• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Function Meter

So to me, and re the reference sideways made in my diary is cos people kinda always ask signs of when I'm not okay, or how I tell myself. And I am *awful* at that stuff, I'm kinda just going until I'm not. So it's like part of my safety plan, like cos I'll be like "lalalala zoned out, omg everything just hit me" but signs will have come up before.

So it's like on a normal day, what do I do? What's like the basic level of functioning that I can maintain when I feel at least okayish? What are signs that I'm kinda slacking on that.

For me it's legit "am I sleeping?" "Am I eating?" "Did I call in sick to work?" "Are kids okay?" "Have I spoken to friends/met them?" And that sort of thing.

I can kinda keep going for a while with little sleep and nutrition n not really notice (like weeks) n it suddenly catches up. So it's kinda like to catch stuff before I totally crash. Cos usually it's "I'm fine" then "whoops wanna die cos I'm so burnt out"
 
Yep, okay so it's self-created and fine tuned over the years with the help of various Ts.

I get major depressive episodes where this is particularly helpful. For a few reasons:

1) function is a much simpler way of assessing "how am I today" if "how am I feeling" doesn't compute for you when you're becoming unwell

2) it's objective - so, there's no skewed results from hopelessness/helplessness issues, or on the flip side, denial/avoidance issues (like, "nah, I'm totes fine today" when that's just no the case)

3) it results on ticks on a page in front of me. Which is motivating. I can see that I have achieved something. I can also see that if I do that one more simple task? I get a better score than yesterday! Hooray! And that often motivates me where other things don't.

To make your own, think of 10 daily tasks, that range from super simple, to somewhat harder. This is going to be very personal, and may change over time.

Simple tasks for me, when I'm very unwell, include:
1) brushing my teeth twice a day
2) showering
3) eating 3 meals of proper food (doesn't have to be cooked by me)

Harder tasks for me, when I'm very unwell, include:
8) washing the dishes
9) going for a 20 minute walk
10) doing a 30 minute yoga or guided relaxation session.

The remaining 4 - 7 options are in-between that.

These are all daily routine things. Things that will help me return to a daily routine if I achieve them, and therefore stabilise my mood.

Last step:
Write them down the side of a sheet of paper, then rule off lines for each day of the week. Leave it somewhere visible, and (literally) tick the boxes of things you've achieved today, and give yourself a score.

This works for me because, having been at the point where I can't get out of bed? There's absolutely no judgment that I place on myself if I only get a score of 1 or 2 out of 10 for 3 days in a row.

The goal isn't to get 10 out of 10 every day, it is, quite simply, to track my function (or, as your T will probably call it, ADLs = Activities of Daily Living).

For people who are going to use low scores to bash themselves up with (like, "look how useless you are" etc)? This is likely to be a counterproductive tool.

Tracking that daily, I can see how I'm going. I can also take objective data about how I'm going to my T at the end of the week (without having to actually remember any of it, it's written down! Sweet!) and they can decide "You're doing okay, keep it up", or "Shit, this person needs more support right now".
 
Tracking that daily, I can see how I'm going. I can also take objective data about how I'm going to my T at the end of the week (without having to actually remember any of it, it's written down! Sweet!) and they can decide "You're doing okay, keep it up", or "Shit, this person needs more support right now".
Such a great, important, useful tool. Really appreciate being reminded of it :tup:
 
Yep, okay so it's self-created and fine tuned over the years with the help of various Ts.

I get major depressive episodes where this is particularly helpful. For a few reasons:

1) function is a much simpler way of assessing "how am I today" if "how am I feeling" doesn't compute for you when you're becoming unwell

2) it's objective - so, there's no skewed results from hopelessness/helplessness issues, or on the flip side, denial/avoidance issues (like, "nah, I'm totes fine today" when that's just no the case)

3) it results on ticks on a page in front of me. Which is motivating. I can see that I have achieved something. I can also see that if I do that one more simple task? I get a better score than yesterday! Hooray! And that often motivates me where other things don't.

To make your own, think of 10 daily tasks, that range from super simple, to somewhat harder. This is going to be very personal, and may change over time.

Simple tasks for me, when I'm very unwell, include:
1) brushing my teeth twice a day
2) showering
3) eating 3 meals of proper food (doesn't have to be cooked by me)

Harder tasks for me, when I'm very unwell, include:
8) washing the dishes
9) going for a 20 minute walk
10) doing a 30 minute yoga or guided relaxation session.

The remaining 4 - 7 options are in-between that.

These are all daily routine things. Things that will help me return to a daily routine if I achieve them, and therefore stabilise my mood.

