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Tracking mood while numb?


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I have a hard time with emotion. I am numb almost all the time, to such an extent that I have a difficult time forming opinions of things, or forming strong memories.

This has impeded my insight, to say the least. I'm just starting to see how much these unrecognized mood episodes have affected my life. I know that sounds far fetched. I mean, if this is symptomatic, I've had issues since I was a kid. You'd think by now I'd have noticed. But I didn't even cop to depression until about three years ago, after some serious shit. So there's that.

Given that I have a hard time tracking emotions, I sometimes don't know how to track mood for a given day. Sometimes I have bad physical, cognitive, sleep, appetite, and psychomotor problems (classic depression symptoms for me), but I'm so out of touch emotionally that I have no idea how to "score" depression that day. I tend to hit all around it by tracking physical symptoms and other things, like sleep habits and quasi-psychosis, and pick out a sort of silhouette that way.

Is there a better way to do this? Do you grade by general function, or by feeling? Everyone's system is different I'm sure, but I'm hoping to pick up some different ideas for this.

Thanks, as always.

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Emotion (sadness) is one symptom. When I'm depressed, I sometimes feel sad, sometimes numb. I guess I kind of equate that numb, flat feeling with sadness. When I'm rating my mood I give more weight to things like energy, motivation, psychomotor agitation or retardation, social activity/withdrawal. The psychomotor disturbance is my favourite way to really assess where my mood is. Healthy people get sad, feel unmotivated etc. sometimes so having those sx can have an external cause or other reason but if I have obvious psychomotor retardation I can be fairly confident I'm depressed. That isn't always present, generally only more severe episodes, so I take other things into account.

So sadness isn't necessarily the best indicator nor is the only indicator. Numbness is just as much a feature of depression. A combination of physical and psychological symptoms is the most accurate self assessment.

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Thanks. :)

The numbness is a different thing for me, but depression certainly makes it worse. So I track it. You make a good point; emotional issues are only one aspect. It's funny, but you mention things like motivation, energy levels, and avoidance, and those are the things I tend to rely on most, alongside sleep disturbance.

Anyway, you're right; it's a combination of things. I'm still kind of getting it figured out in some ways, so I'm not totally confident. It's just a matter of getting to know oneself, I guess.

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I guess I try to comment on things I did or didn't do, like not cleaning or rearranging the furniture. If I am flat and can't do emotion I comment on that. So I guess that's grading by function. Sometimes I will throw in a "sad" or "irritable" because they are easier for me to pick out than manic symptoms.

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Thanks. :)

Sad and irritable are easier for me, too, actually. Irritability was one of the key witnesses, if you will, in my dx of hypomania. I use my capabilities as a measuring stick, too. Like, if I washed dishes or tossed in a load of my laundry or showered, I list that.

2Spirals, exactly what I mean, haha! I've been saying mood is flat, or that I'm not able to identify it. That sort of sucks, but it's still valuable, I guess.

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