Mood charting has been around for several years now and is available in several hard copy versions along with internet and smart phone applications. The general premise of a mood chart is to track those events and actions that can be predictors of ones mood and which may influence it, that is to say become more elevated or depressed. If ones mood was associated with just a few sets of variables the therapists work would be straight forward and pretty simple, yet we know the interaction of sleep, diet, medication, (prescribed and non prescribed) physical health, alcohol consumption and outside stressor all play an important role in our mood. What the mood chart does is to track these events over time and look at what is going on before, during and after a shift in ones mood. By doing so, a therapist can help zero in on what are some of the causes and hasten the recovery of an individual.
It may be that there was a change in medication, or a combination of events such as lack of sleep with stress related experiences, such as work or a relationship that is affecting ones mood. In any event by tracking ones mood and charting it daily, a mood chart becomes a powerful tool to help individuals better understand their mood, and help identify patterns. It also aids therapists to be more effective in their treatment plans especially if office visits are only once or twice a month. It allows them to view what is going on with the client away from their office. This insight can make them a lot more effective with their skills and time.
Finally, several mood charts have taken advantage of new technology by providing text alerts for daily reminders to take ones medication. This is extremely helpful in staying compliant with an individuals daily medicine routine. Additionally some new programs are looking to include social networking features to help stay connected with others who have related issues. This still remains to be proven as to its effectiveness but the potential to connect with others who may have similar experiences is an intriguing possibility, especially for younger individuals who are adept at the social networking phenomena.
Mood charting is a tool and like all tools it depends on both the quality of the tool and the skill of the person using it. If you have not use a mood chart you should give it a try and see if it helps with your therapy. The key to mood charting is in doing it daily, stay with a chart for a couple of months and see if it helps.