What problems has bipolar or depression caused for you? What did you try for solutions? Did they work? Can you imagine what you would learn if you asked those three questions to 4,500 people? We don't have to imagine; we already did.
But we didn't stop with just three questions. We asked them what they thought were the important details that we should specifically ask to dig deeper into each of the three main questions above. They helped us refine the questions so that they best represented what people who actually live with bipolar and depression want to know.
When we asked "What problems has bipolar or depression caused for you?" we got some interesting answers that were not part of any study we have ever seen. They mentioned their diagnosis or lack thereof, but that is not what really mattered to most of them. They wanted to know if other people had similar experiences like anxiety, irritability, impatience, anger, hypo sexuality, hallucinations, delusions, mixed states, and a whole host of 'symptoms.' They wanted to know if others faced the same issues with family, friends, jobs, housing, money problems, inability to sometimes function, and a bunch of other things that anyone (without our condition) would be concerned with.
The list of things people tried to improve their lives is amazing. People have tried everything you can imagine and even a few you probably need thought of. And they didn't just try them once and give up; they tried every way they could think of and noticed different results based on how they used the tools.
We never imagined there were so many ways to go for a walk: fast or slow, long or short, alone, with a certain person, in the city, on the beach, in the forest...
The most amazing thing of all is the results they got. That is when we knew we were onto something. We started hearing about results that were incredible, but also tragic ones. Some can't imagine a better outcome while others just got worse.
Still others got results better than those who said they could not even imagine it.
Many said they were not possible.
We said "How?" and the Depression and Bipolar Outcomes Research institute was born. We have to study as many people as we can and figure out what is working and how to help the most people we can with what we learn. It is the most important study of all our lives and we can't just wait until someone focused on how to maximize profits finally gets around to asking us what we want.
We need to do it ourselves. Will you join us?