Mood vs Emotion

Quick background. So I’ve been in a CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) group for 7 weeks (so far, out of 10). One main thing that we do every week at group, and daily on our own, is what’s called a “mood check-in”. That is, taking a few minutes to identify 3 things we are feeling in that moment, and rate each feeling from 0 (not at all) to 10 (the most you’ve ever felt it in your entire life).

I’m really struggling with this. I don’t think I was so much at first until they started asking us to dig deeper. For the most part, I understand why they want us to do that. I mean, “angry” is definitely a mood, but it’s almost always covering up something else. Acting as a “body guard” so to speak. Such as feelings of jealousy, rejection, violation, resent etc. Then there’s “sad”. I’d call that the mood that disguises feelings of loneliness, disappointment, feeling worthless, ashamed. But those are all FEELINGS, emotions, that are hidden beneath a mood, but it’s a MOOD check-in. It seems so often they’ll tell us that one of the moods we chose is more of a state than a mood. Someone will often say “stressed”. This is a state, yes. Is it a mood? Could it be described as an emotion? I think so. Is stressed a MOOD? Not really no. Stress will most often create a BAD mood. Anxiety. Worry. Maybe apathy for some people. Is apathetic a mood? Or is that an emotion? GAAAAAAHHH!!! My thoughts are getting all knotty and twisty. Anxiety and worry are also states that lead to the bad mood. Bad. Down. Low. I don’t think you can dig a deeper mood. Most, if not all, moods boil down to either GOOD or BAD. Is that right? Am I overthinking this? Haha, a resounding YES.

This is frustrating me to no end. I know I’m not mentally doing so well today. I’m sick with a pretty bad cold or bacterial something I don’t even know. What I DO know is that when I’m sick I can be hyper emotional. I feel like I’m letting people down when I’m sick. I push myself to my limits when it’s my week with the kids because you just have to. I can’t NOT. Someone will ask me to hang out and I just can’t because I have a fever of 102. Today, I had to break plans with someone I was really looking forward to seeing; someone who barely talks to me as it is (though I wish we talked more), and their minimal response sent me into a whirlwind of Borderline thoughts that completely consumed me. I went from simply trying to carry myself out of bed to the washroom this morning, to crying on and off all day because my mind has convinced me that I am completely unlovable and nobody should ever bother with me because I’m a huge waste of time and not worth the effort or all the trouble.

I’m trying to see through wet eyes again just writing that out. My ears ache and the hollows behind my eyes pulse unbearably as it is, the crying makes it worse.

I’ve been trying to find *mood* lists on Pinterest and Google. I’ve had more luck looking for “DBT” mood lists than “CBT” mood lists. I wish I could find my DBT workbook. It had a really good explanation of the breakdown of emotions. But that’s what it was. Emotions. Not moods. And I can see that they are 2 different things. I’m not so sure it makes sense to be self-checking our moods rather than our emotions. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I’m just confused about the whole thing. It feels like this is supposed to be the easy part, the simple part of CBT and I just don’t get it.

I tend to remember to do a mood check-in when my emotions are triggered and are really intense. It never crosses my mind when I’m cruising rather smoothly at my baseline. Anyway, I’ve laid in bed most of today. At first it was because I’m really sick; then it was because I was sick AND intensely depressed. I was crying off and on. My thoughts were running me over and the urges to self-harm popped into my head a few times. Perfect time to stop, go get my CBT workbook and do a mood check-in. This is what I was able to pull out of my brain:

abandoned – 8

worthless – 8

unlovable – 8

I just know that Lesley and Gaye would want me to dig deeper and pull a few moods out of those. SHIT MOOD, OK?? I’m DEPRESSED and in a BAD mood. What else is there? These are the emotions, or maybe my feelings, that I’m experiencing behind this awful mood that I’m in. Sigh.

I’ve written this all down to remember to bring up next Thursday at group. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring it up since I almost never feel anything when it makes sense to.


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