Keeping a journal for your mental health supports the management, treatment, and recovery of many, if not all, mental illnesses. One mental illness that affects approximately 5.7 million American adults a year, Bipolar Disorder, requires the management of two mood episodes, mania (or hypomania) and depression. Bipolar Disorder is a constant battle, and oftentimes it's hard to find long-term aides in your treatment. 60 days of mental health journal prompts for Bipolar Disorder are now available on Rose-Minded!
Don't know if you have Bipolar Disorder? Scroll below to read symptoms of the two main mood episodes, mania, and depression (not recommended to replace professional advice or treatment).
I've studied mania, hypomania, and depression in college, as well as Bipolar Disorder and some of its treatments. Use the following prompts from the journal guide to better your mental health if you are suffering from these episodes!
Signs and Symptoms of Manic/Hypomanic* Episodes:
Increased energy levels (for no apparent reason)
Impulsive or risky behavior (in or out of character)
Feeling invincible or "on top of the world"
Acting jumpy, high, or wired
Feelings of euphoria, intense pleasure, or productivity
Irritable, "on edge", or easily agitated
Having trouble sleeping
Fast-talking, switching from subject to subject
Heightened senses such as sensitivity to sound or touch
*Hypomania, in short, is the less severe form of mania. Someone with Bipolar II Disorder experiencing a hypomanic episode may just feel more energized, in a good mood, or more productive during that episode. Hypomania is considered less severe than mania because hypomania doesn't get out of control. Hypomania is still troublesome, however, because it either evolves into mania or unpredictably swings from high energy and feeling on top of the world into a depressive episode.
Signs and Symptoms of Depressive Episodes:
Persistently feeling down, slow, empty, or numb
Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Problems with sleep (oversleeping, insomnia, restless sleep, etc.)
Feeling hopeless or helpless
A decrease in self-esteem, self-confidence, self-love, etc.
Retreating from friends and social activities
Low energy, or loss of energy
Changes in appetite (over-eating, under-eating, etc.)
Loss of motivation/drive to complete activities you want and/or need to do
Feeling careless towards responsibilities
Feeling emotionally numb, mentally foggy, or having problems concentrating
Self-harm, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts
Now on Rose-Minded, you'll find mental health journal guides for specific mental health disorders. Guided journals lead to self-discovery and take the confusion out of starting to journal (like not knowing where to start). The journal prompts cover topics like symptoms and self-care to guide you through your mental health journey, with special emphasis on awareness and alleviation of Bipolar Disorder symptoms.
The mental health prompts are divided to cover different areas for those who still struggle with understanding their Bipolar Disorder and understanding themselves. Writing regularly in a journal is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself, especially when you reflect on previous entries. Try to go back every couple of weeks or months to read old entries and see how you've progressed since then. Maybe you've gotten better... maybe you've gotten worse, but you'll be able to start noticing patterns to help you navigate your mental health disorder(s) and well-being. These patterns are useful not only to you but for any mental health professional working with you to support your recovery.
Journal Prompts for Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
The mental health journal prompts are split to cover different areas of importance for those who still struggle with understanding their moods, emotions, and regulation of the two. Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself, especially while you're reflecting on previous entries!
Listed below are some sample journal prompts from the 60 Day Mental Health Journal Guide for Bipolar Disorder (with added tips)!
When you're in a manic/hypomanic episode or time period, list some negative thoughts that pass through your mind and why they bother you.
Some people may have negative thoughts towards themselves, others, about situations, etc. and not all of these thoughts may be rational. Most of these thoughts are not beneficial, and we need to be able to identify which thoughts are not helpful or promoting recovery.
Use your last list of negative thoughts and next to each one, replace it with a more positive thought.
Rather than sitting with these negative thoughts and feeling bad, or suppressing them only to have them pop up later, we need to reframe these thoughts to benefit us.
"I didn't do enough today," could be reframed into a less accusatory statement by writing next to it, "I took time for myself today. Rest and self-care are important and necessary to my well-being. I can make a plan to finish some tasks tomorrow."
Do you feel more irritable or euphoric during manic/hypomanic episodes?
