Now that I’ve got your attention…
Most mood scales ask you to rate your mood from 0 to 10. That’s fine and all, but I’ve found the 0-10 rating isn’t as accurate as it could be. Neither did my psychologist, which is why she recommended this one.
*Enter trumpets of proclamation*
Yes, there are 10 scales. Yes, it goes from I don’t want to wake up ever awful to I’m on top of the world ecstatic. But here lies the difference: instead of going from 0-10, it rates your mood from -5 to 5.
Why mess with a good thing, you ask?
Because accuracy. And visuals. But mostly accuracy.
With negative integers thrown into the mix, you get a visual on just how crappy your day is. You just stepped in dog doo and a bird dropped its runny business on your head? I don’t know about you, but that warrants at least a -1. Your beloved cat just died? Bring out the big guns with a -5. Feeling just meh? Stamp that with a big fat 0.
That’s right. Zero. Zilch. Nada. That means meh now, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
The conventional scales have you rating your worst days with zeroes when technically, zero is the most neutral number there is. It literally stands for nothing. It’s the only number to stand for nothing at all, which is pretty meh if you ask me.
With this scale, your worst days are -5 and your best days are 5, and the most important thing is:
It lets you see the severity of your depression.
For example, if your daily ratings average a -2 like mine used to, you might want to take your ass to your therapist, stat. Or you might want to pick up this free self-care checklist because a daily average of -2 (or 3 on the conventional scale) is not normal. As my psychologist kindly pointed out to me, nobody goes through a neutral day and rates it a -2.
Yep. My depressed ass thought a -2 was neutral.
This mood scale will tell you it’s not. Why? Because it has a negative in front of it!
It’ll also tell you when you’ve relapsed, how often you relapse, and just how bad your relapses get so you can take the right course of action. Whether that’s taking a hot bath or talking to a therapist, whatever you prefer, you’ll be able to monitor your mood and act accordingly before it’s too late. And best of all, you can print it out and stick it on your fridge whenever you need reminding.
Just save this image to your computer and voilà! It’s there when you need it! Here’s a PDF version in case you want to print it out, just click on the link and download.
Have you used a mood scale? How were your experiences with them? Leave a comment down below to let me know 🙂
Until next time,
Your friend in the trenches, the depressed duck