What will I do?

Depression and bipolar can impact our lives in many different ways. Researchers use a wide variety of activities to learn about how these conditions affect people and how to treat them.

In research that explores how depression and bipolar disorder work, you might:

  • Answer interview questions
  • Fill out surveys
  • Share your opinions in a group
  • Take psychological tests
  • Do psychological computer tasks or games
  • Give a saliva or blood sample
  • Sleep in a special laboratory
  • Keep a journal about your sleep, feelings, or other topics
  • Wear a wristwatch that monitors sleep or other activities
  • Have your brain looked at using MRI or PET scans

In research that explores how to treat depression and bipolar disorder, you might:

  • Participate in talk therapy - either a new kind or a kind people already use
  • Take medication - either a new one or one people already use
  • Use a treatment like brain stimulation (such as TMS)
  • Exercise in a laboratory or on your own
  • Add certain foods (like fruits and vegetables) to your diet
  • Meditate, do yoga, or do other mind-body exercise
  • Track your symptoms or use online educational tools
  • Answer interview questions

Each study is different, so you can choose ones with activities that feel right for you.

Watch this video about what participants do in three different studies.


Watch this video about what child and teen participants do in two different studies.


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