Friday, April 16, 2010

Calling All Mood Charts

A comment on yesterday's post inspired this quicky.  Based on a my narrow experience, I have a rigidly held opinion on the topic of mood charts.  Well, like a lot of things.

But I have a readership that might have a broader experience.  And while I am not above blathering away on my own opinions, I do have the wit to listen and learn from others, even to ask.  So...

What are YOUR experiences with mood charts?  (Mental health professionals can answer based on your clients' experiences, if you are sure they aren't bullshitting you.)

What kind of charts have you used?  Are you still using one?  Why or why not?

What have you learned by using a mood chart?  Or not?

Make liberal use of the comment section below.  When I get to that post, maybe I will have a slightly larger experience base from which to draw!

Thanks --

7 comments:

  1. Lets just say that if I could stick to keeping a mood chart for more than three days, I likely be the kind of person who didn't need one. I'm sure that it would be useful, but with bi-polar plus pretty serious ADHD, it's just not going to happen.

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  2. As a bipolar person I have trouble sticking to mood charts too. But having attempted and failed, I am aware of the stuff on the charts and find myself subconsciously charting myself from time to time. Just being exposed to mood charts and trying it now and then can be a useful tool in recognizing if there is any pattern in mood swings. So, yes, it has been helpful, but no I don't use them. If they were to be more useful however, I think it best if each person makes their own chart, then it would be most useful to them, because it would include the things that are significant and personal to them. Even making an 'after the fact' chart would be a good learning tool, analyzing a pattern after you record all of your activities for any given time. I find journaling a better way to observe my own behaviour.

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  3. I am really appreciating these comments. Thanks so much to Fern and Wendy. Let's keep this up.

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  4. Being the one who posted the link, am I allowed to comment further?
    I can say that my experience was with mood charting for depression, not bipolar, and for me it was good to be rating my moods on a daily basis so I could see when I'd hit a period of really, really low even if I couldn't remember it--and also look at when the better days corresponded with all sorts of positive coping methods and realize that they were helping me. Maybe I'm one of the few who does benefit from them. But also, the program I used has a fair amount of room for personalizing your own triggers/coping methods/etc.

    Also, in regards to Fern's comment about ADHD, I know for me with my depression there was the loss of motivation and I'd have never sat down of my own volition to chart every day. But my brother managed to set up my computer so that every day at the same time the program opened automatically, as if to say, "HEY! Don't forget!" When I was feeling really low sometimes I just didn't bother, but at least having the reminder was good.

    I also do a lot of journaling, but I feel like, for me, that helps more to get my thoughts and emotions sorted in a more abstract way, whereas the charts give me a better construct of how the actual symptoms & stuff are affecting me.

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  5. Hey, Willa. I'm way too disorganized to do a mood chart. But on an intellectual level, I recommend them for everyone else. What we need is a wristband that monitors various vitals that we can download and then play spot the pattern.

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  6. I`m using Moodifi on my iPhone. Have been using it a month now and think it is helpful. It is easy to use, it have detailed questions who captures the whole day and I can instantly see my graph. When I do, I can adjust my behavior, habits and so on to stay stable.

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  7. I am learning a lot about barriers and strategies in this discussion.

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