Bipolar Mood Tracker (manic / normal / depressive instead of 1 - 10)

For those who are bipolar, too high (mania) is a negative thing. Traditional measurements on a scale of 1 - 10 don’t really allow for this, as 10 is supposed to be best. For bipolar you want the nice and balanced middle area to be the best. It’s extremely useful to track bipolar swings to see how hard you’re swinging (thus helping in the medication adjustment process), predict when the next high or low will be, etc.

My idea would be to create a scale that allows for about 3 or 4 levels within each - 3-4 low, 3-4 normal, 3-4 high. Of course, there might be better options, but the main idea is that not every low or high swing is the same, there are varying levels of severity. It’s useful to see exactly how low or high you are going (are my medications really working well enough?). I would suggest something with more layers than just “manic, normal, depressive.”


@Corah That’s a good idea, but it’s not fully thought out. Suppose depressive ranges from 1 “slightly depressed” to 4 “severely depressed”, and manic ranges from 1 “slightly manic” to 4 “severely manic”. What will normal 1 and 4 mean? “Slightly normal” and “extremely normal” seem meaningless.

How about a single labeled scale instead? Negative numbers for depression, positive for mania, and zero for normal would make sense to me, but I don’t know if everyone is comfortable with negative numbers, and besides, it would be all too easy to leave off the minus sign and accidentally report 3 “very manic” when you meant -3 “very depressed”.

So what would you think of something like this?

1 severely depressed
2 very depressed
3 somewhat depressed
4 slightly depressed
5 normal
6 slightly manic
7 somewhat manic
8 very manic
9 severely manic

Of course this is only an example of one way a “two-ended” scale like this could be set up. Note that it only goes from 1 to 9, not 10; in order to be symmetrical and for “normal” to be a single value, it must have an odd number of values.

It actually was not lacking in thought. I would prefer more than one level of normal. There is normal happy, and thrn there is mania; there is normal sad, and then there is bipolar depression. At times it might be difficult to tell the difference, and at times those “normal happy” times might just be the beginning of mania. My version was not poorly thought out, it was more detailed, thorough, in-depth.

I see. I apologize; as I am not bipolar, I was not really familiar with it and didn’t exactly understand what you wanted. Still, I think a scale like what I suggested before, though with different labels and possibly a different number of values, would suit your needs: Normal in the middle, Normal Happy just above it and Normal Sad just below it, and then increasing levels of mania going up and increasing levels of depression going down. How does that general description sound to you?

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Now I’m glad that I’ve got it straight.