By learning more about bipolar disorder, you and your family will be able to manage your illness more successfully. If you know how to identify the early warning signs, such as unusually high energy levels, sleeplessness or recurring depression, you can get help faster. You can also help to keep yourself well by understanding how aspects of daily life such as sleep patterns and stressful situations can affect your mood.
The mood chart is a useful tool to help you and your doctor monitor your illness. It allows you to bring together information about your daily mood, events happening in your life, sleep patterns and medications you are taking. You may notice patterns emerging which would otherwise be difficult to detect. When you visit your doctor, it will be very helpful for him or her to see how you have been progressing by reviewing your mood diary.
How to fill-up a bipolar mood chart
There are columns and rows that need to be marked on a bipolar mood chart. You may use a check mark [ / ] or an “x” on the row/column that is applicable.
You will find specific information that needs to be marked accordingly, and these are:
On any given day of a specific month, mania episodes can occur. You need to take note of these dates and mark them on your bipolar mood chart to help your doctor asses the mood pattern/s you are exhibiting; that way, a proper treatment plan and other forms of medication can be given to you.
Mania episodes can be subdivided according to the level of severity:
Severe mania – is best described as the level of mania episode that may require hospitalization or the patient is unable to function properly and normally
Moderate mania – is best described as the level of mania episode that may allow the patient to function but with limits.
Mild mania – is best described as the level of mania episode that may allow the patient to do regular daily routine/s with ease.
The stable phase or sometimes known as the “normal” episode should also be included. Mark the dates that you experienced “stable” episodes.
Depression can occur anytime. After a week or two of mania episodes, your mood may switch into depression episodes. Mark the dates that you experienced depression.
Depression episodes are subdivided into several levels:
Mild depression – is characterized as being able to do usual daily routines with out too much difficulty.
Moderate depression – is characterized as being able to function but with some difficulty or with needed effort.
Severe depression – is characterized as being unable to function totally or needing hospitalization.
Mark the dates if you experience anxiety episodes. Sometimes anxiety and depression or mania can occur altogether in a day.
Mark the dates if you experience irritability.
You need to mark the dates whenever you are taking your medicines. Mark the dates whenever you are taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
Mark the appropriate date if you experience some side-effects after taking your medication.
Instead of marking, indicate the number of hours you slept on a specific date.
Weight can be recorded once a week and you may use pounds [lbs] or kilograms [kg].
A bipolar mood chart may also include a log or a notes section where you can write all significant experiences you’ve had during a specific date. Always specify the date and briefly describe your experience.
The log may also be the complete interpretation of your mood chart.
Here is a list of websites that offer a free mood chart.
There is also websites where you can track your moods also. You can find the list of sites offering this also below.
Downloadable mood charts
Online Mood Charts