Instructions for Journal
Journaling is an essential role to managing bipolar disorder. Bipolar Insights encourages you to use a level system – creating your own personal symptoms, words, level descriptions – to be able to track your mood and become self-aware.
ON THE LEVEL SIDE OF THE JOURNAL
Levels are based on how your mind is reacting to your shift in moods. To determine your levels, you must become self-aware. Across the top, document the largest block of number of hours you slept. This information is vital as little or variation in the amount of sleep is the first indication you are cycling.
Bipolar is when you are cycling up or down. An example is: in the morning, you may feel a center 5 and in the evening a low 5.
Mixed state is when you are experiencing mania and depression at the same time. An example would be when you feel manic on the inside, yet you may look depressed on the outside or vice versa.
Rapid cycle is when you are cycling up and down several times a day.
Schizophrenia is a psychosis. At times lose touch with reality. The world seems like a jumble of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds. This is psychotic episode.
2019 Journal – Level Example (INSERT PIC)
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ON THE CALENDAR SIDE OF THE JOURNAL
When a change or situation occurs, make a notation on the calendar for that day.
. Change in medication
. Argument with spouse
. Attended a party
2017 Journal – Calendar Example (INSERT PIC)
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As you continue documenting the graph, you will begin to see a pattern form.
Completing your journal each month ensures that your psychiatrist is equipped with the information they need to help you achieve balance through your medication regimen. It’s important to take your journal with you when you visit your psychiatrist. It’s always a good idea to make a copy for their records.
All About You
Levels are based on how your mind is reacting to your shift in moods. To determine your levels, you must become self-aware. Each number represents a level. An example of a mind reaction would be racing thoughts; an example to a body reaction may be an energy level that is too high or low.
So, take a moment and ask yourself three questions for each level:
1. What is occurring in my mind?
2. How am I behaving?
3. What are my actions?
When I am a 5: I slept well, I’m focused, I’m able to complete projects.
When I am a 6: My energy increases, I clean my house, I talk faster.
When I am a 4: I’m tired and blue, I don’t feel like doing much, I’m having anxieties.
You are unique, so your description of what you feel will not be the same as everyone else.
Create your own personal level descriptions:
5 High _________________________________________________________________
5 Center _______________________________________________________________
5 Low __________________________________________________________________
Level 9/10. PSYCHOTIC HOSPITAL. Wildly manic and psychotic, can’t stop talking, incoherent, elated, belligerent, not sleeping at all, possibly delusional, paranoid, or hallucinating. Medical emergency. Extreme elation, out of control, hardly sleeps, and completely uncooperative. Hospitalization is necessary.
Level 8. PRELUDE TO PSYCHTIC. High, extreme elation, flight of ideas, agitated, indecisive, hostile, sleeping very little, and rapid speech. Should be admitted or observed very closely.
Level 7. DANGER. Moderate elation, overactive, over talkative, sleeps only 4 to 6 hours a night, could go on spending sprees, travel is an option, becomes unsure of self and could switch from happy to irritable easily. Outpatient treatment is advised in some cases.
Level 6. HYPO-MANIA. Mildly elevated moods, many ideas for projects, creative, funny, feels wonderful, increased sex drive, and increased activity. Remain aware.
Levels High-5, Center-5, Low-5. BALANCE. Mood within a normal range. Even as this would be considered “normal”, a person with bipolar disorder can feel strange. They may wonder why they are no longer unhappy or depressed. They can even feel bored in missing the euphoric highs of mania.
Level 4. WARNING. Mildly depressed mood, a noticeable lack of energy, motivation decreased, restlessness, no feelings of pleasure, feels slowed down, decreased interest in sex. Remain aware.
Level 3. DEPRESSION. Moderate depression, loss of energy, disinterested in others, sleep and appetite disturbed, normal functions become an effort, wants to stay in bed, does not want to go to work, life is not worthwhile, little sexual interest. Outpatient treatment is needed.
Level 1/2. DEPRESSED HOSPITAL. Severe depression, must be reminded to do most daily routines, loss or gain of weight, very withdrawn, extremely agitated, rarely sleeps or sleeps too much, suicidal thoughts. Medical treatment is needed. Extreme depression, actively suicidal, totally withdrawn, delusional, and unable to eat or take medications. Medical emergency.