How Keeping a Mood Chart Saved My Life

When I started seeing my Psychopharmacologist almost 16 years ago he intimidated me. He’s not a chipper guy and it took years to see through his shell. I was in a very dark place and spiraling down. I didn’t think he understood how depressed I was. Psychiatrist are different from therapist in how they schedule their time unless your Psych is also your therapist. He only provides medication management, 20 minutes at most. So we had a couple of frustrating meetings. I didn’t know how to reach him, I didn’t know doctor talk. He is one of the best in Texas and finding a Psychopharmacologist is difficult, I wasn’t walking away. During another frustrating meeting he left the room to talk to a therapist he worked with. He did me the biggest favor and no doubt saved my life. I sat down with the therapist expressing my frustration getting thru to him. They had worked together for 13 years, she provided some insight to his personality and how best to communicate with him. She drew a chart and we talked about how depressed I was. She repeated back to make sure she was on track and then gave me the chart. At that time I was rapid cycling, adjusting to meds and didn’t think I was improving. The Mood Chart brought our communication on the same page. I liked the log because it gave me an opportunity to show how I was cycling or any other significant change. I took out a journal and started keep a daily log of the chart and any info about my state of mind. It gave me an opportunity to see exactly what was happening at any give time or day, look for trends, triggers, side effect notes. I wanted to share the chart for those struggling with their mental illness and/or expressing it to the doctor. Once we were on the same page, he was able to give me the help I needed. It’s interesting to go back year after year and look for cycles or triggers. I would suggest a larger sheet of paper to give room for notes. If you have questions let me know. I’m including the definition of Psychopharmacologist. I suffered with my Bipolar Disorder for years until I found the right type of doctor.

Psychopharmacology:  is the scientific study of the effects drugs have on mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior.The field of psychopharmacology studies a wide range of substances with various types of psychoactive properties, focusing primarily on the chemical interactions with the brain.Psychoactive drugs interact with particular target sites or receptors found in the nervous system to induce widespread changes in physiological or psychological functions. The specific interaction between drugs and their receptors is referred to as “drug action”, and the widespread changes in physiological or psychological function is referred to as “drug effect”. These drugs may originate from natural sources such as plants and animals, or from artificial sources such as chemical synthesis in the laboratory.


Depression Mood Chart
Depression Mood Chart


  1. A really useful strategy for getting a handle on our emotions. I often wonder why some days feel better than others – often I can point to the triggers, but sometimes the everyday clouds this – so I can see how a log would help. Thank you for sharing.


    1. I’ve talked to so many people who are just floating, not taking their illness serious. When it’s in writing it hits you in the face and you can see clear triggers or cycles. Now it’s time to contact more winner with the code for badges. That is actually the hardest part of awards. I’m not complaining, I’ll take them. Take care. 🙂


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