Yes, I am concerned.
And I am always worried when would be my next relapse, it is like there is no tomorrow, as at anytime I could be down in my dumps or high on Cloud 10 (yes, not cloud 9). Both ends are unwelcoming, they disrupt my work, sour my relationships, demoralize my spirit. Often, relapses challenges my resilience to get better.
It took me a very long while to begin charting my mood. I am reluctant to write and record my mood status on a daily basis. It is simply too troublesome to make out whether I am in the mood brought about by a full throttle of energy and a act on impulsiveness, with racing thoughts, delusions that all things are possible. Or I am in the deep trench of low mood, when holding a pen to record how depressed I am is as challenging as climbing the Mount Everest.
But mood tracking is essential for recovery. With my mood data on records, it provides a realistic overview of how my mood journey is in the weeks and months, how in a period of six months, the mood fluctuates. Which part of the year my low mood surfaced or could the season festive periods say around December to February, bring me to the hypomania level. Sometimes, the tangible graph line depicting my highs and lows, provides
assurance that my mood is manageable. It is like ‘Hey, you came out of your lows pretty quickly’ or ‘not bad, this time you have kept your elevated mood in check’. Mood charts and records are my managing tools and they are vital to my mental wellness.
On shorter time frames, mood charts provide information to assess my day-to-day mood status. Am I heading downhill or in the midst of being hypo-manic now, what interventions can I garnered to counter my bipolar condition? Knowing my current mood level, I am able to find out with a set of criterion whether a relapse has presented itself.
So am I hypomanic now? I will ask myself a set of questions should I feel my mood is on the down or up side.
The Questions I ask when depressed
- Am I depressed for most of the day, nearly everyday?
- Are you feeling no pleasure for most of the activities most of the day, nearly everyday?
- Am I eating more or less than usual?
- Am I having insomnia or sleeping excessively?
- Am I feeling fatigue or loss of energy nearly everyday?
- Do I have recurrent thoughts of death and suicide?
And Questions I Ask When Hypomanic
- Do I sleep less hours than usual?
- Am I more talkative than usual?
- Do I feel energized and not feel tiredness?
- Do I experience irritable mood?
- Do I have inflated self-esteem or feelings of grandiosity?
Keeping check of my responses, I can make good guesses that my mood is in an upward, downward trend or in the normal range. In a case when I observed I was leaning more on the hypomania mood range, my responses could be sleeping on average three to four hours daily, very chatty, easily irritable, and no sense of tiredness. Out of 5 questions, I had 4 positive response, indicating a moderate level of elevated mood (on a scale of none, mild, moderate, and severe). Moderate level means orange signal (the 3-color system) implied that I had to make sure not to overstretch my pace of living on the day-to-day basis.
- green, mood in normal range, daily functionality able and acceptable
- orange, mood in hypomania or mild depression range, daily functionality not impaired, and less acceptable
- red, mood in very high elevated or severe depression range, daily functionality disabled.
In another words, the answer to my question of whether I have been in the hypomanic range is yes, a positive indication to take note and exercise caution for my Bipolar disorder management. This illness management recovery system is my intervention tool to counter my illness, an essential and vital strategy to actualize and re-position my action plan for a sane way of living with Bipolar Disorder condition.
Therefore, what is Action plans, and what is its relationship to awareness and understanding. With this question, I will conclude my concern and worries about “Am I hypomanic?”. And to sincerely invite you to find out more about my next topic on Awareness and Understanding.