One of the best suggestions I have ever received and now have given to others who are dealing with a mental illness is to actively journal about your moods, medications, and side effects. I journal frequently and have been since I was ten years old. I have an everyday journal, a gratitude journal, and my med/mood journal. For me, it is important to log all medication changes, doses, and times of day that I am taking them. Over the course of twenty years of being treated by psychiatrists, I have been on almost all psychotropic medicine out there. I may be adding a medication to treat mania or depression and I won't remember doses and names a few years down the road. It's helpful to see what medications and in what combination of several that I am taking or have taken in the past. It's also important to me to note side effects of each medication. Some may indicate that I never want to take them again. Recently a new medication raised my blood pressure to dangerous highs. That entry is starred and underlined.
I also track my mood to go along with the medication changes. I do this by referencing a scale of one to ten. 1------------5-----------10. Where one is depressed, five is stable and ten is manic. I draw this scale and place the number on it that indicates where I am at the moment and circle that number. It is great to be able to look back and see where I've been and for how long. It may reveal patterns over time and seasons. It is also a good tool when conversing with my psychiatrist and therapist.
Take good care,
"But the right reply will come to us at the right time. We will sense the answer we're looking for when the time for knowing is right." -- A Woman's Spirit