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Green / Yellow / Red Flags

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)

  • Sleeping 7-9 hours per night
  • Mentioning purchases to partner(s)
  • Going for walks/exercising
  • Going to appointments
  • Taking meds without fuss or questioning
  • Mood tracking
  • Eating normal portions
  • Taking care of hygiene and home

Yellow Flags (Stop and Think…)

Depression Mania
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!)

Depression Mania
Self harm (Excessive, or out-of-character) Racing thoughts
Neglecting hygiene Forgetting hygiene and other important tasks

Think you are in an episode?

First, seek help by calling your treatment provider!

Then, in the meantime, practice self-care.

flags.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/02 06:35 by softer