Tag Archives: Bipolar medication


This is my contribution to the

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this week!

To join in, visit the Postcards from the Effinghamptons!

Thanks,  Jill 🙂


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Why mood charting?

One of the tools we,  BD’s,  can use is keeping a journal of our moods.

I have an  ‘official’  Life Chart Method Journal.  It contains two times 2 pages for each month,  divided in days.

The first set chronicles which  meds you are taking,  including the dosage, on a daily basis.  The other side deals with how many hours you slept each night,  chronicles your weight and in graph style shows your mood.  There is a special line,  separate from the chart,  where you indicate a mixed mood.

The second set of two pages is for recording the main things that happened that day,  you can give it a number saying how much an event influenced you for better or worse.  You can also chart the times your mood changed during the day.  Finally you are supposed to give a percentage from zero being totally depressed to 100 being absolutely manic for each day.

When I first came back to the Netherlands I charted pretty consistently over a period of 4 months.  After that it got sketchy and then I stopped.  I am trying to pick it up again.


Why mood charting?

  • It’s easier to see how a change in dosage/meds influences you, and how a med is affecting you
  • It shows clearly what meds do to your weight
  • It’s easier to see what happens with your sleeping pattern and how that reflects back on your moods
  • You get an eye for the influence of certain events in your daily life
  • It chronicles all the different meds and dosages you have been taking and after a certain amount of time it will show you how well (or not) you are doing with certain meds.

Of course,  in order for mood charting to be helpful,  one has to do it consistently.  Something that is not easy to do – at least for me!

The hardest part for me is to fill out the graph.  I find it real hard to figure out where I am on the pendulum of high and low.  When I am pretty depressed (nice combination of words 🙂 ),  or clearly hypomanic,  it’s easy enough.  But all those times in between…  I struggle where to put myself.

The space to relate life’s daily events is not enough – I have developed my own short hand I think!  How those events influence me is not too difficult to indicate (+4/-4).  But often there are uppers and downers during the day – so to record the overall state of my daily mood still remains a challenge.  Also,  indicating the percentage is an issue for me.

Overall I would say it’s been helpful to me to gain more insight in my BD.  I have started again because I am considering a med change together with my p-doc.  It’s good to have a sort of ‘base-line’ if you will,  even though it’s a line that goes up and down a lot!

Have you experience with keeping a mood chart?  How was it helpful to you?

Here is a list by Jim Phelps, M.D. of online mood charts.

Other interesting posts:

What is Bipolar Disorder?


Medical treatment

Peeps that are important

Mood charting revisited

How to help people with a mental illness


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10 things about my Bipolar Disorder you didn’t know

1)     I am not sick!  Nor am I any more crazy than you!  (Are you sure? Hmm, actually, yeah.)  My brain might function differently than yours,  but other than that,  I am just… me.

2)     I can be sick, and/or indisposed,  at times,  when for one reason or another it is too hard for me to handle my mood swings or I end up in a particular nasty or difficult mood.

3)     Bipolar Disorder does not define who I am.  There is a whole lot more to me than swinging along on my mood-swing.

4)     There is so much to learn from all my moods,  as I experience a whole range of emotions that ‘normal’ people do not.  Yes, it’s definitely a tough road to deal with it on a consistent basis,  but hey,  is your life so easy-peasy?

5)     I don’t need to be ‘cured’ – I was born this way and I have not known anything different.  I might not recognize myself anymore…  Now, that is a scary thought!

6)     Even though I hate my meds and I’d like to chuck ’em out of the window from time-to-time,  I am med-compliant.   The consequences of doing so keep me from doing it.  No visit to the p-ward for me,  if I can help it,  thank you very much!

7)     Having regular consults with a psychiatrist doesn’t mean I am crazy.  The stigma it carries unfortunately doesn’t stick to me.  I like my guy!

8)     Because I have ‘talk-therapy’,  it has helped me deal with a lot of ugly stuff in my past,  I’m getting to know my real self and I am learning an awful lot in the process.  I just love my counselor!  (And no,  you can’t have his number,  I have sharing-issues 🙂 )

9)     It’s really neat what I can accomplish when I am hypo manic!  Of course,  I need to keep it in check and thankfully I have some peeps helping me with that.  And some meds  (which I truly hate!)  to bring me down when necessary.

10) It’s okay to be me.  Well,  sorta.  Am on my way to self-acceptance.  Which includes ALL of me,  not just my ‘Bipolar-side’.

Disclaimer: Please,  note that this list reflects only me,  my view on & my experience with my Bipolar (Disorder) traits.
Also,  I have had 5 terrible,  difficult,  excruciating years behind me that brought me to this place with the help of some very important peeps.   This is how I see it right now,  which is subject to change 🙂


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