Depression is the modern plague, there is no question to that. I have been experienced it along with anxiety for 4,5 years. Worst fucking 50 months of my life. Best fucking 50 months of my life.
If you are also struggling with it, don’t worry and relax, just read. This is not another “Think positive!” or “Lincoln had it, too! Even Churchill had it and called it his black dog!” kind of shit. This guide is crafted by a person like you; who struggled with depression. Who was on the verge of losing his fucking mind, at least he felt that way. Who carefully thought about the best way to commit suicide. Who wanted to be born again and shape his life from scratch. I am here, I am a person like you. I know what you’ve been through and know the way out. This guide is to help you out of that hole. So, let’s start.
I don’t want to waste time explaining why depression happens and so on.If you ask me, there are two types of depression:
Depression caused by something we know about.
Depression caused by something that we “don’t know” about.
First one is basically things like loss of a parent, being sexually abused, losing job, losing a friend, breaking up etc. Things that you can address. This guide will help you on that, but not to the full extent. I recommend getting professional help on this one. Although, you can improve drastically by applying you’ve learnt here.
And there is this “existential” kind of depression. Depression that you don’t know why exactly it exists. It somehow found you and got you, at least for now. Life feels empty, things are stupid, people are hell and so on. You feel like you are a pilgrim who’s on an unknown quest. You aren’t able to feel any sense of direction in life or any goals, dreams even. Getting professional help on this one is also recommended, but this guide will mostly help you on this kind of depression. Therapy + this guide will +95% solve your problems.
I have to tell you that, there is a way out.
But you have to apply what you will learn here.
And believe me, there is no magic pill, you’ll realize.
The magic pill is this method itself.
I can give you the blueprint, but can not execute it for you.
You have to take the control of your life. And control comes with responsiblity. The good thing is, these two also lead to a life of freedom. A life that’s free from unnecessary shame, fear, anxiety, depression, unhappiness.
Approaching the methods here like every other article on depression you’ve read, any other video you watched about it or question you asked on forums, I promise, will not work.
I want you to be open-minded. Approach everything in this guide as if you are seeing them for the first time and actually apply these. I promise, there is no way out if you don’t.
There are two categories of things that you are going to be doing:
personal story (m/s)
personal projects (m)
p: physical | s: spiritual | m: mental
These are your loyal servants. They will never let you down, if you also don’t let them down. Musts are 10/10 important and recommendeds are 8.5/10. Don’t get overwhelmed or stress yourself, we will figure something out. I was like you before, I know how it feels. And since I am also a lazy-ass guy, I have also developed a system for these to work and you will not even need extra willpower of energy for it if you take your steps right.
Let’s go one by one.
Exercise: Yeah there are thousands of benefits etc as you know. But you still don’t care about that because you’re actually too comfortable living like this. I don’t want you to run 10 miles a day or spend 2 hours in the gym. Only this; 4 days a week, you will be walking for at least 30 minutes. You don’t need to sweat or put real effort into this. Just wear your earphones and put on an audiobook and fucking walk. Come on, you know you can do that. It seems arbitrary but is a must (10/10), don’t forget!
Diet: Diet is really important and have played a big part on my recovery. You don’t need any crazy caloric deficits or any fancy supplements, just this: Track what you are eating, and subtract low quality, life shortening shit out of that. You know what they are. Just admit it. Also, if you have serious weight issues, go see a doctor and work on losing weight. Body fat percentage plays a serious part on your physical and mental health, take my word on that.
So, you got exercise and diet figured out. Start small and don’t rush yourself. Do these, or any other thing I recommend will have very arbitrary effects on you, honestly. These are just stepping stones. Don’t forget, improvement is also a necessity, so after you keep doing these for some weeks, take the next step and configure those two again; join a gym, go to the next level on dieting.
Meditation: This one is a BIG one, trust me. It is actually easy! You have to do nothing? — ?as a depressed person, this is something you are an expert on, right? Download Calm or Headspace, or just search “mindfulness meditation” on YouTube. You will love it.
Output: Depression makes us passive, so all we do is to consume and in the end we just don’t do anything. Nature is all about balance, and it is important to balance input and output. I want you to think and note down the things that you spend most of the time doing. You realized it is mostly rubbish, right? Doesn’t matter. Think of ways of creating output from those. For example, I used to lurk on reddit for hours? — ?especially subreddits like entrepreneurs, guitar, getmotivated and so on. The problem was, I’ve never created a company along that time with all the things I’ve learnt. I’ve seldom practised guitar with all the techniques I was taught. So, if you are reading a lot on photography, fucking take some pictures, for yourself. You will spend at least half an hour doing this a day. The more you consume, the more you create.
Sleep: Sleep is really important, that’s why it’s listed under the MUST category. You have to figure it out for yourself, but basic premise is: sleep at least 5 sleep cycles? — ?which is 7,5h/day, go to bed early and get up early, no screens/artificial lights 2 hours before sleeping.
Relaxation: Relaxation is something that we forget to do. After you put all the effort you have into something, you have to relax? — ?remember, nature and balance and all of that? Listen to your inner self and relax when you need. Just don’t waste time relaxing for extra periods of time or use it to procrastinate.
Socializing: Friends and family, meet and spend fun time with them at least 2 days a week. If you have no friends or family, just go to a crowded coffeeshop and spend time there working on your stuff. Be with people and don’t shy away from asking things you think are interesting or having conversations etc. Humans are social animals and as long as you deny this fact because you’re still able to somehow survive without them thanks to the economical system we have in the modern world, you are going to suffer. Don’t suffer.
