A Bipolar Mood Chart is a very useful tool that can help both you and your psychiatrist to monitor your bipolar disorder.  For example, it is one way of identifying triggers and of recognizing patterns in your disorder.  In some cases, your doctor may provide this chart and ask you to keep track of your moods.  However, even if your doctor doesn't ask, it is still a good idea to maintain your own chart and even to share it with your support network when you need to.

The Bipolar Mood Chart allows you to keep important information together in one place—information such as: your daily mood, sleep patterns, weight, medications you’re taking, events as they happen in your life, any physical changes you notice, etc.  You can also note patterns as they emerge, which might otherwise go unnoticed.  The important thing is that you can note these things as they happen. 

By keeping a Bipolar Mood Chart, you will have an actual representation of your emotional state as well as physical changes that you can show your psychiatrist or doctor when you see them.  Since your office visits are so far apart, it’s easy to forget information you want to tell them, and a Bipolar Mood Chart is something you can show them—it would be very helpful for them to actually see how you’re doing by being able to look at your Bipolar Mood Chart.  If you see your psychiatrist or doctor monthly (or every other month), for example, they will be able to mark your progress on a month-to-month (or bi-monthly) basis by comparing your Bipolar Mood Charts.

After you keep a Bipolar Mood Chart for a few months, you may even be able to use it to “predict” the future—you may note similarities from month-to-month, or patterns on your Bipolar Mood Chart that appear on each chart.  In addition, the longer you keep your Bipolar Mood Chart, the quicker and easier it will be to keep it on a day-to-day basis, as many of the entries will be the same—tracking your medications, for example.

One of the greatest benefits to keeping a Bipolar Mood Chart on a daily basis is the possibility of avoiding a bipolar episode before it happens.  You can note changes in mood, or see the pattern of a mood swing, which can alert you to the symptoms of a bipolar episode before it becomes “full blown,” or out of control.  Then you can contact your psychiatrist and let them know, getting the help you need.

To keep a Bipolar Mood Chart on a daily basis should only take you five to ten minutes a day. 

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