Pictal worksheets: draw your health history & symptoms

For a many years I have created sketches and diagrams to show my doctors how I am feeling and what has happened. (See references and links at the end of this post.) This has helped improve our communication by structuring our conversation around a visual artifact and providing them with a visual and verbal version of my story, the combination of which helps them better absorb what I am saying. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits is that I have been able to ‘see’ what is happening with me, which increases my own self-understanding and helps reduce anxiety.

Here are a number of drawings I took to an endocrinology appointment last year.

Recently I have begun helping others through the process of visualizing their own health history, and I have been witnessing the great benefits this has brought to them.

Now I would like to share a set of worksheets in case they might help you or someone you know. (I have used them extensively myself.) This PDF includes a basic timeline, a body outline, and some symptom shapes you can cut out and use if you’d like. I am calling this Pictal. I would love it if you sent me feedback or suggestions for improvement!

View the Pictal worksheets


Here are some more examples from my own life:

I drew a timeline on the back of this one — this is when I was having severe heart palpitations due to a supplement I was taking.

More info

Here is a “body” of work about how I have visualized my health information and helped others do the same. Perhaps it will spark an idea in your brain.