Mood Charts for Tracking Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Over the course of his career as a psychiatrist in the Puget Sound area, Dr. Lester Sandman has incorporated a number of approaches into his treatment of individuals with psychiatric disorders. When working with patients with bipolar disorder and other recurrent mood disorders, Lester Sandman, MD, often recommends use of a tool known as a mood chart. Mood charts provide physicians with information that may assist them in developing a treatment plan.

Patients fill out mood charts by documenting their overall mood on a given day, as well as their “highest” and “lowest” moods on that day. As patients fill out their mood charts over time, the charts begin to provide patterns for the physician to interpret. Mood charts are also useful tools for tracking medications’ impact on both overall mood and mood swings. Although mood charts have traditionally been filled out using pen and paper, a number of smartphone apps are available, many of which take only a few seconds per day to complete.

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