The questions those with lived experience choose to monitor their bipolar disorder

We have recently had a paper accepted in the Journal of Affective Disorders reporting the findings of a unique study. Using our online mood monitoring tool, True Colours, we explored the topics of personalised questions that our participants chose to ask themselves in relation to monitoring their bipolar disorder.

Our findings revealed the questions fell into 35 categories with the most common being physical activity and exercise, anxiety and panic, sleep and coping/stress levels. The categories were grouped into six overarching themes 1) mental health; 2) behaviour and level of functioning; 3) physical wellbeing; 4) health behaviours; 5) active self-management; and, 6) interpersonal.

This study has highlighted that there are many aspects of bipolar disorder that extend well beyond mood symptoms that are important to individuals for monitoring their bipolar disorder. Additional symptoms and aspects of life that are not necessarily useful diagnostically for bipolar disorder, may be more important for individuals themselves to monitor and have more meaning in capturing their own experience of changes in bipolar disorder severity.