So you can manage your illness better it is a great idea to monitor your symptoms and moods. This will allow you to better keep track of what is going on with your mental health. A chart will enable you to make informed decisions, prevent further illness episodes and help improve quality of life. Being aware of manic, hypomanic, or depressive episodes means noticing subtle changes in your daily mood. Once this becomes part of your daily routine you will find that it doesn’t take long at all.
You’ll want to keep track of changes in normal mood or if it was elevated some or lower some. And definitely keep track of more dramatic changes. The point though is to catch the subtler changes as it may indicate a mood swing coming on. Try to rate your mood at the same time every day in order to notice the smaller changes. See if you can catch the fluctuations or patterns in your mood by trying it for a week.
Also you can track the circumstances surrounding your recording the moods to see if there are commonalities you may be able to control like meals or bedtime. Bring your mood chart to the doctor’s visit to discuss and make observations about your days and how you may improve some symptoms.
Track symptoms as well as moods. That way you can talk to your doctor or take action if you experience any symptoms for a few days in a row. Record anything that may interfere with your day-to-day activities. Any symptoms that are reflective of hypomania, mania, depression or mixed states should be recorded. These indicators should be discussed with your doctor to prevent any full-blown episodes.
If you go to Pinterest.com and search for ‘mood trackers’ you will find a near endless supply and variety of mood trackers. Below is a sample mood tracker that may be used. The “Copy of mood chart” link will open to a new browser tab where you can print out the chart.
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