Are you suffering from a mood disorder? Are you tired of searching for help on the internet? Have you looked through dozens of articles? Do you want comprehensive help now? Look no further. This article will provide a comprehensive list of tips and tricks to handle changing moods. The article defines what mood disorders are, and lists helpful tools used to track changing moods. The main tool highlighted will be the T2 Mood Tracker.
If you do not know what a T2 mood tracker is, don’t worry. The tracker and its features will be explained in great detail. The ultimate goal of the article is to understand how to best use a T2 mood tracker and how to specifically use the CareClinic app to meet all your needs.
Table of Contents
What is a Mood Disorder?
A mood disorder is diagnosed when your general emotional state is inconsistent with your situation and interferes with your ability to function normally. A doctor or therapist must diagnose the mood disorder. It is considered a serious mental health issue. Within a mood disorder, a person can experience long periods of extremes; happiness, sadness or both. Anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder are three of the most common mood disorders.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It is a feeling of fear of the unknown. Everybody experiences anxiety at certain points in their life; before an important interview, on the first day of school, while giving a speech etc. However, if your anxiety lasts longer than six months or interferes with daily life, you may have an anxiety disorder.
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
An anxiety disorder is the most common form of emotional disorder. It can affect anyone at any age. While an anxiety disorder is hard to diagnose by itself, it does play a key part in several other disorders. The most common of these disorders are:
- Panic Disorder – experiencing recurring panic attacks at unexpected times
- Phobia – extreme fear of a specific object, situation or activity
- Social Anxiety – fear of being judged by others in social situations
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – recurring irrational thoughts that lead you to repeat specific behaviors
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – anxiety following a traumatic experience
Research shows that women are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than men. For even more information on this disorder, and others mentioned throughout this article use the CareClinic blog. The articles give an in-depth understanding of each topic.
What are Common Symptoms of Anxiety?
Everybody experiences anxiety differently. The same person could experience anxiety differently in different situations. Anxiety ranges from butterflies in your stomach to uncontrollable heart thumping. The more severe the anxiety, the more serious your symptoms are. The most common anxiety symptoms include:
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Trouble concentrating on tasks
- Difficulty falling asleep
When your anxiety doesn’t disappear but continues to worsen, you experience an anxiety attack. The symptoms of an anxiety attack and slightly different from the general anxiety mentioned above. The most common symptoms include:
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Chills or hot flashes
- Numbness or tingling
Similarly, the next few sections will talk about depression and bipolar disorder.
What is Depression?
Depression or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. MDD affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to emotional and physical problems. Severe cases of MDD can cause suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Depression affects one in 15 adults and on average, affects teens and young adults the most. An important distinction to make is depression versus sadness. While sadness can mimic feelings of depression, sadness does not cause loss of self-esteem, loss of will to live and loss of positive memories.
What are the Causes of Depression?
While the causes of depression can vary from person to person, there are a few risk factors to keep in mind. They include:
- Biochemistry – differences in certain brain chemicals may contribute to symptoms of depression
- Genetics – approximately 40% of people will inherit depression when their parents, children or siblings have experienced it
- Personality – people with generally low self-esteem or those easily affected by stress will likely experience depression
- Environmental Factors – repeated exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty can make people more likely to experience depression
What are Common Symptoms of Depression?
Depressive symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Research shows women are more likely than men to experience a depressive episode. Some studies show that as many as one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. Again, although this list is not comprehensive, the most common symptoms to be aware of are:
- Feelings of prolonged sadness – having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Sudden changes in weight unrelated to diet and exercise
- Loss of energy
- Increase in pacing or fidgeting
- Difficulty in thinking, concentration or decision-making
- Thoughts of death or suicide
For ease of reference, the CareClinic article covering more in-depth knowledge on depression is here.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness marked by extreme shifts in mood. An unexplainable, extremely elevated mood is called mania. About 2.8 percent of adults in the United States of America suffer from bipolar disorder. Symptoms start showing on average at the age of 25.
What is Bipolar I versus Bipolar II?
Bipolar I is a classic form of bipolar disorder. In this disorder, a person’s behavior and mood shift to extremes, and they can become out of control. To have bipolar I a person must have manic episodes.
Bipolar II is more common than bipolar I. Rather than becoming manic, a person suffering from bipolar II depressive episodes and symptoms are less severe. Bipolar II is harder to self-diagnose as it does not affect day-to-day function. Friends, family and medical professionals are more likely to recognize the symptoms and diagnose the person suffering.
What are the Common Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder causes three main symptoms; depression, mania, and hypomania.
- Depression has already been defined above so please go take a look for details.
- Mania is when a person feels an emotional high. They feel excited, impulsive and full of energy. During manic episodes, they are more likely to go on spending sprees, have unprotected sex and use drugs
- Hypomania is similar to mania but not as severe. Hypomania does not result in trouble at work, school or socially. It is also usually associated with Bipolar II rather than Bipolar I. However, left untreated, hypomania can become worse.
For ease of use, the article that explains more about this bipolar disorder is available on CareClinic.
A Consolidated List of General Mood Disorder Symptoms
Having explained the most common types of mood disorders, we will now take a look at the most common symptoms from all three lists. To be diagnosed with a mood disorder, you must experience symptoms for at least several weeks. You will probably experience more than one symptom at the same time. While the list below is by no means comprehensive, these symptoms are useful to be aware of:
- Feeling sad almost all the time
- Lack of energy
- Feeling worthless or hopeless
- Losing appetite or overeating
- Gaining or losing excessive weight
- Losing interest in previously fun activities
- Sleeping too much or insomnia
- Frequent thoughts of death and suicide
- Difficulty concentrating
The next section will talk about preventative measures and remedies before moving on to talk about tracking moods. The most effective way to do so is to use a T2 mood tracker. A comprehensive guide of the T2 mood tracker will be provided below.
