As someone who struggled with regular episodes of depression, I tested a lot of ways to get rid of it. I tried shrinks, I tried drugs (you should avoid those if possible) and I tried….books. But before I talk about those, let’s highlight the basics. I will give you advices on what to do based on my experience. Those advices will be really hard to follow for those who are depressed but let’s face the reality: It’s do or die. Depression will kill you inside. So grab what’s left of your balls and fight.
If you are depressed, the first step is to take care of your body first
The body influences the mind and the mind influences the body. It means that when you are depressed and thus mentally weak, it will be really hard to perform even the smallest task. Do not let that difficulty stops you. Depression is an opportunity. If you experience depression and manage to get out of it, you will come out stronger. That’s the mindset you must have.
Sleep and hygiene
Go to bed when the sun goes down. Do not eat right before you jump into bed. Keep your bed clean. Keep yourself clean. Keep your apartment cle.an. Waking up to a dirty apartment will kill whatever resolve you have left Dress your best. Force yourself to go out and get some sun (this is important).
I’m no expert in athlete’s nutrition (ask GLO for that) but I work in food science and have thus studied nutrition extensively. You want to avoid imbalance. Do not binge on ice cream, chocolate and alcohol. Do not order pizza every night. Bottom line: don’t eat garbage. Do not stop eating. Force yourself to eat even if it repulses you. Eat a little bit of everything and especially fruits/veggies, it will help clear brain fog. You should also start juicing.
Hit the fucking gym. Go to the temple and look at the iron. Depression is an abstract thing that stabs you in the back. You can’t really identify it. At the gym, you are on your terms, you decide, you are in control. The iron is real, scalable and loyal. No matter what happens, 100 pounds remains 100 pounds. Lifting will give you something to fight. Instead of fighting against unknown shadows, you now have a clear enemy to beat. It decreases the feelings of hopelessness and allow you to release your feelings. Your head may be sick but don’t let it affect your body. Stronger body, stronger mind.
Stretching will also make you feel really good.
The second step is to take care of the mental aspect of depression
Depression is the contrary of expression. That doesn’t mean you should talk about your feelings all day long but feel free to sing, yell, cry. Let the emotions out, don’t let them build up inside. If you still cry your eyes out after a few weeks, schedule an appointment with a shrink. Do not listen to sad songs. Masturbating constantly comes with a hefty price: depression, lack of testosterone, obvious loneliness. Cut the entertainment bullshit: do not flee away from the situation by binging on TV, watching porn or playing video games. You have a problem, acknowledge it and solve it. Meditate every day.
Do not rely on your girlfriend/plates
It will be tempting. Don’t do it. You can talk to your male friends but don’t abuse their time complaining. Ask them for help, take practical steps and show them results. Don’t forget to thank them. In most cases, you can rely on family.
That’s something no one will tell you, shrinks included, because it’s rude and no one wants to be mean to a depressed and borderline suicidal guy. Take responsibility of yourself. Nobody will hold your hand. Your shrink only helps you because you pay him. Your friends has limited patience. Your girlfriend will dump you if you show weakness. You are alone in life and no one will helps you for free. You have to do it yourself. It’s hard, but hazards and difficulties are what hardens boys into men. That shit broke you, great. Now you can build yourself back up as you want to. And let me tell you, when you experience depression to the point where you literally lay there and give up on everything AND get the fuck out of it by yourself, you will look back on it and be proud of what you did. Once you experience true and absolute powerlessness, it will help you during future trials: I know what powerlessness is and although I’m having a hard time right now, I know I’m still in control. Let’s do this shit.
Miscellaneous advices, reading list and suicide
Here on TRP, people goes through the depression phase because of their new understanding of reality. Nothing to do about it, it will pass with time as you grasp more proof from the real world that TRP’s theories are real. That’s the hypocrisy of my post: I don’t talk about going out of the depression phase. I talk about healing depression. Which is the same in the case of the depression phase because the only way to get out of it is to wait while not letting the resulting depression fuck you up, which is what this post is about.
I suggest reading Feeling Good: the new mood therapy by David M. Burns. This will help you recognize how you distort reality “I’m a piece of shit”, “I can’t do anything right”, challenge those affirmations and change the way you think. It will allow you to tear down the veil of depression and make you see reality for what it really is. It will also teach you other practical tools as well as an understanding of what is going on. This is a must read.
Study stoicism (A Guide to the good life: The ancient art of stoic joy by William B Irvine), Marc Aurelius and Epictetus’s handbook. Those will be a salve for your mind.
One of my trusted friends also suggested “A guide to rational living” by Albert Ellis. I didn’t read it myself but I trust my friend’s opinion. As a review the main points are as follows: 1) don’t expect people to act in a specific way in-line with your beliefs, 2) always remember to ask yourself if your emotions are reasonable and 3) worry is a wasted action where you exaggerate the actual impact of a negative event.
Suicide: I am not qualified to say anything on this topic but I couldn’t write a post on depression and not include a few lines about suicide. If you do feel suicidal, read this NOW http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/
A note on shrinks
Some are good, some will fuck you up even more to ensure a lifelong flow of cash from you. Meet several shrinks. If something doesn’t feel right, get the fuck out of here and never come back. Once you find your shrink, he/she will likely tell you that you should be 100% open. While it’s necessary, do not let your guard completely down. If you have money, be careful not to say anything that could reveal that to the shrink. Basic stuff. Remember, he is not your friend and he has the ability to fuck your brain. People will take advantage of weak people. Shrinks can do that to.
EDIT: Thanks for the gold.
EDIT2, two years later: Thanks for the second gold.
post written by user Redasshole.