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Mood charts, mood rating scale


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I can highly recommend keeping a mood chart - it's a very valuable tool to help manage bipolar. I had a look at quite a few online mood charts and took what I liked from them to make the one I use. Some examples:

Healthy Place


Lamictal website


Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic and Research Program.

Black Dog Institute

As you can see, you have a grid. At the top of each column goes the day of the month. At the beginning of each row, I have these headings:

Mania +5 Very severe

+4 Severe

+3 High moderate

+2 Low Mod

+1 Mild

0 normal

Depression:-1 Mild

-2 Low Mod

-3 High Mod

-4 Severe

-5 Very severe

(I put a tick next to each mood state that applies, so I can sometimes have several ticks, especially when mixed.)

Sleep (hours, night before)

(I rate the next four things from 1 to 3, depending on intensity)





Period? (Mark with P) (Oh, perhaps I should say "for women". :D )

List of all meds I'm on, their dosages and how many I take each day (eg Seroquel 100mg, 1 tab/day). Then in each column I note how many I actually took.

Weight (I weigh once every 1-2 weeks)

Comments field, anything notable goes here.

I have a book next to my bed, to fill in the blanks every night just before I sleep. Once a month or so, I type it all into a spreadsheet where I have a month per page, so it is clear and easy for the pdoc to look at. That's a bit of work, but it also gives me a chance to review it - it's often only at this point that I notice trends, since I don't look back much, just scribble the day in at the end of the day, and put the book away so as not to over-focus on it. It takes 30 secs - 5 mins, depending on how much comment I have.

More tomorrow. :)

Edited by Luna-
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(I got this from a website that I cannot find again. Some of the descriptors are my own, that I have noticed along the way.


(If you have distinct mood changes each day, mark all that apply.)


(Dysphoric: Angry, irritated, driven, unpleasant, but not slowed down or tired. Paranoid. Can be afraid.)

+5 Very Severe – Cannot slow down, pace up and down rapidly, mutter to myself. Scare the cats, scare the girls, they would phone the doctor. Can’t remember things I have done. Panicky. Paranoid. I seem to be outside myself thinking “she is crazy, I must get help for her”. I seem extremely strange even to myself. I know something is very wrong, but can’t control it or work out what it is. Can’t keep up with thoughts. Feel frantic, hectic. Need to get medical attention.

+4 Severe – Memory very impaired. Highly distractible, no concentration. Can’t stick with goals or complete tasks. Nutsy ideas, grand initiatives and schemes and plans. Reckless by my usual standards. Likely to become dysphoric if opposed (people are idiots, I am faster and better than them, fight with girls, argue with people). Have to put an internal brake on schemes/ actions to avoid being stopped by others, or my ‘high’ being detected. Spend money gleefully and very impulsively. Everything is equally foregrounded, I can’t prioritise. Pressure to talk most of the time, I keep a running commentary and talk out loud with myself. Have to drug myself to sleep or I get higher. Very clipped speech, so I can get to say it all. Trip over my own words, often condense words into combinations. Make up lots of new words. I realize I must hand over my access to money. Forget to eat. Stacks of energy – very busy, but get nothing done. Racing thoughts.

+3 High moderate – I admit some of my actions might be seen as strange to others, but they make sense to me. Attention span very short, very distractible. Creativity heightened, art very bright but rarely get very far. Often irritable, feel rebellious about control, want to be reckless. Talk a lot, talk fast, rhyme and pun a lot, spoonerise everything, make up innovative words. Not very interested in anyone else, only in ideas. Start lots of new projects, but only get partway through. Laugh out loud at almost anything. Buy stuff I don’t need, and would usually think extravagant, but that I am very happy with. Should hand over access to money, but feel rebellious about that, don’t want to be controlled. Many things seem like great ideas. I trip over my own thoughts. My girls comment that I ‘really high’, friends notice I am ‘different’. Sleep short hours, still have energy. Forget to eat.

+2 Low moderate – High energy. My girls say I am fun to be with, friends notice I am ‘different’. Some would say my actions are eccentric or odd; they’re wrong, of course. Attention span decreased. Have lots of ideas, but effort needed to focus on completing tasks, less productive. Disorganised. I find many things hilarious. Emotionally touched by many beautiful things. Feel in synch with the universe and that is as it should be. Colours are bright. Talk a lot. Sociable, uninhibited, say over-familiar things to people, tell inappropriate jokes. Huggy.

+1 Mild – Great mood. Need less sleep than usual. Energetic, busier than normal, more productive. Lots of ideas flow naturally. Want to clean up and organize. Mind sharp, I remember jokes, have the right words at the right time. Enthusiastic. Like to be with people. Chatty. I seem witty and funny to myself. Friendly, huggy and outgoing. Concern about taking care or others, cheering them up. ‘Happy hypo’. Art is positive. People say I’m in a ‘good mood’.

0 Normal - (whatever that means!)


-1 Mild – Low mood but can function normally. Don’t get quite as much done. Unenthusiastic. Decreased energy. Feel sad/glum.

-2 Low moderate – Extra effort needed in usual roles. Feel sad. Colours muted. Get tired, physically slowed down. Still manage to get to work. Weepy. Lack of interest in things. Feel guilty. Not much energy. Withdraw socially. Generally comfort eat. Unable to enjoy things.