Treating Mood Disorders
Mood disorders are primarily treated through a combination of medications and psychotherapy (talk therapy). People suffering from mood disorders are generally prescribed anti-depression and anti-anxiety medication. In addition, they undergo psychotherapy to change thought patterns and behaviors. The most common form of psychotherapy used is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
A CBT plan is developed collaboratively between a psychologist and the patient. The purpose is to develop an understanding of the problem and develop a workable treatment strategy for both parties. CBT therapists emphasize what is going on in the person’s life currently rather than focusing on the past. CBT is based on several core principles:
- Psychological problems are based, in part, on unhelpful ways of thinking
- Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior
- People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them. They can relieve symptoms and lead more effective lives
In order to change behavioral patterns, CBT forces people to:
- Face their fears instead of avoiding them
- Use role-play to prepare for potentially problematic interactions or situations
- Learn to calm one’s mind and relax one’s body
Just going to therapy or taking medication isn’t enough. Patients need an easy way to track their progress. This is where a T2 mood tracker comes in.
What is a T2 Mood Tracker?
T2 mood trackers were first developed by psychologists at T2 to help veterans suffering from PTSD and other mental health concerns. A T2 mood tracker is an app designed to help users track their emotions over time. The tracker is pre-installed with six trackable areas: anxiety, depression, well-being, head injury, post-traumatic stress and stress. Users can also add and customize other trackable scales. The advantage of the T2 Mood tracker is that it compiles data and presents it in an easily digestible graph. Users can print or share this graph with health providers. Users can also use the space provided to note any meaningful events, changes or patterns they see throughout the day. The great thing about T2 mood tracker apps is that they are FitBit and Apple Watch compatible.
Is an eMoods Tracker the Same as a T2 Mood Tracker?
Unlike a T2 mood tracker, an eMoods tracker is specifically built for people with bipolar disorder. This app allows you to track your highs and lows, to track depressive and manic episodes, psychotic symptoms, irritability and elevated mood. The app also allows you to estimate the severity of each symptom. It too allows you to share data with your primary care specialist and is also FitBit and Apple Watch compatible.
Which Health App is a Good T2 Mood Tracker?
The CareClinic app is an all-in-one care app. It is an easy-to-use interface that can be accessed by both doctor and patient for ideal symptom tracking. Although it was not built with the sole purpose of being a T2 mood-tracking app, it has many features that make it an ideal tracker. The app allows users to keep diary entries, set medication trackers and reminders, build individualized care plans, share reports and get advice from blog articles. This combination of functions makes it the ideal app to use. If you are new to the CareClinic world, the next few subsections will give you a detailed description of each feature mentioned above. For returning users there may be new tips and tricks you can learn for each feature.
Diary Entries for T2 Mood Tracker
With diary entries, you can type up to 144 words per entry and post an unlimited number of entries per day. You can either type out any thoughts or if you’re unsure of what to write, use the prompt function. The premium account has access to 16 prompts, and each prompt focuses on different aspects of mental health. Topics range from “acceptance” to “productivity planner daily”. You can also add lists, bold, italicize, and underline important statements. Finally, you can add photos, be it a motivational picture to look at or a weight check as part of your ongoing recovery plan. The diary function does not have a limit on how many times a day you can post. For people who want to track their moods multiple times a day, the diary allows you to edit the entry as much as you want and does not limit your word count.
Medicine & Supplements for T2 Mood Tracker
Here you can search for a medication and add it to the tracker. The tab will ask for a number of tracking factors. Firstly, the dose quantity, secondly, dose form (tablet, liquid, etc.), thirdly how many doses left to take, fourthly, refill reminder, and finally, the start and end date for the medication. Under these prompts, you can add any notes from the doctor and a frequency reminder. In the frequency reminder, you can many features. You can also add a photo of the pills and pill bottle to avoid confusion. Each medication has a separate tracker which allows you to differentiate the anti-anxiety and anti-depressants. This makes it easier for you to track which medication, and how much of each medication you have taken. The app will send you pop-up reminders on your phone when it’s time to take your medication and keep your recovery on track.
Care Plans for T2 Mood Tracker
The app has a ribbon on the bottom with a “plan” tab. Click on that tab and it leads to a page called “My CarePlan”. Within your care plan, you can add many features. Add medicines &supplements, a nutrition plan, an activity plan, a symptom check, and a measurement check. You can even add appointment reminders to talk to your doctor. You can talk to your doctor and prioritize which features will work best with your recovery plan.
Within your plan, you also have an option to add caregivers ranging from doctors and nurses to family members. Everyone you add will have access to your plan. Only after you have approved them to the plan, will they be able to see what you have added. Each person can add information to your plan allowing for comprehensive tracking of moods, and comprehensive care.
Reports for T2 Mood Tracker
One of the most useful features of a T2 mood tracker is the chart. Within the CareClinic app, there is a tab called “reports” on the bottom ribbon. With “reports” you can see daily logs, charts and correlations for medication. You can share these reports with your primary care doctor and analyze your progress day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year. The logs will never disappear so you have the opportunity to use historical data to provide the best treatment course for yourself.
Now that the article has captured your attention, you can find the CareClinic app in a number of places. It is available to download on the App Store and on Google Play.
By bringing to light the main symptoms and treatments for combating mood disorders. The article has tried to encompass as much information in one place for ease of reading. If you feel like any of the information resonates with you or a loved one, do not hesitate to contact a doctor. You know your body and mind better than anyone else. Listen to it. It is also evident that overall, the CareClinic app offers more features than a regular T2 mood tracker. Download it for free on iOS or Android and take the first step towards long-lasting treatment.