Moodscope – Under The Microscope

Good pal Justin Pickard alerted me to this website.
Essentially it’s like weight watchers for those suffering with depression (how it actually bills itself, not me being flippant). It aims to erect a social network style scaffolding for those who labour with the difficulties of depression and an intuitive method to measure and plot your mood swings on a regular basis.
Initially my first impressions of this website set a number of alarm bells ringing. One of the news pieces reporting on the service lists it under a range of services adding up to the quantified self. I think it’s interesting to hear metrics applied to the mental dimension of our experience almost a century after metrics dominated the science of how to extract more value from the industrial work force. I am also wary of the owners professed history in advertising and the lack of explanation behind the psychological methods. Also, and more pressingly really, where is all this data going? Any service which offers itself up for free nowadays no doubt has one eye of what it can claw back on the data scraped from it’s user’s usage patterns. Most of these concerns have been echoed by anyone who I’ve talked to the website about.

But as someone who is currently battling with depression a lot of what website founder John Cousins had to say resonated with me. I will be getting my NHS PCT appointment soon, and though I’d love a quick fix to this I fear there is none. Furthermore I am wary of any symptom only prescriptive treatment, and I fear that this practice attends on depression quite readily. Furthermore I am quite prepared to try this methodology given that it is relatively contiguous with the tools I am currently using.
So I’ve decided to shelve the sceptic in me. And I’ve signed up for the service, to get first hand experience of it before I cast any judgement from afar.

I will keep anyone who is interested in this posted upon it.

~ by Stephen Fortune on January 23, 2011.

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