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The Bipolar Weekly

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Mood Descriptors

Your Mood Descriptors

(0) "WNL" (within normal limits).  This is your baseline.  Your mood is not elevated or depressed, your energy level is normal for you, sleep is normal, and you're able to carry out your daily work and other tasks with little or no difficulty. You have no other obvious symptoms of your mood disorder.

Elevated Mood

(+1) MIldly elevated. You are feeling giddy, cheerful, or energized, or somewhat more irritable or anxious or nervous than usual, but you are not impaired; you have more energy and more ideas, and you feel more self-sonfident but have been able to work effectively and relate normally to others. "I'm more restless/animated/talkative today than usual," "I'm making more phone calls," "I'm getting by with a little less sleep" (for example, one or two hours less than usual), "I'm more easily distracted today, " "I'm snapping at people more," "I'm more frustrated by little things," "I'm somewhat revved up or wired," "My mind is clicking along a little faster," "I'm feeling sexier," "I'm more optimistic," "I'm hypomanic."

(+2) Moderately elevated. "High" or moderately manic; your mood is euphoric or very irritable and anxious, and people have told you that is seems inappropriate; you feel like breaking things; you feel heavily goal-driven and hypersexual and your thoughts are going very fast; you have significant difficulty focusing on your work; you are having run-ins with people (they seem to be moving and talking too slowly); people are complaining that you seem angry or grouchy or are moving way too fast; you yelled at others inappropriately; you are sleeping as little as four hours a night and not feeling tired. "I'm feeling very impatient today," "I think I can get by with a lot less sleep," "I'm very preoccupied with sex," "My mind is working faster than ever," "I have so much to say and I hate being interrupted," "I'm feeling irritated, angry at everything."

(+3) Severly elevated/manic. Euphoric or aggressive; you are laughing constantly or your irritability is out of control; you have had loud, verbal or physical fights with people; you feel like you are exceptionall talented or have special powers (for example, the ability to read people's minds, to change the weather), you are constantly moving about and cannot sit still; you are unable to work or get along with others; you have gotten in trouble in public; have been stopped by the police or have been taken to the hospital; you are sleeping little or none at all.

Depressed Mood

(-1) Mildly depressed. You are feeling slightly slowed down or say; you have trouble keeping certain negative thoughts out of your head; you feel more self-critical, you want to sleep more or you are having slight trouble falling or staying asleep, and you feel somewhat more fatigued than usual; you wonder if life is worth living; things don't seem as interesting as they usually do; you are still able to work effectively and are relating normally to others; even though you may feel less effective; your depression is not obvious to others.

(-2) Moderately depressed. You are feeling very sad, down in the dumps, hopeless, moderately slowed down, or uninterested in things for most of the day; you are sleeping more or having a lot of trouble falling asleep or staying asleep (for example, waking up regularly in the middle of the night); fewer and fewer things are of interest to you; you are ruminating a lot about current or past failings; you are feeling grouchy and irritable; you are significant difficulty getting your work done (missing days at work or school or being less productive); your concentration is impaired; others comment that you seem morose or slowed down of that you're speaking slowly; you have considered suicide and have thought of various methods.

(-3) Severely depressed. You feel deeply sad or numb; you have lost interest in almost everything; you are experiencing severe suicidal feelings, you wish to die or have made an attempt on your life; you feel extremely hopeless; you believe you have sinned terribly and should be punished; you are unable to work, concentrate interact with others, or complete self-care tasks (for example, bathing, washing clothes); you stay in bed most of the day and/or cannot sleep and have severe problems with lack of energy.

Sources:  Sachs (1998); Young et al. (1978); Williams (1998);
Miklowitz (2002)

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