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.

New Articles: From Gaming to Mental Health

I’ve had another few articles published here and there online (beyond my regular columns at Massively Overpowered).

A screenshot from the throwback game Legends of AriaFirstly, over at MMO Bro, I talk about old school grind, and how it was more of a “participation trophy” than modern convenience.

Next, I tried something new. I sold an article on some of my struggles living on the autism spectrum to the online medical magazine You and Me.

I have to admit it’s a bit scary to be sharing my personal struggles on so public a forum, especially as this article does paint something of a bleak picture of my life. To be honest I’m not wholly sure what motivated me to do this. I guess I thought it might be cathartic.

I think I also wanted to stretch my wings as a writer a bit. I’m happy working in games journalism, but it’s nice to flesh out my portfolio a bit. Maybe it will lead to more opportunities down the line. Specialization is the autistic way, but I don’t need to be a complete one trick pony.