the life of zooey who happens to be Bipolar 2
There are a lot of ways to track bipolar behaviors out there. In The 13 Best Biopolar Disorder iPhone/Android Apps, there are a great many mobile app choices which may suit your habits and lifestyle. None are what I use today.
Tracking moods are very important in understanding medication, biological and sleep factors, anxiety, irritability even periods and their overall affect on your mood. I swear by mine. It most likely saved my life. After several months of trying various antidepressents unsucessfully, a friend’s mother, who struggles with depression, told me about simply tracking my moods. She used it so when she went to see the doctor, she could recall how the month went. Tracking would hellp me explain how the meds made me feel and what else may have affected it.
Not being too fond of the paper copy she gave me (I am not a paper person at all unless it is handcrafted and cool for a journal), I immediately thought about making a spreasheet to use the same way. Being lazy, I Googled “Mood tracker” .
What came up was Mood Tracker. This is an online page where you can track mood twice a day, sleep hours, meds taken or not, period, anxiety, irritability and a place for notes…all for free. There is a higher level to track exact meds, adding your dr. to see your chart directily online, etc., but it is not necessary for a good view of what is going on with moods. The UI is easy to use and edit. It will give you a listing of the data and will chart it by month, quarter, year, etc. It isn’t the ‘coolest app’ out there, but if I can’t get to a computer, I can still log on through my mobile browser.
I started an account under one of my gamer names and begain. I used my journal from the previous month, then tracked my moods another 3 weeks before my next psychiatrist appointment, He was very happy I brought in and had notes for discussion. Through that chart and other factors, my diagnosis for BP2 was made. It has also helped with tweaking meds and talking about other areas or events in my life where I am affected.
If you are bipolar, try an app or the site I use…or another. If you are not fond of tracking online in any way, make a small note in a journal/notebook. It is extremely important to document and discuss what is going on in your life with your doctor. Below are some screenshots of the application I use. I am not saying use THIS one, but I find it useful and private enough with a psuedonym.