Anecdotal Evidence

Have you gone to your doctor excited about a tool or outcome only to be met with a smug reply about it not being legitimate because it is based on 'anecdotal evidence'? Has he then turned around and told you to take a pill that was never studied for depression or bipolar, but was tested and approved for something completely different? Has he told you to take a combination of meds because he has found the combination works for many of his patients?

The odds are extremely high that the meds you are currently taking were prescribed 'off label', meaning the whole reason the doctor prescribed them is based on his own anecdotal evidence. What she is doing is using anecdotal as an excuse to not consider your choices while telling you that her own anecdotal evidence is why you should take the cocktail that has never been tested for us to use. That is the worst form of hypocrisy and we should stop letting the doctors get away with it. 


Such hypocrisy is also one of the many reasons for creating the Bipolar & Depression Outcomes Research Institute. Our aim is to counteract the hypocrisy by doing legitimate research on the tools and outcomes you wanted the doctor to consider. We do that by asking those who face bipolar and depression to help us decide what to study and what outcomes are important. This 'patient-centered' approach has so far been sorely missing from the pharmaceutical-focused research that has a stranglehold on the research community and it is way past time for us to ask researchers to focus on the solutions that are producing the best results.

We can complain about the current situation all we want, or we can collectively decide what research we want and do it ourselves. That is the mission of the Bipolar & Depression Outcomes Research Institute and we need your help. There are many ways you can join us in our mission and we invite you to explore your options in the Engagement section of our website. Thank you in advance for joining our cause.

About the author 

Tom Wootton

Tom Wootton is a passionate agent of change. He is pioneering concepts and challenging our thinking about mental health more than anyone else in the field today. Tom designed and delivered the first Bipolar IN Order workshop in 2003 and after many revisions it remains his signature program. It is now a worldwide on-line program that offers multi-media learning and live internet group sessions.

Our courses will teach you how to thrive