-3 High moderate – It takes a lot of extra effort to carry our normal roles and routines. Miss the odd day from work. No interest in pleasurable things. Physically slow. Weepy, feel desperate, feel I need external support, write desperate emails to get support. Anxious. Very guilty. Aware I need help, still at point where I will seek it. Isolate at home, don’t want to go out for anything, shopping a chore. Art is dark and sombre. Either comfort eat or not interested in food.

-4 Severe – Nothing interests me anymore. Couldn’t care less about anything but still often weepy. World is grey. Beauty is mocking. Aware I need help but too depressed to seek it. Little things knock me back enormously. If no help, I slide further downhill. Can’t explain how I feel to people anymore. Mostly recluse, only do absolute essential. Very anxious. Shopping is a mountain to me. Miss quite a lot of days at work. Feel like I am hanging on by a thread. Poor self-care. Don’t eat much. Very anxious. Feel terribly guilty, worthless.

-5 Very Severe – Largely unable to function. Don’t even cry anymore – what’s the point? Incapacitated, lie in bed all day or climb into bed whenever I can. Sleep is my only escape but have bad insomnia bad. Feel frozen, numb. No self care. Poor fluid intake. Hardly get dressed or wear same shabby clothes night and day. Hardly talk. Find refuge in suicidal thinking and planning, wish I could carry it out. Believe I am beyond help, so don’t seek it. Believe I am waste of space. Miss most days of work. Hardly eat; no appetite. Everything is black and morbid. Can’t think or remember. Need to get medical attention.


Obviously this is a guideline and you fit in your own things that you know and recognise. :) Hope this is of some help.

Edited by Luna-
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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow ~ unbelievable Luna,

My Step-son scared the daylights out of me with his behavior this last weekend. I so easily could have been planning 3 funerals and some other family could have been doing the same for their loved ones because of him. His Mother is doing all she can to get here within the next few days and will stay with him for a short while. I have been reading everything I can and it seems he shows signs of both depression and (hypo)mania. I have asked his Mom to start collecting data for me in regards to his behavior, moods, sleeping patterns ~ everything. I was just sitting down at my computer to make a chart of some type because she said she needs it all mapped out for her in regards to what to pay attention to. As typical ~ because it was something I was overwhelmed with doing ~ I distracted from it (just for a second “a quick peek” I told myself) and I went on this site.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! You have no idea how much these chart options will help me. I also find your example descriptions helpful because I have noticed some very specific behaviors to him that indicate he has shifted into a different state. I think it will help her if I write those out so she can recognize the signs. It is just so bizarre to find this right here at the exact moment I needed it.

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  • 1 month later...

You are most welcome. :)

Knowing something I typed helped someone makes me feel very good. :)

I found more descriptors of mania and just had to laugh at these, they are SO like how I feel when manic. :(:D

  • Feel more confident and capable
  • See things in a new and exciting light
  • Feel very creative with lots of ideas and plans
  • Become over-involved in new plans and projects
  • Become totally confident that everything you do will succeed
  • Feel that things are very vivid and crystal clear
  • Spend, or wish to spend, significant amounts of money
  • Find that your thoughts race
  • Notice lots of coincidences occurring
  • Note that your senses are heightened and your emotions intensified
  • Work harder, being much more motivated
  • Feel one with the world and nature
  • Believe that things possess a 'special meaning'
  • Say quite outrageous things
  • Feel 'high as a kite', elated, ecstatic and 'the best ever'
  • Feel irritated
  • Feel quite carefree, not worried about anything
  • Have much increased interest in sex (whether thoughts and/or actions)
  • Feel very impatient with people
  • Laugh more and find lots of things humorous
  • Read special significance into things
  • Talk over people
  • Have quite mystical experiences
  • Do fairly outrageous things
  • Sleep less and not feel tired
  • Sing
  • Feel angry

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Everyone:

I use www.facingus.org and there is an online jrnl you can keep private. There is also an Wellness Tracker, Wellness Plan, and Wellness books with tips from others.

This sight is run by DBSA (Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance. The wellness plan is on the same lines as the "WRAP" created by Mary Ellen Copeland, to monitor with your depression. WRAP is Wellness Recovery Action Plan, which is a plan to montior if you are going in a depression etc....

When you login privately, there is a record when you have logged in and answered the questions. This works for me and I hope it will work for someone else. Thank you i hope everyone has a great week......Windsybarbie

Thanks so much for everyone being here, this is a great community....

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  • 3 months later...

In the past I was diagnossed bipolar. then again that diagnoses has been revoked by a second opinion and I was diagnosed with Aspergers, which I definately have. Also got ADHD supposedly.

IDK but I definately have bipolar tendencies, and this reading those descriptions I saw alot of things I recognize when I was like that in the manic parts. Not so much the deppresive ones. Typically when i rapid cycle of emotions hit I go from extreme mania to extreme deppresion, but can cancel that out or balance it with intentional triggers. And I usually even out in hypomania in school or a public setting im comforable in, but over all I even out on hypo-mania alot or whatever.

Sounds like if I made one of these charts it might help determine if it's possible that I got bipolar.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 5 months later...

I know this an old post, but new to me :) Thanks for posting the mood rating scale. I rate my moods but sometimes find it hard to pick a number, the descriptions are helpful in determining exactly where I am and gives much more clarity. Is there any true 0, baseline, normal or what ever you want to call it, because I seem to never be there, its either up or down just depends on how severe.

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