Mood Diaries can be a vital tool for Patients and their Physician to monitor the various stages of bipolar disorder and other mental illness. Many mental health organisations provide formatted sheets which you can print out to record the information which can be relevant to monitoring the effectiveness of treatment or you can create your own.
They can be used to track anything from just whether your mood is elevated to depressed, or you can rate a number of different factors to show how you are feeling with more depth, it is a good idea to also track medication dosages on your mood diary and dietary changes of note, how much you consumed in the way of stimulants or depressants such as alcohol and caffeine or energy drinks, as it can all help to paint a much clearer picture of triggers and contributors towards stability or the lack there of, of the disorder.
In the Mood Diary we created we included a rating for:
Between one to 10 with each marked on the scale in a different colour
- Sleep (hours)
- Sleep (Quality)
- Stimulants consumed (caffeine and energy drinks)
- Depressants (alcohol)
- basic description of meals (if any were skipped if there was increased snacking during the day).
- Significant life events (such as planning a wedding, moving house, buying a house, losing your job, or having a baby, both good and bad events)
- Daily Stressors (such as the car breaking down, money being tight, your favourite CD ruined by your darling daughter, or the power going out)
- also include any social events (such as lunch with friends, made it to church this week, Charlie came over for a coffee, I couldn’t get out of bed to get to work today)
Some are Available at these Sites
along with helpful suggestions tips and tricks for keeping a mood diary it is a habit that can be difficult to form
There are also Mood Tracking programs which do the same thing
(I do not guarantee any of these as I have not used them myself)
It is by using the Mood Diary over an extended period you will notice that you are more readily able to visualize your changes in mood, recognise early signs and indicators, notice physical presentations of exacerbation, predict possible exacerbations and more importantly IDENTIFY triggers, within your Diet, Medication, Menstrual cycles, Seasonal cycles, Billing cycles, Holiday Seasons all information which is helpful towards building a Mental Health Action Plan.