A smartphone app that uses voice analysis to detect mood changes in patients with bipolar disorder is being tested by researchers.
If testing goes well, the app could be used to measure subtle voice changes during a user’s routine smartphone calls.
Until it’s usefulness is confirmed, and until better predictors of mood swings are created, we rely on a myriad of ways to make ourselves aware of our triggers.
Triggers are different for everyone, and it often takes a considerable amount of time to find patterns in how both internal and external elements affect our bipolar disorder.
Along with personal patterns, such as sleep trends, here are some external ways we can measure our moods:
Most current apps rely on manual user reporting in order to gather data, which in turn requires user analysis.
The consumer must be proactive in order to document and improve upon noticed patterns.
I believe the turn to automatic apps like the voice analysis one listed above will become more popular in the near future. In our busy lives, we would benefit from analysis that can be collected without much effort, then disseminated later.
You find these kind of services currently in popular fitness gadgets.
The biggest challenge lies in gathering data on the mental component of bipolar disorder, which is, obviously, the biggest component of all.
2. Our Loved Ones
Feedback from our partners, family members and friends is another option. We can ask people we trust to help us track changes to our moods from an external standpoint; however, this mode of tracking can also have consequences.
From personal experience, when we are feeling sensitive, this method can backfire. I get irritated at my husband for the feedback he provides, even though I should probably listen to it.
This requires a two-fold understanding- that the person with bipolar will try to accept feedback gracefully, and that the loved one is cautious in their offense.
3. Our Doctors
We trust our psychiatrists to provide us with feedback from a medical standpoint; they also keep a long term record of how we are feeling.
We can look back at records of our mood and affect for months, even years, and correlate that to our medication regimen.
The key is to balance others’ opinions with honest self-analysis.
Tell us- How do you measure your mood?