Assessing your mood

Use this checklist to assess how you are feeling right now. Take this list to your health professional to help them provide you with wellness options.

Share on.articles

None of us will feel mentally healthy every minute of the day. Mental health related issues can range from feeling a little anxious to having a diagnosable mental illness. The first step to determine where your mental health is at the moment is to identify what you are feeling. 

Feeling down

  • Feeling empty or nothing
  • Feeling irritable, anxious
  • Having difficulty with memory, slowed thinking
  • Being unable to concentrate or make decisions
  • Feeling tired, fatigue, exhaustion, lack of energy, lethargy
  • Having a lack of motivation or interest
  • Feeling restless or agitated
  • Feeling tearful throughout the day
  • Having significant changes in appetite
  • Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Feeling worthless, inadequate, guilty or shameful
  • Avoiding social contact, feeling misunderstood, betrayed or victimized
  • Feeling sad, hopeless or helpless
  • Using alcohol or other substances as a coping strategy
  • Having thoughts of death or suicide

Feeling anxious and uneasy

  • Feeling rapid heart beat
  • Sweating
  • Having racing thoughts
  • Having difficulty with relationships, school or work performance, social activities and recreation
  • Having excessive, uncontrollable worry about events or activities
  • Feeling unusually irritable, angry or “jumpy”
  • Having difficulty sleeping well
  • Having flashbacks
  • Avoiding people and places that remind you of events
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling fear in social situations because you think you are going to be judged or that you will make a fool of yourself
  • Having excessive, persistent fear of specific objects or situations
  • Using alcohol or other substances as a coping strategy

Feeling hyper-energetic

  • Feeling intensely elated, overly energetic, “high”, “better than good”
  • Feeling unusually irritable
  • Having unusually high self-esteem, feeling invincible
  • Having a decreased need for sleep without feeling tired
  • Talking more than usual, feeling pressure to keep talking
  • Having racing thoughts, many ideas coming at once
  • Being distracted easily, jumping from thought to thought
  • Accomplishing or beginning more work than usual, feeling restless
  • Working all the time without rest or balance
  • Having heightened sense of sexuality
  • Having excessive pursuit of pleasure (e.g., financial or sexual) without thoughts of consequences
  • Having poor judgment, risky behavior, excessive spending, excessive gambling
  • Seeing, hearing or thinking things that are unusual or bizarre
  • Using alcohol or other substances or activities as a coping strategy

Feeling unsafe or misunderstood

  • Feeling that everyone is against you
  • Feeling that everything you say is misunderstood
  • Feeling the need to always be on guard
  • Feeling that you are always being monitored and watched
  • Feeling constantly judged or criticized
  • Feeling that you are in danger

Feeling like you are “losing it”

  • Not feeling like yourself
  • Being told you are acting differently
  • Being extra sensitive to lights, sounds and smells
  • Seeing, hearing or thinking things that are unusual or bizarre
  • Having problems with memory and concentration
  • Feeling on the edge all the time
  • Feeling like you may snap
  • Feeling overwhelmed most of the time
  • Feeling ungrounded
  • Being unable to let things go

If you are in crisis

If you are in crisis, or believe you may harm yourself or someone else, call 911 or your local emergency response service. If you need urgent medical or psychiatric attention, go to the nearest emergency hospital now. Some of the above are signs and symptoms that can be linked to the most common mood disorders. If you are concerned that you are experiencing any of these, visit Check up from the neck up for a self-assessment that you can take to your doctor.

This content was developed in collaboration with Mental Health Works and Mood Disorders Association of Ontario.

Additional resources

Assessing your current situation. Ask yourself these questions to get a picture of what's going on with you right now. Take this list to your health professional to help them provide you with wellness options.

Health resources. Tools and resources for managing your own health and wellness, as well as information for helping others. Find credible information about managing well-being and mental health-related concerns.

Understand anger. Anger can be triggered by many things. Basically, anger is a reaction to a perceived or actual injustice. We may believe someone has harmed, or threatens to harm, ourselves or someone we care about. Harm in this case refers to physical harm, psychological or social harm, like hurting our pride or attacking our reputation. In merit-based environments like the workplace, real or imagined threats to others’ perceptions of us can result in anger. They may be threats to our reputation, trustworthiness or reliability. 

Understand fearWe can experience fear when faced with actual or perceived physical or psychological threats. For some people, fear can feel like extreme nervousness, anxiety or an intense feeling of “being stressed.” Fear tends to have a strong physiological component, as it prepares our body for an adaptive, “fight, flight or freeze” response.

Understand guilt. We experience guilt when we believe we’ve done something wrong or bad. We can also feel guilty when we haven’t done something we think we should have. Guilt lingers when we dwell on thoughts of what we should or shouldn’t have done. Sometimes if you acted in a way you shouldn’t have, guilt is a natural and helpful response that motivates you to try to apologize or repair the damage. 

Understand Sadness. Sadness (or hurt) is an emotion that makes us feel low, down or “blue.” In the extreme, we may feel hopelessness or despair. Sadness is often tied to a sense of loss of something dear to us. For example, we may grieve the death of someone special or the loss of physical abilities as we age. We may also have an overwhelming feeling of disappointment when our hopes or wishes are dashed. Finally, sadness can take the form of loneliness or isolation – a sense we’re disconnected from others.

Understand shame. We experience shame when we feel a painful sense of being inadequate, flawed or unworthy. Shame is the opposite of pride and it’s very similar to guilt – both involve negative self-judgment. 

Contributors include.articlesMary Ann BayntonMental Health WorksMood Disorders Association of Ontario

Related articles.articles

Article tags.articles

Choose an option to filter.articles


To add a comment.comments