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Mood charting


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I'd like to bring up the subject of mood charting.

Do you keep a mood diary?

What do you record?

Has it been useful?

How long does it take you to chart everyday; ie. how much effort is it?

Do your pdoc and therapist ask to see it?

Would you recommend it?

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Hi luna, yes I made a chart specific to me with 1 -10 like what is MY normal vs what the charts all say and then I went down the chart with my moods as they go down like functioning depression, depression, SI thoughts, suicide plans etc... same as going up from normal, hypomanic ^..

This way it makes sense to you and your Dr. Thats how I learned about myself and how I didnt have environmental triggers. It was good to see the graph as well but I had too many 2-3 and 4's which was SI moods.... and that I caould go from 2 to 8 in a day!!! or vice versa....

I found I have 2 moods everday and found that because no matter when I charted in the day, it was confusing me because it was not accurate of the other half of the day. So I charted twice and then I leave a section at the bottom for each day to just give a brief reason for the feelings of the day. So it is like a chart and a diary. That helps because it may make triggers more clearer or like in my case, no triggers just changes in mood and thoughts....

I dont keep it anymore beause I dont like to focus on it. I already answered the mystery of my illness so with wanting to move on I dont keep it anymore. And it was good for my Dr and therapist as well. It helped them both with ensuring an accurate diagnosis and then we adjust to the appearance of anxiety, my drop attacks which are like a paralysing dissociative event with almost stopping breathing and PTSD issues...

hope this helps you???


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Thanks for your reply, Linda :) You are always such a sweetie with replies...

I've kept a mood diary for 16 months now (since my dx). I modified some I found on the 'net. My scale goes from 0 (normal) to +5 for mania and -5 for depression. I've written down some of my indicators of what stage I'm at, so it's easier to pick the number.

At first I was doing it under duress and only because my therapist wanted me to. I felt just like you, Linda, that it made me focus too much on it. And of course it did, at first. But I've been astounded by how useful it has become for me.

Because it's so useful, I try to make an effort not to focus on it, or look back. I have a book next to my bed and just before I go to sleep, I tick the mood number, tick the list of meds I took, tick presence of irritability, crying, anxiety, hours slept the night before and a few notes if something happened. I've got it down to a minute and only think just enough to fill in the grid, then put it away.

Before a therapist or pdoc appt, I type it all into a spreadsheet so I can print out a month on a page. That's a bit of work, but it's only every 2 mths or so. I tape 3 mths or so together. That is when I analyse and fill in in red or blue, any blocks that are 2 and beyond. Then I can really see the cycles.

One really positive spinoff that I hadn't expected is that my pdoc and therapist take me much more seriously when they see an up or down trend and act earlier than they did before. It seems to act as 'proof'. I've said this somewhere else, but we're getting a "protocol' worked out: so many days at 'x' number mood, decrease or increase 'y' med and make sure I implement 'z' self-help strategies and keep routine stricter. Then I can do it by myself and don't have to contact them every time it happens. I've not cycled as extremely since I've done this (well, and we've got closer to the meds that work for me).

(I really ought to fill in 'Exercise, yes or no', but.. but.. well, um, that would make me look bad... :o )

I'm interested to hear what others do and how it works for you. (?) What do you record?

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