When I first started learning about rapid cycling BP, nearly everything I read mentioned mood charting as an effective tool to understand the fluctuations in your mood. Every article I read listed it as a way to help see any patterns in your mood cycling, frequency, and help in constructing a suitable treatment and management plan. Feeling desperate to try anything to help manage this dragon I was now living with, I was eager to give it a shot...but I wasn't so eager or disciplined to stop and journal every time I felt a shift in mood.
Lucky for me (and you!) I'm a techie by nature-gadgets and gizmos a plenty bring out the tech geek in me. (so do who's it and what's it galore-quick name that movie!) So imagine my delight when my fingers gracefully typed in "bipolar mood charting" in the iTunes App store search box and up popped a few apps.
Yep. APPS. For MOOD CHARTING. (just typing that got me excited)
I perused a few, reading reviews & ratings, looking at screenshots and reading descriptions...and then I settled on this one, which I've been using since November....
You might wince at that and decide paper and pen are cheaper, but we're talking easy convenience here my mood shifting friends. Playing around on FB or Twitter and notice you're feeling edgy? Slide a few apps over, and quickly annotate it. Just got off the phone and had a conversation that triggered ya? Pull up your handy dandy app and make note of it!
It's easy to use, which is why I love it. When I notice I'm overly happy or talking as fast as a roadrunner I simply pull up this screen:
Select how I'm feeling and if I need to leave a comment about it...
BOOM.I can. And in less time than it takes me to bust out a status update or 140 characters. Easy peasy folks.The only complaint I have about the comment section is that sometimes it would erase my comment before I was finished writing it, and I'd have to start over. This might be a bug the developer can fix with an update or it might be my clumsy touchscreen strokes. Either way I emailed the company, so we'll see.
Other than that small hiccup I love using this thing because it really does help you see what your cycles look like over a period of time:
The best part? YOU CAN EMAIL your chart to your therapist, psychiatrist, Facebook friend list, whoever, comments included:
See? Isn't that awesome? When I saw my psych two weeks ago, I was able to just whip out my phone and show this to her...and it enabled both of us to see exactly how I've been. No need to fumble for words or memories-it was all there for her to see.
So. There you have it. Mood charting. There's an app for that. If you're not bipolar, maybe just dealing with depression or anxiety, check out this app
And this one for anxiety...
If you don't have an iPhone, iTouch, or another Apple device, definitely check the Android store or Blackberry's market to see what they have.
If you ARE an Apple product collector and could use an app like this, leave a comment. I'll select 2 people to gift this to and I'll even throw in a subscription to either bpMagazine (www.bphope.com)
or Esperanza (Anxiety & Depression) Magazine (www.hopetocope.com)
Why? Not because I was paid to review this app or sing these mags praises. They don't even know I'm doing this. I just believing in paying it forward. ;)
(If I were richer I'd offer to gift these to everyone, but until then, only 2 randomly selected commenters)