18 Jan 2022

Have you got a WRAP - Wellness Recovery Action Plan? Something to help you get back on the bicycle when you fall off.

I have. It has taken me about 4 years to develop it. I am still improving mine at 71. The local Recovery College is running a 15 week course soon and I am fascinated to hear what they think should be done.

Today is my 2002nd entry in Moodscope. I don't do it every day but most days. It is the cornerstone of my WRAP. It has 3 main parts:

1 My Moodscope score goes to my 2 buddies. Both are bipolar but of completely different characters. Both ring me if my score is above or below agreed limits. I offer the same service for them.

I don't worry so much about depression because I find it easier to control by a cold shower, brushing my teeth and a brisk walk. Highs terrify me because I can do damage to my close relationships especially my grandchildren and spend money like water. The money bit I have capped by having a current account which cannot go in the red. The debit card becomes inoperable. At the end of every month, the amount above £400 (new washing machine) is transferred to a an internet bank account which cannot be accessed for 7 days.

Those who I know and understand bipolar are not a problem. But relationships outside this cohort can be problematic. One man on my allotments referred to me as bampot.

2 Phase 2 is to talk to as many friends and family as possible. It grounds me.

3 If it carries on I contact a tame therapist. I have only got to his level once.

This isn't perfect but it works for me most of the time.

What pieces of a WRAP work for you?

Yours in friendship


A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Jan. 18, 2022, 7:09 a.m.

Morning Mark, What a great idea and thank you for blogging about it. I am so impressed you have this WRAP all set up; having steps at the ready to help you keep a steady hand on the tiller when things get a bit choppy. I am also pleased to know you have Moodscope buddies there, waiting in the wings, to help you if you seem to need them….and vice versa. Congratulations on your 2002nd (or more since you wrote for us) recording of your Moodscope score - such a helpful and often vital tool in all of our battles with bipolar, depression, anxiety and all the other mental health woes! My way of coping and therefore my WRAP is to get fresh air and early morning daylight as soon as possible, get exercise (usually with the doggits and to try to eat well, cutting out the rubbish (sugars and carbs especially). December and January tend to be my worst months for food control, because it’s winter and my body wants the comforting food and naughties! Another part of my WRAP is my friends, inside and outside Moodscope and my best friend especially - Mr. Bear. He helps me and I help him. I crochet and enjoy making things for friends and family and making time to read and volunteer when I can. Don’t let your co-gardener on the allotment, or anyone else, call you a barmpot - he doesn’t know you or your medical history…but maybe if you told him, he might turn himself around and be a kinder person to you and anyone else who presents with mental health problems. Kindness and thoughtfulness cost nowt! Thank you for writing for us - will be good to hear how you get on at the local Recovery College…maybe another blog? But no pressure 8-)…..go well today, Mark. Bear hugs x x



Jan. 18, 2022, 7:19 a.m.

Curious, I opened your blog to read what a WRAP was, Mark. That was a few hours ago, and having slept on a couple more hours I’m back. Second time around,I’m still fascinated by this WRAP concept, it sounds just the ticket! I recognise the need. I’m impressed that you have a local Recovery College, which is running a 15 week course . I’ve never heard of a Recovery College. Is this in England, Mark. Forward thinking imo. I was impressed also by your bank account affairs. That might be a way forward for me, and my spendthrift nature/ habits. Thanks for a very interesting blog . Have a nice, happy, interesting day. P.s. “those outside this cohort can be problematic “ ..well put !! Indeed they can…I don’t like the sound of that man on your allotments , and what the heck is a bampot! I like it about as much as I liked hearing a kid call out “ Hey! There’s that psycho!” on my return to work in school after a breakdown!!! Grrr!



Jan. 18, 2022, 1:39 p.m.

Kids can be so mean! Well, anyone could I guess, but so sorry you had to experience that Sally! xo


Jan. 18, 2022, 4:45 p.m.

Hi Lexi, good to see you again, and thank you! Yes, ata time when you could least “ answer for yourself ..” Nowadays, I like to think my retort would have been more supportive of my self worth!


Jan. 18, 2022, 8:05 a.m.

Hi Mark I’m aware of WRAP and how it can help with bipolar disorder. I have something similar; I eat well, drink plenty of water and get out in nature when possible. I will be out and about today as it’s going to be sunny. I love cold and sunny weather more than heatwaves;-) The Recovery College sounds great, I hope you continue to do well. I just wish I had a buddy…… Take care RC xx



Jan. 18, 2022, 8:48 a.m.

Hi Mark Thanks, a very interesting concept. A WRAP feels like something comforting, a layer of reassurance you have built around yourself when required. A good WRAP around! I have just finished writing my next Post and it is connected to yours. So I can relate to what you are saying. Intrigued by the college course.



Jan. 18, 2022, 9:04 a.m.

