The “flag” system is a method of self-monitoring oneself for variations in mood or behavior. Many people are familiar with the concept of “red flags” that signal imminent risk, but this method takes those flags one step further with the green and yellow designations. Yellow flags serve as less severe warning signs, things that don't always signal an episode, but might have been early warning cues in the past. Green flags intentionally call out positive behaviors - things you actively do when feeling stable and not in an episode.
Note that these flags are different for everyone. The below are some common examples.
Green Flags (a.k.a. Things we do when stable)
Yellow Flags (Stop and Think…)
|Sleeping more, more fatigue||Poor sleep 2+ nights|
|Cancelling plans, making excuses||Spending more|
|Drinking, smoking, caffeinating more||Drinking, smoking, caffeinating more|
|Withdrawing socially||Talking more|
|Lowered sex drive||Heightened sex drive, changes in sexual behavior|
|Losing interest in hobbies||Ideas for multiple projects/life changes in short amount of time|
Red Flags (Seek help now!)
|Self harm (Excessive, or out-of-character)||Racing thoughts|
|Neglecting hygiene||Forgetting hygiene and other important tasks|