Constant Mood Monitering

Recovery for Depression and Anxiety is continuous. For me, I need to stay busy, so that I don’t start over thinking and over analysing.

It’s hard to tell which thoughts and feelings are based on reality, or whether I’m just over reacting.

I have to keep checking on my mood, and it’s incredibly monotonous.

When I’m sad, like really sad, then I’m often lethargic so I won’t have the energy to keep track of my mood. But that’s usually the onset for a low point. When I’m at the lowest of lows, I won’t do anything. Everything will be pointless.

On the contrary, when I’m happy, I still have to check my mood. Because I can’t trust myself. I’m inconsistent. So if I’m happy, I just think “what’s the catch?”. So I have to catch myself before I fall.

Moving Fowards

Earlier this evening, Dominika messaged me to say that she has finally received a space on the internal server at uni, so she can start uploading the rushes. This is a huge relief!

She said for now, there’s no need for me to sit in with her in the edit suite, as one of the technicians will be helping her link the files together.

Also, there is the opportunity to take part in making a documentary in a day. Adella’s idea was that we could make a documentary about someone living with Depression. I suggested that we could do a documentary on my experience living with Depression. I also think this would help promote the film, as my Depression is what inspired the story.

I’m a bit nervous in actual fact about exposing myself in a lot of detail, and I’m certainly not used to talking in front of a camera, or talking about myself a lot. But I’m willing to do it, as it saves the time and effort to get to know someone well and then be granted permission to film the

Comic Workshop

Yesterday I attended the Woodbarn Workshop, and participated in a workshop my Father, who is a cartoonist, led. After my Father gave a short presentation on his career highlights and an introduction to the world of comic making, we put our knowledge into practice.

Our task was to collectively produce a mini fanzine, made up of each person making a comic based on their favourite film.

 

The challenge was to tell the story using only six panels. I based my comic on ‘The Layers’. 

Bringing my own storyboards along definitely helped in terms of mapping out the visuals, but it was hard to choose only six images that would sum up the story. I decided to write the text from my own perspective- telling the story of my own Depression, rather than it being about Andie’s story. Andie in this case is me, and this was about my own reflection.

I was a little reluctant to sharing this at first because of how personal it was, but my Father reassured me that “a comic doesn’t always have to be humorous, it doesn’t have to have a strap-line. It can be personal”. 

 

Woodbarn Workshop is a collective of local artists in the Surrey/Hampshire border who meet up  to try out different art practices and explore different design processes.

Delays

Editing should have commenced last week, but Dominika is still waiting for a space on the server. If we knew it would take this long then we would have requested it much earlier, and complaining isn’t going to make the issue be resolved any faster. Our course intern; Tobi was trying to chase the issue up with the IT technicians as the process is taking much longer than expected… I feel a bit apprehensive about how long this is taking, because ideally we would have already uploaded all the rushes, archived them, and made back-ups. And I’m very aware that our Location Sound Recordist Ahmed requires the cut as soon as possible so he can have plenty of time to fine-tune the audio for the visuals before his deadline (which is earlier than mine I believe).

Moreover earlier this week Ahmed told me that he spoke with his course leader and they both agreed that he can use ready made tracks that Liv has made, rather than having Liv come in for a studio recording. This made me feel a bit calmer, because even though I was looking forward to sitting in on a live recording, I’m quite behind on my dissertation which I’m trying to do as much of now before I start my internship next week, and the cancellation meant I could get some work done.

I’m a bit concerned with a couple of group members because I feel as though now that the filming is over, they are slacking. During the production it was essential that everyone was here and so they did comply, but now I’m under the impression that those group members feel that there’s not a lot of work to be done. I’m especially concerned, as Dominika will be starting the editing soon and because I’ll be overseeing it, we really won’t have time to produce the interactive narrative. I want the other group members to take the initiative, but also I’m starting to think that if you want something done well, you have to do it yourself.

Interactive Video Planning

Today, me Diana and Dominika met up to discuss the planning of our interactive video idea. We came up with a couple of ideas around creating an awareness around High-Functioning Depression. The first idea, which we thought of a couple of months ago would be the player taking part in Andie’s monotonous routine- from her perspective. The player would begin in Andie’s workplace, and then there would be external or internal triggers which would enable the player to direct the story. Eventually the final video which the player would eventually reach to would be Andie hesitating whether to purchase a ticket to Southend. If the player selects the option of going to Southend, then the player would be directed to a trailer of our film. But we’ve still yet to decide what the outcome would be if we decide not to purchase the ticket.

