The website Moodscope has had a splash in the press, and I also want to pay some well-deserved attention to it. Building on the zeitgeist of social networking sites, it is described as a “brand new social networking tool that helps treat depression by simply giving sufferers a way of getting help from their friends”.
Grounded in the personal experience of its founder, Jon Cousins, along with psychological principles that Weight Watchers use – the idea is that carefully tracking our moods, and then sharing it with supportive ‘buddies’ can actually help our mood improve in the long run. It worked for Cousins, and testimonials echo his experience. He’s translated the idea to an online vehicle – so you track via an online card game and your results get emailed to your chosen buddies. This also enables you to work out how your moods ‘behave’ – what triggers a dip may not always be obvious.
There’s a psychological principle at play here , known as the ‘Hawthorne Effect’ – when behaviour improves or adjusts for the better if we know we are being ‘watched’ or studied. But also there’s something about making connections with supportive others that is so valuable and is recognised in psychotherapy, support groups, and group psychotherapy too.
I’d love to know if you use this tool and have found it useful or otherwise.