instantly, completely and in the space of twenty-four hours and that's the last I see of it until the next spring.
This year I have had two depressive episodes, not one. This one, which started on September 8th lifted in late October – for a week only and then slammed down again. Friday 13th was "normal" and then – whoops, bang, wallop...!
This unusual pattern makes me doubt myself. It takes away the certainty I was beginning to develop about my condition and puts question marks over my coping and management strategies.
But the only thing to do is keep plugging away at the Moodscope test, plotting those results on the graph and adding further data into the equation.
I can't come up with a new and improved management formula without more data. Probably a lot more data.
The graph (fully annotated) shows when I started or changed medication, it shows when I had a cold or a tummy bug, when I was on holiday or under stress with work or family. The data is invaluable for analysis.
But the trick is to be regular with inputting the data and then actually analyse the results.
So my new quotation is from slightly earlier in that same Hitchhikers' scene is, "We are now cruising at a level of two to the power of twenty-five thousand to one against and falling, and we will be restoring normality just as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway."
Happy space cruising everybody - and keep collecting the data.
A Moodscope member.
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