a little bird sitting on a branch

charts tables & graphs

i am a scientist at heart. one thing that differentiates science from art is measuring. put another way artist observe but scientist observe and then make notes and measurements and keep track of things.

that is what i have been doing for at least the last five years. we got a  wii fit in 2007. i initially used it to track my weight. i would weigh in every morning.

somewhere, early on, I decided to also track my daily mood. i would track my mood on a scale of one to ten, ten being awesome and one being horrible. so, i have a nearly daily mood record going back to 2008. my only missed days occurred when i was away from home.

below is a chart of my moods. i start actually keeping records in a spreadsheet starting in 2009. these are the averaged the results on a weekly basis.

mood history going back to 2009

this is a historical record of my moods going back to 2008.

this is a historical record of my moods going back to 2008.

the first bits of information that can be pulled from this graph is my episodes of depression and the length of time:

history of depressive episodes

history of depressions since 2009

history of depressions since 2009

so, i have had 4 episodes since 2009 lasting from 3 to 5 months in length.

oh, i forgot to tell you i have a degree in mathematics so if geeky statistics make your eye glaze over, you have permission to skip the next paragraph.

with all this data, one can pull out such geeky things as my average mood is 6.21. one standard deviation is 1.48. that means about 68% of my moods range from about 5.5 to 6.95. these are geeky statistics numbers. if you don’t know what they mean, don’t lose sleep of them.

This is a bar graph of the occurrences of my moods.

mood bar graph. number of occurrences on the y axis and weekly average on mood on the x axis

mood bar graph. number of occurrences on the y axis and weekly average on mood on the x axis

with this graph, the number of occurrences on of the y axis and the average mood in on the x axis. for example, I had 1 week where i have an average mood of 2 (ugh!) and 14 weeks were I had an average mode of 8 and 3 occurrences where i had an average mood of 5.4 . also one can see i have a cluster of moods, small ones around 4, 5 and 6 and a big one around 7.

so, what does this really mean? to the general population, not much. to me it means i have empirical and historical data that points to my depressive cyclels and their lengths of time.

I’m sure there are research psychiatrists out there that would love it if every one would keep such a log. they could then pull from a wealth of information to aid in their research on moods and mood disorders.

bipolar sojourner

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