Off Topic: A Year of Depression, Pictured

About a year ago I started using a mood tracker app. I hoped it might help me detect patterns in my moods that could help me change my habits towards promoting better mental health. In reality, I’m not sure it confirmed anything other than “bad days make me sad.”

But I do think looking at the big picture of the last year is an interesting illustration (quite literally) of what living with depression is like.

A graph of my moods for the period of one year.I’m not terribly interested in contextualizing particular peaks or valleys, but I do think this does a good job of demonstrating what I mean when I say depression shifts your whole emotional spectrum.

Obviously this graphic paints a fairly bleak picture of my life, but I think what’s truly disturbing is not how much time I spend at “bad” or “awful” but how little time I spend above “okay.” I reported my mood as “great” precisely once in an entire year.

I’m not sure I’m going to keep using this app. Looking at the big picture is just making me even more depressed.

2 thoughts on “Off Topic: A Year of Depression, Pictured

  1. Mental health is so tough these days. Both sorting out to what degree you struggle with it (and by “you”, I mean EVERYONE) followed up by how to track it, and what to do about it in the end. I internalize it and keep it to me, which probably isn’t healthy – but too afraid to discuss it with people (which definitely isnt healthy).

    On the bright side, I’m high functioning! Whatever that means..

    I sincerely hope you find positive ways to manage (and win, if that is the right word);

    • Honestly I really envy the people who can keep things to themselves. I’m the only person I know who needs the support of others, and it does terrible, terrible things to my self esteem. I knew one person who was in a similar place to me, and we had a mutually supportive relationship that did wonders for me, but we’ve since lost touch.

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