I suffer from depression. My mental health makes it difficult for me to even do the simplest stuff. Some days, I struggle to read. I have been reading almost constantly since I was eight years old, so struggling to enjoy reading really means I’m having a bad day.
My husband tries his best to help, but even he can not force me to do something. Sometimes I struggle to tell him how bad I am and it frustrates both of us. Then I feel bad about being frustrating and my depression kicks in harder and it becomes an endless cycle.
One bad day, I looked up suicide on Google, where I found a 1 to 10 suicide scale. It shows, in more detail, how I might be feeling. The higher the number, the worse my depression, and the more thoughts of suicide.
I showed the scale to my husband and he agreed that this was a more accurate way to gauge how I felt. Since I have found this scale, I have been able to just tell him what number I am and why I might need something. This scale does not solve all communication difficulties, but it is a step in the right direction.
Also, I discussed my difficulty to accomplish simple things or getting worn out too quickly, with a friend. She introduced to me something called The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. While I do not suffer the same problem as she does, I like this theory.
In summary, Christine Miserandino tells the story of how she explained what it was like to be sick to a friend. Christine used spoons to show how much even the simple things take energy from the limited energy she has. In essence, she had to plan and watch what she does, so that she doesn’t overextend even on days she feels good.
My husband and I like this theory as more a way to communicate when we feel overwhelmed. Often, in the afternoon, I will say to him that I don’t have any spoons left. Right now we are trying to plan our days in a way to do what needs to be done and not run out of spoons.
There are many scales around to help with mental health. While these scales won’t heal, they may help communicate the strength of issues to loved ones. I have found that these two scales have been the most useful for my husband and I to communicate effectively. Even if these scales don’t fit your life, take a minute to find one that will or make your own.