Moreover, the idea I came up with was inspired by a session I had with my counsellor yesterday regarding coping strategies for my anxiety and depression. The counsellor introduced mindfulness to me. We were on the topic of harmful thoughts, and she told me to imagine myself as if I was at a bus stop and I was watching buses go past. Each bus that went passed would be a thought I might have (like how buses have adverts on the side, but instead it would be a thought such as ‘You are worthless’). She said that I can choose to acknowledge the thought by getting on the bus, thus drawing myself into a negative spiral where my thoughts become more vicious…OR I choose to let the thought, or in this case the bus, to go passed. Sometimes there will be thoughts that I have to face, such as ‘I’m overwhelmed by work’, and in which case I could step on the bus, and deal with that thought head-on, but in a constructive way, or again, I could stay at the bus stop and acknowledge that the thoughts I’m having are just that- they’re thoughts, and by waiting at the bus stop I can buy myself some thinking time to calm down.

So, with this in mind, I thought of a simple idea for an interactive video which would be uncomplicated in terms of structure, and is more about the message, than creating an overcomplicated user experience. So the interactive video will be what I just described, and there will be a tendency to keep going back to the bus stop, which shows the monotonous cycle of depression, and the provocation to become more panicked.

Below is the sketched idea which I’m still working on:

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Now That Filming Is Over

All the equipment has been returned, apart from the hard drives which contain all of our raw footage. Dominika will be uploading all the files to the online server at university, and then I will be overseeing the edit with her.

On the 15th and 16th of March, Liv will be coming to university to do studio recording sessions with Ahmed (our location sound recordist). For Ahmed’s MA Audio module, it’s required that he works closely with the song composer.

This Thursday, the rest of the main crew and I will have a meeting to discuss our steps from here. We’ll need to discuss expenses that the crew have paid, as well as how are roles will develop. We will also discuss the possibility of making an interactive video to be released in the run up to the film’s premiere, and also discuss additional funding to support our production.

From next week onwards, Dominika will be putting together the timeline for the visual edit, and once that is done, it’ll be sent back to Liv and her producer for them to fit their music around our edit.

 

Meaning and Purpose

On my own journey of self-discovery, I have recognised that I have a side of me which is rational, and understands that patience is a virtue. Events out of my control will always happen. I can’t control what happens outside of me.

I have a fear of being disliked. Even if I don’t know that person well at all, I am uncomfortably aware of the fact that they don’t like me, and I want to change that. I want everybody to like me because I like to think that I am always trying to do the right thing. Even if I know that right now, I could be working hard on improving myself, or that I should be doing the most urgent task immediately, I also believe that I should do what else feels right at that moment- what feels morally right. So in a work situation, I want to deal with the main problem- the general overall picture. I want to get to focus point. No chit-chat. Straight to the chase.

Sometimes I’m that chit-chat person. I’m bubbly. I’m a magnet to thoughtful discussion. I want to be friends with someone. I want to have a great interaction with someone, or I’m fully immersed in the environment. I focus on the person. I listen to their situation, I want them to be happy.

Even if that thing is bad, even if I have made a mistake, I want to know how I can fix it right now. Even if it’s too late to restore something good before it goes, I want it to become a lesson that I learn from. I don’t want to make the same mistakes again. I don’t want to run away from my problems anymore. I want to face them, head on and move forward.

I suppose Alison is a reflection of what Depression does- it manipulates you into thinking that there is something wrong with you, and you cause things to go wrong. In the office, Andie can anticipate something will go wrong, because she’s used to Alison turning up frequently in her life, which is the onset of her Depression.

I was inspired by this quote: “Understanding the ways in which your depression affects you, physically, emotionally and mentally is the first step to overcoming it and using it to your advantage.” That’s not to say you’ll never be depressed again, but it’ll help you create strategies to overcome a depressive episode when you feel one coming.” – from ‘The Depression Advantage’, by Tom Wootton.

References:

Wootton, T. (2007). The Depression Advantage. 1st ed. Bipolar Advantage Publishing.