The authors illustrate methods for the graphic depiction of the course
of unipolar and bipolar affective illness. The utility and advantages of
such an approach include 1) accurate assessment of episode patterns, 2)
elucidation of relationships to environmental events, endocrine and
seasonal factors, and psychosocial stressors, 3) better delineation of
treatment response, 4) a greater understanding of the longitudinal and
characteristic patterns of illness, and 5) the associated better patient
management with psychotherapeutic and pharmacological interventions.