Can you tell me about Mood Journals?

Hi everyone!  Went to the doc with my boy child today. Doing better after his last bipolar relapse, but we have another med change. Duh! Anyways, I meant to ask the doc about something I read somewhere about keeping a mood journal. I forgot to ask him so I’m asking all y’all :o)  Do you keep a mood journal? What is in it? How did you set it up? What works for you?  Any suggestions on the subject are greatly appreciated…Peace and hugs to all…Patti

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A mood journal is a way of charting your moods in any which format that suits you best, I keep a mood journal and so does my wife for the days I am unable to make it out of bed because of my depressive state so I would advise that your spouse or a friend keeps one too. I use a journal which you can buy from any good stationers to keep a log of mine, as long as you are consistent with the way you chart your moods (see below) then it will be fine.

I use specific letters to chart my moods (m) – manic (hm) – hypomanic (d) – depressive but you may choose different methods such as a scoring method 1 being depressive and 10 being manic and everything else in-between.

Select the frequency at which you would like to record your moods. If you have long slow cycles, weekly will suffice. If you struggle with rapid cycling bipolar disorder, you will want to do so on a daily basis. Consider setting a specific time at which to record your feelings. This will help you to remember to do so as well as provide some consistency. Rapid cyclers may want to do so more than once a day.

Record your moods daily or weekly. If you miss a day, try to fill it in as soon as possible.

Note anything significant that may have affected your mood. This could include amount of sleep, a cold, an argument, a rainy day … and over time, look for patterns that indicate personal triggers.

Also Periodically review your charts to note any trends or moods swings.

Mood journals are often good to help your psychiatrist with your treatment allowing him her an insight into your day because as we all know it is amazing how much we forget when we go to see them, I do hope this helps.

Kind regards,

One thought on “Can you tell me about Mood Journals?

  1. Thank you, Peter! I bought a journal for my son and shared your suggestions. Right now, it seems to be a daunting task for him so I am gently nudging when I can. I suggested that when he takes his evening meds, to just jot something down, but instead he tells me how he’s doing and I jot it down. Baby steps, but the mood journal is an asset when visiting his doc. I can’t remember everything and neither can my son, especially when he’s in the middle of a wicked cycle.

    Have a blessed and balanced day!! 🙂

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