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Friday, January 1, 2016

Medication Didn't Help Me


The reason I'm emailing you is that I came across your website; I am a living example of what you're teaching there. It is, by far, the most accurate description of depression I've seen. I want nothing more than to show your website to others that are suffering with depression.

To give you background, I was a successful entrepreneur living in New York City. About a year ago I changed jobs, started a new chapter in my life, and have been dealing with very difficult depression ever since. I saw multiple therapists, psychiatrists, and was prescribed multiple anti-depressants. None of it helped.

It wasn't until I reach a very low period in my depression that I decided to be a different person. I had enough. Within hours I was depression free, and have been ever since. It was a mindset change, but it took a deep serious belief in that change to lift me out of it. It was euphoric, like nothing I've ever experienced. The process allowed me to learn a lot about myself, my mind, and how to avoid / beat depression going forward.

I hope what you're teaching gains popularity and helps others. Because medication made the process harder; it made me feel slightly better, and reinforced the thought that something was wrong with me.

Thank you for taking the time to create that website and please let me know if there is any way I can help.


When you say you decided to be a different person, could you be more specific? What is the difference between the person you were and the person you decided to become. I'm sure this description would be helpful to many people who read my blog. What, in particular, did you change in your mindset?


Sure, I confidently say the biggest change I made was how I perceived myself, and how I wanted the world to perceive me.

Before, I perceived myself as broken, sick, having a "disorder", confused, scared, needy, lazy, irresponsible, etc. It was a vicious cycle, because these thoughts led to behaviors that reinforced these perceptions. For example, I spent hours researching and ruminating about my condition, to the point where it affected the quality of my life and relationships. This made me feel worse and highlighted that something was seriously wrong with me. Now friends and family were joining in on the behavior, telling me to see a therapist, a doctor, that I had a chemical imbalance, etc. During this time I had extreme insomnia, which also created a slew of physical and mental symptoms. As a result, I was consistently late to work and other engagements. I had little energy. So not only were my friends and family noticing something, but also my colleagues at work. My professional reputation took a hit. Which again reinforced my negative perception and around we went.

Things turned around when I started studying and understanding how the brain works. I finally had hope that I could correct these problems without medication, backed by real understandable science. There was an explanation beyond a "chemical imbalance". That immediately lifted the "I'm broken" mindset and paved the way to a better more positive one. Without that understanding, I'd still be stuck in that cycle. Then I started reading a book called Resilience, which is about turning hardship into something positive. That was the nudge I needed. And, for lack of a better explanation, it was like a switch flipped in my head. I decided I was better than this and that I was going to be the person I wanted to be. Fuck the past, I'm going to be the person I want to be today. Instantly I felt better. I decided on the following changes in my life:

1. Wake up at 7am every day. Sleeping in reinforced those negative perceptions.
2. Train for an Iron Man and pick a charity to do it for. I used to love exercise, nutrition, and being healthy. This past year I very rarely contributed to any of those things. This was also send a strong signal to others in my life that I'm not the negative traits I listed.
3. Start a personal project that I have long been wanting to do involving software engineering.

From that moment forward I felt like I had a goal, a challenge, and an immediate purpose in life. I had an actionable solution. I've been sleeping great, I get up at 7 like I wanted, I've been enjoying the gym, exercise, nutrition. Everything that used to be enjoyable in life has all come back, and it's reinforcing my positive mindset.

I hope that wasn't too long. I know that you're a person that touches a lot of people in my previous position, and I have a small hope that this email will somehow help others you're working with. It's something that is weighing on my mind. I feel this obligation to share what I learned and help others stuck in depression. Not only can I confidently say I beat depression, but I feel stronger and more stable than before. I understand what depression is, how to beat it, and how to avoid it. In fact, it goes both ways. I can use what I learned to create an even more positive mindset; one that I could have never achieved before. As a result, I feel a level of happiness and confidence I have never felt.

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