Identifying how you feel or behave during a manic/hypomanic episode is important for managing maladaptive behaviors. Self-awareness helps us with feelings like impulsivity and anger so we can identify when and why we feel this way and control our responses to triggers.
Signs & Symptoms
How has your Bipolar Disorder improved or worsened recently?
What behaviors, thoughts, or emotions have you been experiencing in your highs? What about in your lows? Is this normal for you?
What is your goal for the treatment of Bipolar Disorder?
Many people with a mental illness have a goal to "cure" the illness, and this is just not realistic. Management, recovery, and personal growth are aspects of life and illness that we can control and we must focus on these. Do you want to work towards identifying your triggers? Or maybe controlling your responses to triggers? Behavior, thoughts, and emotions can all be focus points when finding goals for Bipolar Disorder treatment.
List the steps you've already taken towards treatment.
Have you received any treatment such as therapy, medicine, or even holistic treatment? Have you spoken to a trusted friend or family member about your symptoms or concerns? Build yourself up and give yourself credit for even the small moves you are making towards seeking support.
List the steps you think you still need to take towards treatment.
What could be next in your treatment plan? Sometimes finding the motivation to follow through can be hard, but writing down our plans creates accountability. Do you want to gather the courage to tell your mom you want to see a therapist? Do you want to finally ask your doctor about medication options? Write them down!
Mental Health Journal Guide for Bipolar Disorder
A journal guide is an important factor in the process of discovering your own strengths and weaknesses, which is also the first step to building on strengths and working on weaknesses! Reflect each week on previous weeks' journal entries, and you'll learn more and more about yourself and your mental health as you progress through the guide over the entire year.
Before you can transform yourself, or even just find self-peace and mindful awareness, you must know how to recognize and approach manic/hypomanic and depressive episodes, how to become aware of the emotions you feel and what they mean, how to recognize and approach your Bipolar Disorder signs and symptoms, and also how to take care of yourself. This combination of healthy expression is proven to lead to a long-term and strong feeling of improvement from Bipolar Disorder and related-symptoms!
The mental health journal guide includes 60 days of journal prompts designed to help you get in touch with your emotions, moods, self-care, and more. It also includes a recommended daily layout, laying out your 60 days of prompts!
Note: This journal guide shouldn't replace professional treatment! It should be used as a helpful aid in the improvement of Bipolar Disorder symptoms and recovery.
For the rest of the mental health journal prompts, designed to aid in the recovery of those struggling with Bipolar Disorder, or symptoms of mania, hypomania, depression, and mood management, check out the Mental Health Journal Guide for Bipolar Disorder.
Reviews of Rose-Minded's Mental Health Journal Guide for Bipolar Disorder
This journal has benefited therapists, counselors, teachers, parents, students, and more! Listed below are a couple of reviews.
"I have been using the Mental Health Journal Guide Bipolar Disorder for a week or so. It is so great just answering questions that are already well thought out. The hard work is done wondering what my therapist might want to know I’m thinking. Combining that with the rose-minded mood trackers gives a well rounded snapshot of what’s on my mind at any given time. I wanted to share what I'm doing with your hard work. I'm starting a bullet journal. I shrunk down the pages to fit 5.5 x 8.5 inches and put them in protective sleeves so they'll be used indefinitely. Thanks for all your hard work it’s inspiring me to pick up a 15-year journaling habit after taking a 10-year break." - Rebecca Palmquist
"I plan to look at it over the holidays and use it for my therapy group for women." - Cynthia
"If I could get this as soon as possible I would be so very grateful. I have been having a very hard time and stumbled upon this and would love to try it and see if it will help. Really looking forward to receiving it, thank you in advance." - Jessica
"I just read your "About Me" section and am glad, that while cleaning out my FB "likes" I looked at your about first! 20 years ago my son committed suicide at the age of 20, he was diagnosed with Severe Bi-Polar Disorder in the Army and 6 months later ended his life. Your page is so encouraging and such a breath of fresh air from all the noise surrounding these issues! Just wanted to reach out and thank you!" - Jean Panzer
"This journal guide [Mental Health Journal Guide for Bipolar Disorder] helps lead to a lot of self-discovery. My diagnosis has changed yet again but I feel as though the guide is helping so I am definitely going to see it through." - Instagram User @andolinaz90