Last step:
Write them down the side of a sheet of paper, then rule off lines for each day of the week. Leave it somewhere visible, and (literally) tick the boxes of things you've achieved today, and give yourself a score.

This works for me because, having been at the point where I can't get out of bed? There's absolutely no judgment that I place on myself if I only get a score of 1 or 2 out of 10 for 3 days in a row.

The goal isn't to get 10 out of 10 every day, it is, quite simply, to track my function (or, as your T will probably call it, ADLs = Activities of Daily Living).

For people who are going to use low scores to bash themselves up with (like, "look how useless you are" etc)? This is likely to be a counterproductive tool.

Tracking that daily, I can see how I'm going. I can also take objective data about how I'm going to my T at the end of the week (without having to actually remember any of it, it's written down! Sweet!) and they can decide "You're doing okay, keep it up", or "Shit, this person needs more support right now".

That's like amazingly awesome! Cuz I'm like fine one day and can't move and wanna die the next. Its like "what the f*ck just happened". Im very analytical and analyze everything and so this may work for me!
 
Im very analytical and analyze everything and so this may work for me!
You've been working with the same T for a long time, and I know you guys have a good rapport.

It may be worth having a chat to your T about what kinds of things you'd include as measures. Because you weren't ever taught typical 'ADL's, and you certainly weren't taught to prioritise certain really important ones.

Having a dog also makes a difference. Getting out of bed is no longer on my function meter. It will happen, no matter what, because doggo needs to pee. Personal circumstances like that will change one person's function meter from another:)
 
BTW for anyone interested I've found an app called List: Daily Checklist which seems suitable for this job. You can enter in or edit your 10 items of choice and tick em off each day. Or for example you can set an item to be done several times a day like meals or brushing teeth. Only just installed it so don't know yet how good it is but.
 
Activities of Daily Living.

For people who work in mental health (and more broadly these days) it's an expression that sums up the activities, particularly of self care, that people generally do for themselves each day when they're well:)
Cha. When a I’m doing really badly the only 2 things that happen are go-to-the-bathroom, drink something. Whether I’m asleep or just staring at a wall (or infinity) the rest of the time really doesn’t matter much. I’m flat out useless. For days/weeks/occasionally months. Sooner or later I’ll get hungry enough to take a shower -fall in the river, lay down below the tide line, whatever- & find foodables.

<laughing> Can’t even count the number of times I’ve been called weird for keeping a flat of 2liters & flat of meal replacement shakes on shelves in the bathroom. But there’s durn good reason. Needing to pee is one of the very few things that can get me semi-vertical, for long enough to sort it, and I’m lucky if I can even make it 10 feet to lay down, after. Keeping sugar/nutrients in the loo is the only way I’ll actually get any in me when I’m hard up. Ditto, I learned to pay most of my bills 3-6mo in advance, or just go sleep on the beach, and write off whatever I can’t carry. Because when I get non-functional? I get reeeeeeally nonfunctional. At a fairly alarming rate. If I could feel alarm, at that point, which I really can’t. Planning ahead for those periods is like kicking a pair of chocks on either side of a wheel. I may START to roll away, but they’ll usually stop me rolling too far, by being what I need where I need them. It can -very occasionally- have the opposite effect... by providing my body what it needs for its most basic survival? I can delay the snapping the f*ck out of it, because I’m dying, thing. But, more often, it sees me though a rough patch faster & more capable of climbing out at the end of it.

My T and I -after a couple of years- still have to periodically revisit definitions. I get terrifyingly literal about things -it appears?- most people exaggerate about. And, in a better/worse place, minimize & blow off a lot of stuff that is apparently just a BIT concerning ;) It finally came up after about a year when he made an offhand comment... that showed we reeeeally weren’t on the same page... and I asked him what he THOUGHT I meant when I said XYZ? We spent the next several sessions really just stopping every few sentences to define shit. Then subjective realities complicate things, further. Things like “enough sleep” to one person meaning once or twice a week for long enough they’re not hallucinating, maybe 4 hours in total. Whilst another person is losing their mind at only getting 4 hours a night. The “terrifyingly literal” comment came from him. If I’m exaggerating for effect I use impossible & imaginary numbers. Like... I slept for 5 zillion hours, and it was glorious (Or frustrating, or whatever). But If I say; Sorry I missed our appointment, I slept nearly all of last month? That may well mean I was only away 6 or 7 MINUTES a day. Just long enough to go to the bathroom, pee, and get a drink.
 
Last edited:
Back
Top