If you're seeing a therapist or psychiatrist to treat your bipolar disorder, you may have been told that a mood chart is a good idea. Mood charting is a way to track your day-to-day moods so that you and your treatment team can get a better sense of your patterns.
Mood charting could be the best way to help you get treatment. Here's what you need to know about this process.
Mood Charting 101
At its most basic, mood charting is a way to track your moods over time. You'll use a rating scale to rate your moods. For example, you might rate a good day with a "9" and a bad day with a "1." In between, there are days that are "so-so" or "OK."
You'll track other symptoms as well. This could include things like sleep patterns, energy levels, and whether or not you're experiencing any psychotic symptoms. You can also track anything abnormal that's happened in your day that could help you track other patterns.
Why Is Mood Charting a Good Idea?
Mood charting is important because it can help you and your treatment team see patterns in your moods. This is especially important for bipolar disorder because it's a condition that can be difficult to treat.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Unfortunately, these moods can be hard to distinguish from each other. They can also change rapidly, making it hard to figure out what's going on.
How Do Doctors Use Your Mood Chart?
Mood charting can help you and your doctor see when your moods are changing and how quickly. This information can be vital in getting the right treatment.
For example, perhaps you start to feel depressed. You might not be sure if it's just a normal down day or if it's the start of a depressive episode. If you're charting your moods, you can look back and see if the depression is becoming a pattern.
Which Treatment Options Should You Consider?
If you and your doctor can see a pattern in your mood chart, it may be time to consider treatment options. There are several different treatment options for bipolar disorder, and the right one for you will depend on your individual needs.
Some common treatment options include psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. If you think that you might benefit from mood charting and treatment, you can discuss this option with your healthcare or mental healthcare provider.
To learn more about bipolar disorder treatment, contact a provider like F. Matthew Johnson, MD, PLLC.