Custom Bipolar Mood Scales for the T2 Mood Tracker

As requested, I’m going to provide the details on the custom mood / variables I use in the T2 Mood Tracker. These are just my variables, they certainly don’t have to be yours, but they might be good to glance over.

Custom Moods / Variables I Use to Improve Mood Tracking

As I mentioned, the more difficult a case you are, and boy am I difficult, the more challenging the patterns can be to find. This is why I’ve included these extra variables. Custom moods / variables include:

  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Hypomania
  • Physical

Bipolar Mood Variables – Sleep

I consider sleep to be, by far, the number one predictor of mood. If I don’t sleep, my day is fucked. Pretty much that simple. Even understanding this as I do, tracking sleep is useful to see what other effects sleep has and possibly what effects how I sleep.

Sleep Rating Scales

Due to my sleeping patterns here are my sleep rating scales (rating scale labels are one word only, thus the following):

  • 4hrs – 8hrs
  • RestlessAllNight – SleptStraightThrough
  • 5NightSweats – 0NightSweats
  • Exhausted – Rested

Measuring Bipolar MoodsBipolar Mood Variables – Exercise

I’m not a good one for this, but evidence shows exercise is good for mood. I’ve never, personally, seen it work for me, but clinically it should. I’m tracking it to see any effect it might be having that I haven’t noticed. Like, perhaps on sleep, and then sleep effects mood.

Exercise Rating Scale

  • 0hr – 2hr

Bipolar Mood Variables – Hypomania

Hypomania or mania for those with bipolar disorder type 1, is critical to track. These moods often start out feeling good and we miss their beginnings. Then, before you know it, you’re talking to the wind and driving with your eyes closed. Wouldn’t it be great if a simple, little graph warned you ahead of time? Thought so.

Hypomania Rating Scales

These rating scales are taken directly from the diagnostic criteria for a hypomanic episode.

  • RacingThought – Normal
  • RapidSpeech – Normal
  • HighEnergy – Normal
  • Grandiose – Normal
  • Distractable – Focused
  • Jittery – Calm
  • HighRiskProne – Normal
  • Euphoria – Normal
  • Irritable – EasyGoing

Because I have bipolar disorder type 2, I didn’t include any psychosis symptoms, but if you have bipolar 1, you should.

Bipolar Mood Variables – Physical

I put this variable in as a catch-all for physical pain that typically accompanies depression and medication treatment. It also tracks just general illness because that affects mood too.

Physical Rating Scales

  • MoreThanNormalSideEffects – LessThanNormal
  • PoorHealth – GoodHealth
  • GIProblems – NoProblems
  • BodyPain – None

Update June 2013: More good, free mental health apps are discussed here.

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About Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.

Natasha’s New Book

Find more of Natasha’s work in her new book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. Media inquiries can be emailed here.

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