Good morning Mark The thing that struck me in a good way on first reading your blog was that you can deal with the depressed part of bipolar by going for a brisk walk amongst other things; you find it easier to control. Very selfishly I took heart from this as I consider myself as just depressed. I struggle with it most days but you have given me hope that it can actually be dealt with. I do know that walking quickly helps me enormously but it's good to have it confirmed by someone who knows what they are talking about! I know what you are saying though that we should have strategies in place to cope. Actually I do have high days but only one every now and again, rarely. What I need to do is develop a WRAP for those days so that I don't use all my energy making up for lost time and am exhausted the following day. The adrenaline my body produces during the high day doesn't stop. It stops me sleeping so together with a sleepless night and a high octane day, I'm shattered the following day. So I will think of a WRAP before my next "high" day. Thanks Mark!. Jul. xx



Jan. 18, 2022, 3:50 p.m.

Know that so well Jul.Big hugs ***


Jan. 18, 2022, 5:13 p.m.

Thanks for this Val. It's good to know I made sense (!) and you can relate to my experience. Big hug back. Jul xx


Jan. 18, 2022, 9:16 a.m.

Hi Mark. This sounds amazing. I have not got bipolar but remember an episode of a dear work colleague of mine where she really did exhibit signs of it but at the time I did not realise it. I remain convinced she got this through aggravated and unecessary work stress and one particularly toxic and manipulative colleague. I want to do my own WRAP as I have been mentally not well of late. It sounds perfectly sensible although I don't do the test regularly. I forget. I only seem to do it when I am down or struggling and will sometimes be three weeks between doing them. I think we can all have a WRAP that suits us. Mine would be tied up in some practical as well as spiritual and creative elements. I started to do something last night which is titled "a timeline of sorts" to ensure that this year doesn't just evaporate into a year of rudderless aims. I need to drop some anchors to ground my imagination to strangely propel it forward if that makes sense. I attempt so many new things, have so many ideas, start things and never finish. Thank you for this blog, it made perfect sense and your ideas are great. I guess I do have a buddy system in my friends and I have things in place to make sure I don't spend too much money. I'm getting rather good at not spending what I haven't got, of late. The bank don't let me increase my overdraft for one. A friend is helping me too with my goals and I will be undertaking some of her suggestions which I am looking forward to. Reaching out is good, I have done this even though I am quite a proud and sometimes private person but I love the fact that on Moodscope, I can really say how it is. Sending good wishes from the Highlands Mark.


The Gardener

Jan. 18, 2022, 10 a.m.

Liz, in our young days we could not spend what we did not have. No credit cards, the 'never-never' system was in its infancy. Don't know if you were a fan of Adrian Mole. Book 'The Capuccino Years?' He bought a loft, tiny down-payments - credit cards, then all the inducement cards from high street stores - like many seemingly intelligent people the naive idea that you never had to pay it back!


Jan. 18, 2022, 7:34 p.m.

Hi Liz I am sorry to read that you are still not feeling great. Do you know what triggered this? Silly question I know! I find it difficult to pinpoint what causes my anxiety levels to rocket and I blame everything. For me too may commitments in one week or month can make me anxious. Just the thought of what's ahead can depress me. Sorry Liz my laptop seized up. I wrote this earlier and wanted to write more but won't risk it just now! Take care. Jul. ***

The Gardener

Jan. 18, 2022, 9:56 a.m.

Hello Mark, you seem to have an excellent plan of action, having one at all is a huge step! I was 'labelled' manic depressive decades ago. Was wild mood swings, eventually controlled. When I was depressed I could be nasty, manic just a b****y nuisance. Never had the money 'binge', just wild bursts of energy, wild ideas, no patience with anybody who would not join in (they knew too well the outcome). Now, SAD syndrome very real - 2 weeks away talking head off in French, 4 days catch up with a son - then another son wedding cancelled Saturday as hospitalised again. I am no way suicidal, but nihilism? Can see no point to my existence, no use to anybody. Suggestions on a post-card please. Thanks for your 'theories', no, workable solutions.


Tutti Frutti

Jan. 18, 2022, 11:06 a.m.

Hi Gardener I don't know if this will feel like enough for you, but you are not useless because you make a useful contribution to supporting the mental health of others with your moodscope blogs and comments. You are clearly an interesting and capable person, if you want a purpose how about writing (another? ) book? Love TF x

The Gardener

Jan. 18, 2022, 11:57 a.m.

TF, not looking for praise! Just so emotional. Nearly 60 years ago my third son came into the world against many odds (an undiscovered health problem with me). Now, the best medical brains are keeping him in the world, he is hospitalised again. I think, as a life-long 'doer' impotence is getting to me. love Gardener xx

The Gardener

Jan. 18, 2022, 12:02 p.m.

I have a most interesting book in pipe line, true and dramatic, but defeated by lack of publisher interest, and the dispiriting sight of so many books 'remaindered' in bookshops. Why can't I just be satisfied with the 40 years of writing archived all around me? Because writing is a drug.


Jan. 18, 2022, 1:44 p.m.

You matter to me TG. I always look for your name in the posts, can't wait to hear about another adventure or experience of yours. Someone here mentioned a SAD lamp - think it was Mary? Perhaps a dose of that during the day can help get you through the hump till Spring? xo


Jan. 18, 2022, 3:48 p.m.

