The Depression scale is a method developed a few decades ago by a personal friend of mine with a PhD. When you are severely depressed talking about being severely depressed can actually make you even more depressed. When you are extremely UP. talking about being extremely happy/excited can 'ramp' you up even higher in your excitement, happiness.
So he developed this system to be able to know where I stand at any given time so he could gear his interactions with me accordingly.
I'm sharing this here for anyone who has a severe case of bi-polar disorder or who knows someone who does - who's going through much more than usual. You can print out the following and share it with your therapist, doctor, case manager, perhaps your closest friend.
I used this depression scale for a few years 2 decade ago and it was a life savor after my mental break down to start using it again.
So here's how it works I'm explaining this how I explain it for ME, change the wording according to how it best fits you:
There's 1 through 10
1 means I am at rock bottom
10 being very UP, happy, excited
Now 1 thru 10 are normal for me, I can go from a 2 to a 8... then to a 1... then to a 8.
You really don't need to concern yourself with these, I'll just be sharing these with you for a while so you can start to understand the scale better.
Next we have 0 and 11
0 = a range from beyond unbearably depressed to desperately not wanting to have to live... there is no limit to how low 0 goes.
11 = euphoric, as UP as I can possibly get... feeling so happy or excited it's almost unbearable.
and finally there is A and C
A stands for higher than my normal anxiety level...
C stands for calm...if I'm at a 0 and calm, it means I am in denial, or not facing reality, or numb
it's the C that is the thing you should concern yourself with...if I am at a 0 C that means I could plummet very far when reality sinks in or I stop being in denial.
When I go from a 0 C to a 11 A within hours and especially within minutes - it is extremely difficult to deal with, you feel like you've been sprinting at full on speed for an hour straight with each extreme up and down.
So the best way to handle this is when I say "0 C" be careful not to break any news, or say something that's likely to bring me very UP suddenly. Just take it easy and talk about insignicant things as I ease up to a 1..2...3.
That's what you can give them to read after you tweak it a bit to fit your needs, this is for when you are going through something very extreme - like a mental breakdown, or the loss of a family member or something else that's caused your life to spiral out of control.
After they read your version of the above, as you talk to that person say "just went down to a "2 C" - then as you are talking "at a 10 now"... do this for a few conversations with each person till the start to recognize by the tone of your voice, or you tearing up etc when you are moving down into the 1...2.. C range.
Once they've gotten the hang of this after a few convo's you'll just need to mention when you are at a 0 C or a 11.