Personal Story: Get a good journal or any kind of notebook and start to write your own story. Write the old you, the new you, the current you. Take daily notes and share your feelings with that. Sounds gay? It is. That’s what makes it good. Carry this little friend around and use it however you want. Important thing is to capture your life and how you’re doing, all the progress etc. Don’t forget, 8.5/10.
Personal Projects: Invent your own small/medium sized projects. For example, one time I decided to analyze a blog’s method of creating viral posts and built a schema around this idea of finding how they do that. I learnt very basic Python for it, scraped datas, worked on some small details and in the end I knew what kind of process they used and it was great fun. Just find something you’re curious about and let it take you somewhere else and don’t procrastinate!
Goals: Goals are important. Very simple: Set 6 goals for each day from the night before, sort them in order of importance/urgency from 1 to 6 and your main goal is to complete all of them until next day. Very, very important, and thankfully simple!
Actions: Do you see a pattern here? Nearly the whole guide is all about doing something, taking the control over your life, changing your point of focus from consuming to producing. Actions are priceless. Every day give yourself a challenge, and take action on it. But it has to be a challenging one. For example, if you want to read books but get distracted or “can’t create time for it” (a big, big lie? — ?there is no “time creation”, only priorities) take up a 80–100pg book and finish it in a single day. Or a better formula, do something that scares you everyday.
So, these were the ways of taking control over our lives. If you do all of these together, you’ll start to see huge improvements in no time. And I have some techniques to make it work. I know this is a big article, but take your time and don’t forget to take notes! Have a clear idea of it in your mind.
#1- Self-Talk: Every negative pattern you have in your life is related to your self-talk, that dialogue-ish monologue in your head. I don’t want you to fucking repeat “I am awesome!”s or anything like that. This is simple and works like magic (well, because it is): Everytime you have a negative thought, block it. Kill it before it reaches your subconscious. You will be able to sense that and do that easily after a few practises. If it really bothers you by repeating and you can’t kill it, which rarely happens but is a good sign that you’ve detected something, turn it to an actionable thought. Example; “It was very rude of me to yell at my father. I wish I didn’t, I am a fucking bad son and don’t deserve his love. Fuck me.” -> “I can go to him and apologize for it, and can be extra nice for a period of time. I yelled at him but won’t do it again, because I see how it feels after I do. Fuck it, everyone makes mistakes.”
#2- The Sims Technique: We all know the game, right? Great technique for discipline. Whenever you “don’t feel like it” and know what to do, stop being the person who is in the order. Stop thinking like the person you are right now, and go into the “God Mode”: “Going to the gym right now.” and fucking go there! It is really easy and practical for beginners. After sometime, you won’t even need this, believe me.
#3- Stress Management: You have to manage your stress. Meditation, proper diet and exercise along with relaxation will help you with that. Also, find things that make you forget of your daily life and do it whenever you need. For me, it is playing the guitar or the drums. It should be something productive, because we all know that pornography & masturbation also works for it but what it leads you.. you don’t want that. Writing about what you’re stressed and then creating solutions for it also works great. You will realize 2/3 of the things you worry about actually aren’t in your control or you don’t really need to worry about them at all.
#4- Nutrients: Proper diet is really important, but I also recommend getting a blood test done. Especially men have problems with Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Zinc and Magnesium. You can find multivitamins for it but I don’t really recomment it. Get B12 shots done, really worth it. Vitamin D pills or ampuls are easy to find. ZMA supplement contains both Zinc and Magnesium, it is perfect for men. Also, you can eat really carefully to get these nutrients. Depression is about chemical imbalance and these chemicals works perfectly for it. Please try these for a month or so, and if you don’t want, don’t continue taking these but I really recommend these.
#5- Stop Dopamine Abuse: You should learn more on that, but dopamine is basically the neurotransmitter that works about rewarding. Modern world chokes us in dopamine and we feel like we’re amounting to something, but actually we are not. Here is a great comic & article about this. All the time you watch that TV series, eating that fatty garbage could’ve been used to do something better, more and actually, realistically rewarding. This is really important.
#6- Simplicity, Cleanness and Tidyness: Be simple and do simple. Be clean, and I don’t mean just hygiene. Even if you’re not leaving the house for a day, take a show and look after yourself? — ?it is unbelievably important. Also, have a tidy living place. Start from somewhere and put on a music, it will be so great for you? — ?dopamine, remember?
#7- Ignore Everything, Focus On Only This: Ignore everything external, and focus only on the internal. That doesn’t mean cutting your realationships or not going to work. This basically means, only important thing is how you feel, what you feel and why you feel that way- and after understanding them, what are you going to do with that. Everything else is number two.
For now, this is it.
I also recommend you to look into and learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (it’s really easy, you can do it just by yourself) and Stoicism (great philosophy) — but for now, just do the things that I’ve written about and try not to get overwhelmed. I know there is A LOT to learn about, to look into; maybe you are more confused after this article before how you were like reading it. Return to this guide time to time, take new notes, look into newer and more things. I promise you it will get better.
Oh and; cut anything that stresses you or makes you depressed/anxious out, but validate it is unnecessary before doing that. For example, going for a walk as I’ve written might stress you out and you might want to procrastinate, but you know it is not unnecessary stress, it is important because after awhile, you will want to go for a walk yourself. But things like “There are a lot of Game of Thrones episodes to watch, what am I gonna do?” kind of stuff should be delegated.
And lastly, discover new stuff. New places, new people, new books, new documentaries, new artists. But don’t do it too much that you forget what are really important, which is you and your improvement. Don’t use these as an escape, use them just as an enchantement to life. Few personal recommendations that came to my mind; Herbie Hancock, Mark Knopfler & Dire Straits, Supertramp, Elliot Hulse, Amélie, Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room, Inside Job.