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What does bipolar mood chart look like?

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boffin1252

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Hi all. I've been asked to fill in a bipolar mood chart by psychiatrist. Not sure if I have bipolar tho. My chart will go from say 9+ being mania lasting over 7 days then crash to say - 9 being depression. Depression lasts up to 2 weeks. Then the cycle starts again from - 9 (severely depression) to go to +9 for mania.

How do other people with bipolar mood cycle?
 
calypso

calypso

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Its always subjective but worth doing to see a pattern. Usually the depression lasts far longer than that. I would suggest that if you go all the way up to 9 for mania and depression that you need a larger scale. I would argue that the highest score should be being so bad you need hospital. But I guess you are doing it right your way. Sounds good.
 
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Notalwaysever

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Not sure if it helps but they make some kind of “fun” ones you color code and stuff you can find online under mood journals. I was never good at keeping one since depressed usually meant I didn’t care to fill it out but maybe it will help you.
 
A

Art78

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I just started a mood chart again. It's been almost 2 months. I seem to go manic for 5-7 days then crash for 7-8 days. I'm going to go look for some old ones I kept yrs ago. See if things have changed. I guess that's what's nice about keeping them. I like the ones that are colorized. Maybe it's easier to place my mood with a color?
 
B

boffin1252

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That's what I seem to be doing go manic for 5-7 days then completely crash to really bad depression which lasts up to 2 weeks.
 
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markprosso538

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kinda the same 1 - 5 is mania -1 to -5 depression, 0 is calm relaxed but motivated.
 
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markprosso538

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I don't usually have a lot of mania, I had one lasting about 6 days last week, was borderline psychotic, it caught me off guard, because haven't had any episodes in a long time.
 
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markprosso538

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yea 5 for me is psychotic, hallucinations etc.. -5 is strong desire to kill myself. When i hit those numbers I can't be alone
 
G

Gleddy Woody

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Something I noticed: depression gets worse and worse over about 7 days, then on the 7th and worst day my mood switches up. Usually the switch happens very quickly so I'm low at 10am, high at 11am, whatever then I stayed high for a week. Some weeks I was high and low every day that week, other weeks just high or just low, but there was a definite wave pattern and each wave lasted about 7 days. This was a few years ago I'm a bit more stable now. More recently it takes a few days to go high and in the run up I feel antsy, uptight, irritated, agitated, sometimes outright depressed, then the switch happens and I'm high.
 
Zana

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I would be careful about trying to extract too much detail from mood charts. They are intended to represent trends over a long period of time and may not carry relevant details (e.g. something situational that caused a week-long dip/raise in mood). For greater granularity you need to track a lot of variables so apps such as eMoods are much better.

To answer the original post, here's my rough moods from 2019 which is pretty typical for a BP1 individual. In severe mania you'd see it all the way at 10. For BP2 you probably get up to 5 or 6 and would spend longer between -5 and -10. With Cyclothymia you would expect fluctuation between 5 and -5 and for the average person anywhere between 3 and -3.

Also to note is that people experience polarizing swings at different speeds with less severe swings generally occuring faster, however this is not always the case. Some individuals can go from 10 to -10 in a single day. God bless those unfortunate few, it must be so exhausting.

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HLon99

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I used an IOS app called eMoods. It logs levels of depression, mania, anxiety, irritability, sleep levels and medications taken. It also produces monthly charts of how these things change over time. Very easy to use and don't require any special effort to construct complicated excel charts. Its free to use, but for 0.99 a month, it gives you a ton of extra features such as customisable tracking points and charts. Highly recommend, will list link down below.

 
C

CabbageMama

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My MH worker gave me a printed mood chart with descriptions of how you are feeling in columns. It goes from 1 being feeling suicidal, not engaging etc etc. Gets steadily better up to 3, then I think 4-6 is ‘normal’, 6 plus is starting to feel properly good, which means you are going in to the danger zone of 7-10, being too happy/out of control. I had admittedly been at a very low level for a while when she gave it to me, but I questioned whether what I should be aiming for feeling not all that ok, moderately alright, just meh. She said it was absolutely where I should try to be. And while I get it, trying to not have the highs or the lows to mange my condition, I find it so depressing to realise I will never actually be properly happy again. Or at least what I thought that was. Maybe it is like Diet Coke and you just get used to it. It sounds fucking horrible to me, like all other aspects of having to deal with this illness. Have not found a single positive so far, which I am really struggling with. I would deal with the bad stuff better if l had something good to hold on to.
 
Zana

Zana

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I questioned whether what I should be aiming for feeling not all that ok, moderately alright, just meh. She said it was absolutely where I should try to be. And while I get it, trying to not have the highs or the lows to mange my condition, I find it so depressing to realise I will never actually be properly happy again.
When our brains go through trauma it takes time to heal and just the same as a broken bone, it doesn't always heal exactly the same as it was before. It's like a really complex circuit board getting all scrambled up and it takes time to have the desired outcome (happiness in this analogy) again, but the circuits aren't all in the places they were before. So, we can absolutely achieve happiness again but it will take time and we might get there differently. We might not even realise we've been working towards it until we get there, or even afterwards.

Allowing yourself the time for those circuits to fall into their new places (with the help of support networks and pdocs) is fundamental to recovery. If you try and force it, you risk scrambling things up even more. Keep the faith and you'll surprise yourself with how resillient you are!
 
S

StillDepressed

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I'm unipolar, so I'm usually between -5 and 0 with 0 being an amazing day and when I drop into crisis I'm between -10 and -5, I wouldn't even know what 1 is never mind a 10
 
Wishbone

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I've kept charts for years now and they can certainly show a pattern clear enough if kept for long enough. The problem is the subjective nature of them, as calypso said. For example, we will all have different kinds of hypo or manic states. Those like myself, who tend not to have many, if any, 'happy' hypo or manic states, but instead have irritable ones, are presented with a bit of a problem with regards to scoring the mood state. I can tell that I'm sped up, but being irritable with it doesn't leave me feeling like handing out too many high scores. However, my charts do show the peaks and troughs through the year that are clear to see. I kept them through a period of being on antidepressants, which predeceded my diagnosis, and the charts look like the lines had been attached to a bouncy ball and let loose. They were up and down, all over the place, and that's exactly how I was. I kept them through a period of no meds and saw what was my base pattern of moods. And I kept them whilst trying Lithium and whilst on Depakote. The charts do tell the story and that's the whole point, they enable a professional to look at them and SEE your mood and how it behaves. For this reason it's imperative that you're honest when scoring your moods and that anything else going on at the time, or medications that are in your system already, is clear to see, as they can alter the picture substantially.
 
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