You and the doctor will discuss and determine together the best treatment plan. Treatment can consist of various modalities: medication, psychotherapy, medical consultation, social services, cognitive behavioral work, and more.
Daily charts and journals can be very helpful. They are used in many areas of medicine. For instance, your primary care doctor may ask you to keep a journal of blood pressures throughout the day or track or your sugars if you have diabetes. Psychiatry is no different.
All are looking for patterns, frequency, or triggers that may be affecting your health. A chart or journal can provide very important information in guiding your treatment and obtaining the best outcome.
Organizations, medical schools, researchers, and even governmental agencies have provided some tracking tools that are available for public use. You can also find multiple apps on you cell phone, both free and costing. Below are just a few examples.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has produced a mood chart that can be used for both Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression. The depression toolkit, developed at The University of Michigan Depression Center, supplies tools, support, and resources. Sites like Mood Tracker (by MedHelp) and Wellness Tracker help track your mood symptoms. They enable you to input information daily and share a password with your doctor allowing her to see what you have charted.
Many women will experience a worsening of symptoms relative to mood, anxiety, thinking, or behavior in relation to their menstrual cycle. Understanding this relationship can help because treatment may be affected, and staying well all month is the goal. Here you can find a Menstrual Related Mood Chart. Websites like moodtracker.com or apps like Life can both chart and graph symptoms related to the menstrual cycle. Another reliable source for mental health questions and a woman’s reproductive life can be found at Womensmentalhealth.org.
Tobacco has many negative effects on physical and mental health and is very difficult to stop. The government provides help with smoking cessation in multiple ways.
- The website smokefree.gov has many tools, describes treatment options, and provides charts and journals like a craving chart or triggers chart.
- The CDC has platforms on social media, TIPS and CDC Tobacco Free.
- Youtube videos can be found.
- A Pinterest page, Quit Smoking Bootcamp, is available.
- The CDC can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.
- The telephone number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW or (1-800-784-8669), is available for live support.
- Text QUIT to 47848 to get daily tips.
- Utilize the phone app: QuitSTART.
Researchers are discovering what most people have always known; sleep is extremely important. Poor sleep can have a significant effect on your physical and mental health. Specific sleep patterns can be associated with primary sleep disorders, medical/psychiatric illnesses, medications, and poor sleep hygiene. Keeping a sleep journal can be extremely helpful in determining what is happening or what treatment approach may be necessary.
Various cell phone apps exist, some are free and some cost, and they vary in content from charting mood, helping with diet and exercise, self help and meditation, to medication reminders and coupons. These useful tools can help in achieving remission of illness. Some examples include:
- DBSA Wellness Tracker: mood tracker developed by the DBSA
- eMoods: tracks and graphs mood
- iMoodJournal: tracks mood
- Life: tracks menstrual cycle and symptoms
Journaling and Thought Recording
- CBT Thought Diary helps to evaluate and address thoughts
- Diaro - Diary, Journal, Notes, Mood Tracker
- Moodnotes: for journaling
- Breathe2Relax teaches breathing and managing stress
- Calm: meditation, relaxation, and sleep app
- Headspace teaches meditation
- Moodkit teaches CBT concepts
- Self-Help Anxiety Management help in understanding and managing anxiety
- Pacifica: meditation app
- PTSD Coach: National Center for PTSD app to help individuals with PTSD
- What’s Up: an app to cheer and relax you
- Woebot: self-help app developed at Stanford
- Worrywatch provides self-monitoring and documenting of worry, provides charts
- Blink Health: coupons and price comparisons for medication
- GoodRx: coupons and price comparisons for medication
- Medisafe: medication reminder
- Sleep Cycle: smart alarm clock: tracks sleep patterns
- Sleep Tracker: tracks sleep
Diet & Exercise
- Fitbit: exercise and lifestyle tracker
- Wahoo: 7 minute workouts
- Weight Watchers: healthy eating
- 30/30: task manager
- aNote: a place to keep and organize notes