Treatment Plan Day 2. Identifying Symptoms And Triggers.

For day two of the treatment plan you will be focusing on identifying and listing symptoms and triggers.

You will be able to use this list when you see your doctor or counselor to help you express your problems better, and make sure you don't forget anything.

If you already have a diagnosis, that is OK. Making this list will still be helpful for you when you get deeper into this treatment plan and begin some of the exercises.

First make a list of your physical symptoms.

For example:

excessive eating

Trouble sleeping


bouncing between sadness and extreme happiness


excessive crying

trouble focusing

Then add the triggers, or times that these symptoms occur. If you don't know what triggers your symptoms, just write down unknown, or the circumstances when they most occur, and how often.

For example:

Trouble sleeping night, when I am stressed or excited about something, at least three times a week

Irritability.............when I am stressed or sad, when I am trying to focus on something, when I am around too many people, most days.

bouncing between sadness and extreme happiness..........When something good happens I am happy and energetic for days, then something bad happens, or for seemingly no reason, it all goes away and I am really really sad for days or even weeks, several times within a month.

Shaking/trembling...........when I am feeling afraid, when I am really angry, when talking about certain things, often.

excessive crying.........when I am really sad, when I am afraid, when I feel guilty, when I feel angry, most days.

Trouble focusing.........when I feel stressed, when I am sad, when I am angry, when I am tired, when too many people are around, most days.

Tired/weighed down.......unknown, every few days.

excessive eating...............when I am sad, when I am angry, when I am tired or bored, often.

Your list may be longer or shorter. You are different from me, and this is YOUR treatment plan. There are no right or wrong answers here. This is a list of what you are experiencing, and therefore if you write down what you think is correct, it is.

Next make a list of your feelings, and some of the thoughts that go with them. Also list how often these feelings and thoughts occur.

afraid...........everybody hates me, I did something wrong, everyone is lieing to me, Everybody wants to hurt me, nobody will ever love me, I'm in a conspiracy, several times a week.

confused.......... what did I do?, Is there something I'm missing?, Why can't I figure this out? I can't remember, did that really happen? most days.

Sad......I want to give up, I might as well quit trying, nobody loves me, I feel so alone. several times a week, or when something bad happens.

"Super human"......... I can fix everything, I'm a genius!, I don't have any real problems, It's them not me, I know the answer!, Every few weeks, or when something good happens.

Next think about whether or not you have any of these symptoms at the same time.

For example:

sad with trouble sleeping, excessive crying and irritability feeling fearful.

tired but unable to sleep, superhuman, feeling like I can fix everything but trouble focusing.

You can see another example of this in my Dairy.

Introspection Journaling

The next step of this treatment plan is to make a seven day commitment to write a daily journal.

The lists you have made yesterday and today are your first entry.

I know that this can be difficult for some people, but it will only be for seven days. You do not have to write long entries.

What you will need to do is wait until the end of your day, and write down things that have happened, and the physical symptoms feelings and thoughts you had throughout your day.

Your entries can be as long or as short as you need them to be. You can use as much or as little detail as you wish. You can add drawings if you wish.

When I first started my journal , I thought I was going to write my life story. But after a day or two I put it down and didn't pick it back up for months.

Writing for me used to trigger my PTSD ... I had traumatic childhood experiences involving being forced to write for long periods of time.

So when I picked my journal back up , I decided to just draw pictures of the things I saw while I went on my walks.

Before I knew it, I was labeling my pictures with short descriptions, and before long I was writing whole entries.

My point is, Take things at your own pace. For you, reading this treatment plan and making these lists may be a huge step. If that is true, make your commitment for three days.

Remember, that this treatment plan is to be tailored to fit YOUR needs. What I am telling you to do is just a guideline based on what worked for me. But I had many hurdles to jump over before I could get to the point that I could make my own treatment plan.

So be gentle with yourself, and give yourself credit for getting this far.

Enjoy the rest of your day :)

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