I’ve kept a log since this started. It was initially to help me report on whether the antidepressants were working. I knew my own recollection would be fallible so I started taking brief notes. I’d encourage you to do the same if you find yourself having a mental health concern.
Anyway, these notes have come to be so much more. They now track and show me what the last 234 days of illness have really looked like. In a sense, what have they really felt like.
I collated them on to this wall planner as I was investigating whether bipolar was a possibility for me. That question has not yet been answered (or even really properly asked yet) but here is my 234 days of mental health, in numbers.
Total days = 234
Days that have information = 182. I’ll call this 100% as I can’t really comment on the 52 days that I don’t have any data for.
Number of days where I felt ‘normal’ = 28 (15%)
Number of days where I felt mild/moderate depressed =36 (20%)
Number of days where I felt the most severe depression = 100 (55%)
Number of days where I felt awesome = 23 (13%)
Number of days I thought about self-harm/suicide but it was ok, not intrusive = 13 (7%)
Number of days I thought about life endangering self-harm/suicide and it was compelling and intrusive = 92 (51%)
Number of suicide attempts = 1
Number of times I have deliberately purchased enough paracetamol to kill me = 3
Number of antidepressants tried = 3
Number of minutes with a psychiatrist = 60 (0.02%)
(Some days have more than one mood hence the moods total over 100%.)
I don’t really have any conclusion to this data but I’m a scientist. I showed Nora my chart today when I raised my ‘am I bipolar’ question. (She doesn’t think I am btw but like I say we haven’t really considered it properly yet, in my opinion.) She liked my chart and asked me to continue with it. Perhaps I might like to see the psychiatrist in another 6 weeks? Ummmm, yeah sure, I guess? She told me that it’s always difficult for people like me (no not nutters!) – scientists – as we want data and solid answers. Psychiatry, she tells me, isn’t like that. It’s far more subjective. But, it is a science, I think to myself. Subjective it may be – that’s because the data is complicated and actually rather lacking – but it is a science! It is!
And every minute feels like forever.