Well said TF! Wish I had something useful to make you feel better Gardener,but I won't insult your intelligence.You are a realist,and this is simply a horrible time for you and your family.***


Jan. 18, 2022, 4:48 p.m.

Hi TG! In support of you, as Tutti Frutti nicely put it. You matter, on here, in your little town, heck, where would the irises be without you! You have beautified the gardening world etc etc. hugs and warm wishes, you inspirational person you. Xx


Jan. 18, 2022, 6:46 p.m.

Gardener, moodscope wouldn’t be the same without you. You provide so much and so many care about you.

The Gardener

Jan. 18, 2022, 6:54 p.m.

You are all so kind, must admit to struggling. My current Mindfulness is on 'Mindfulness in Communication', very pertinent, stressing the need to actually LISTEN to other people. Great thing about Moodscope, you are not itching to leap into the conversation, time to observe ad absorb what people are saying.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 19, 2022, 9:42 a.m.

No advice, darling Gardener, but a very warm hug. When you are not here, I miss you very much.


Jan. 18, 2022, 11:30 a.m.

Thanks for the blog Mark. The WRAP plan sounds a great idea. The allotment man probably thought he was being very clever using ‘bampot’. I would be inclined to keep my distance from him. Lockdown has enabled me to keep my distance & not interact with those who I find intrusive or toxic.



Jan. 19, 2022, 6:36 p.m.

Better a bampot than a potty mouthpot! how rude ... says more about him than you Mark ... oh well - think we've all been called worse things in life. [Actually I quite like 'bampot' - prolly cos I'm a bit potty haha]


Jan. 18, 2022, 1:59 p.m.

Great writing Mark. I have never heard of a WRAP before but I like it! I do have a list of "non negotiable" that I follow each day in order to keep my mental health stable. I know when I follow them I'll be in a much better state to take care of myself on the days in the well. xoxo



Jan. 18, 2022, 3:56 p.m.

I take my hat off to you Mark.It takes guts to face a condition like BP,and huge discipline to manage the illness in the way that you have.I have a cocktail of anxiety and depression,with a little dash of BP just to spice things up.I agree,oddly the depression is the easiest to cope with.Really good to hear from you,this will give heart to many reading your blog.x



Jan. 18, 2022, 6:38 p.m.

Really interesting Mark. I love the practical wisdom behind those ideas. Bookmarked and added to Evernote.


Mary Wednesday

Jan. 19, 2022, 9:40 a.m.

Coming in late, Mark, but fellow bipolar here, as you probably know. Buddies: yes - invaluable (must be properly trained - it sounds as if you have good ones). So grateful for the meds which control my highs. My problem is not so much money, as over - commitment. I was so proud of myself this Sunday when I heard myself promising my vicar I would join the Pastoral Care Group, but subject to my health permitting. Fortunately, our core Church membership understands, and has seen me go through many episodes. Blogging for Moodscope: it really does provide an anchor and another understanding group. My GP. I should use her more, but am always so aware she is overworked. She tells me not to worry and that I am never a time-waster, but I still hesitate. I dont have a therapist at present (I have been through so much therapy in the past, I feel I must be the most "sorted-out" person in England) but am open to this in the future. I hadn't thought of this as a wellness plan, more a system of management, but I like this new terminology and shall think about it as "wellness" in future. Much more positive!



Jan. 19, 2022, 6:53 p.m.

Thanks for this reminder of WRAP, Mark - keep meaning to have a 'reminder to self' WRAP guide for if/when 'it' comes again. In my case, depression comes after high anxiety so I need to try to avoid taking on too much if pos [altho life doesnt always work like that]. When I get inevitably overwhelmed after such an episode, depression/retreat follows. And what I've found works to get me out of this state and build more confidence is an adaptation of the Whiteboard Method. This is a book which helps that mire of procrastination I have fallen into so many times. Basically, you [I] list just 5 things you definitely will do that day and do em for say a week - he uses a whiteboard hence the name. I tried that but prefer using my notebook/journal. I make the 5 pretty easy but important things like exercise, going outside, all the normal stuff but not necessarily things I would always do daily when in slough of despond. Making the commitment and getting those 5 done and ticking em off really helps me. Then after say a week, I add 'MIT's' - Most Important Things - those things I need to do but dont want to face. Even one step counts - like opening 3 envelopes to tackle backlog of post, ringing someone about 'that thing' ... arghghghgh!!! Then even if I do one MIT I can tick this item. Life can of course get in the way but it's a good focus. After say a couple of weeks I add 'Other' eg chores but also try to include something positive as a reward including making connection with others online if not over the telephone or in person. Rewards or bribes? Not sure haha. Anyhoo this has been working for me so thought I'd share - I do find myself doing a lot more things and getting into a positive spiral instead of the other kind. Also CFT - compassion focused therapy approach. Being kind to self and others rather than ... well, you know. I read Dr Paul Gilbert's book and maybe look at a youtube vid or the Compassionate Mind Foundation resources .... even if I've seen em a million times. Finally, the idea that if I dont get to do something it's cos I'm trying to get better too quickly ... so I make the tasks smaller. Every step counts.


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