depression, Mental Health, Writing

Caroline’s New and Improved 10-Point Mood Scale

The last time I was admitted to the outpatient program of the Local Friendly Mental Ward, I composed a 10-point mood scale to be used daily, to pinpoint where I am emotionally and what I can do each day to help manage my day.

For the last several months, that mood scale has sat on my nightstand doing nothing, untouched.

It occurred to me this morning that this document should be no different than my journal, or this blog, even.  For it to be relevant, the 10-point mood scale has to be a living document.  So, I revised it.  Feel free to modify for your own use!  The revision follows.

Caroline’s 10-Point Mood Scale

0 = Depressed = Suicidal. Hopeless. Tearful. Angry. Sleep all the time. Tense.  High or low appetite.  Lethargic.  Irritable.  Difficulty concentrating.  Call Therapist.  Call Psychiatrist.  Call someone else safe and familiar with situation.  Go to ER….all viable options.  Do something healthy to distract, like knitting, or petting the cat, or watching TV, or finding inspirational sayings.  Journal.  Get through the moment…it will pass.  There is hope!

1 = Depressed = Hopeless. Tearful.  Sleep all the time. Angry.  Tense.  High or low appetite.  Lethargic.  Irritable.  Difficulty concentrating..  Call Psychiatrist.  Call Therapist.  Call someone else safe and familiar with situation.  Journal.  Do yoga.  Do art of choice.  Find inspirational sayings.  Do NOT nap.

2 = Depressed = Difficulty concentrating.  Too focused.  Sleepy.  Lethargic.  Tense. Tearful.  High or low appetite. Irritable.  Journal.  Eat in moderation.  Do artwork of choice.  Call Therapist, Call Psychiatrist.  NO naps.

3 = Depressed = Angry.  Sleepy.  Irritable.  Tense.  Lethargic.  Sad.  Acknowledge and move on.  Draw and write in journal to sort our thoughts.  Do other art of choice.  Let Therapist and Psychiatrist know at next appointments.  NO Naps.

4 = Stable = Lethargic.  Sad.  Do yoga.  Journal.  Recognize you’re stable and be happy about it.

5 = Stable = Positive Mood.  Feel good physically and mentally..  Do yoga. Journal.  Do some housework.  Work on a project.  Yay for a “5” Day!

6 = Stable = Positive Mood.  Moderately creative.  Do some yoga.  Journal. Do art of choice for a short time.  Do some housework.  Work on a project.

7 = Manic = Moderately creative.  Too focused.  Work on a project.  Journal.  Do art of choice for a short time.  Clean house.  Let Therapist and Psychiatrist know at next appointment.

8 = Manic = Difficulty sleeping.  Creative.  Irritable.  Spending too much money.  Low appetite.  Rest with some calm music.  Journal.  Take a bath to relax.  Call Therapist and Psychiatrist.  Hand over credit card.  Don’t buy anything without talking to someone about why.  Eat well in moderation.

9 = Manic = Difficulty sleeping.  Difficulty concentrating.  Creativity in Overdrive.  Irritable.  Spending too much money.  Low appetite.  Listening to music constantly.  Unusual interests.  Do artwork to soothe for short periods of time.  Journal.  Take lots of breaks from any one task.  Do housework but don’t overdo it.  Tell someone safe and familiar with situation.  Call Therapist and Psychiatrist.

10 = Manic = Can’t sleep.  Concentration fleeting.  Creativity in overdrive.  Spending entirely too much money.  Low to no appetite.  Music all-consuming.  Paranoid.  Easily agitated. Abundance of energy.  Doing bold and unusual things.  Call Therapist, Call Psychiatrist, Go for assessment at Local Friendly Mental Ward, Go to ER… all viable options.  To cope while waiting, journal, knit, or get out pastels.

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