Bipolar Disorder Warning Signs Worksheet

What is the theory behind this Bipolar Disorder Warning Signs Worksheet?

Bipolar Affective disorder, also called Manic Depression, is a severe mood disorder characterised by exaggerated and unpredictable  mood swings. People with Bipolar Disorder experience cyclic  ‘high’ and ‘low’ moods that may vary in intensity and length. If they become aware of the early warning signs of an impending episode they can take helpful measures to prevent it from becoming worse. 

How will the worksheet help?

This worksheet will help clients observe and note down the early signs that indicate an oncoming  mood episode. This is a step further from recognizing the symptoms that are unique to one’s condition. These signs indicate movement towards a full blown episode in the future. Regular mood monitoring and detection of early warning signs can help empower individuals to take control of their symptoms. 

How to use the worksheet?

Instruct the client to be observant of their thoughts and actions when their mood is moderately elevated or moderately low. These can be early warning signs of a manic or depressive episode in the future. Tell them to monitor these signs on a daily basis and use coping strategies or seek help as soon as they notice an increase in frequency and intensity of those signs. 

Bipolar Disorder Warning Signs Worksheet

Early warning signs indicate or predict that a full blow mood episode is not far away. Catching them at the right time can empower you to take control of your condition rather than let it control you. It only requires thorough observation and daily mood monitoring for you to be aware of these signs, something that research has proven to be true for people with bipolar disorder. 

Recall and identify what signs could be indicative of a full blown episode in the future. Monitor those specific signs to notice significant changes in frequency and intensity.  This will tell you the right time to deploy coping strategies or seek help if needed. 

What are the signs that I have observed prior to a manic episode? (Think about when your mood was/is moderately elevated)MonTueWedThursFriSatSun

What are the signs that I have observed prior to a depressive episode? (Think about when your mood was/is moderately low?)MonTueWedThursFriSatSun


Morris, R. (2004). The early warning symptom intervention for patients with bipolar affective disorder. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 10, 18–26.

Perry, A., Tarrier, N., Morriss, R., et al (1999) Randomised controlled trial of efficacy of teaching patients with bipolar disorder to identify early symptoms of relapse and obtain treatment. BMJ (Clinical Research ed.), 318(7177), 149–153.

You can download this worksheet here.

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