I want to point out that your episode is not to be compared with actual sustained major depression, which will _eat you alive_. So utterly and completely will your soul be crushed that taking your own life will feel redundant, unnecessary. You have literally no idea of how deep this rabbit hole goes, thank god, but your advice trivialises the depth of depression and I have to wonder how this got so high on HN.. This is a blog with one post, one.
In clinical depression your brain chemistry is off in a way that doesn't rebound easily. Just "thinking about solving the problem" doesn't actually work and typically worsens symptoms.
There's a reason why mindfulness and meditation show great results when used to treat reoccurring clinical depression. It's expressly because it allows you to escape analytical thinking and "doing" modes of thought.
I suspect this climbed quickly on hacker news for two reasons. First the type of people that frequent here are intellectual types that believe "thinking about problems" is the best way to solve a problem and depression is just another problem to be solved. The second is the way that HackerNews ranks posts, where an upvoted post with a high/near equal number of comments rockets to the first page.
The blog post is purely anecdotal, lacks any scientific basis, lacks a medical diagnosis, and suggests an oversimplified solution to a complex problem that the author is not an expert on.
In essence it's a crap post promoting a rock climbing book.
There's always this sort of reaction anytime someone shares solutions, for severe depression or otherwise, casting it as patronizing and demanding more caveats and tip-toeing. You'd think they'd rather see wallowing in self-pity. In no instance are these meant to reflect personal failures.
Actually, I overreacted and I agree with you here. "Depression" is actually quite well defined by the DSM, but the common use of the word covers a lot of ground indeed. So, I read "clinical depression", but I should have read what was actually in the article: just "depression", being "depressed".
Excuse me, for me it's a delicate subject.
Stop it with the depression olympics nonsense. That doesn't help anyone. Your depression isn't an identity and it can't be appropriated.
Furthermore, while you think you're putting out a defense of those with /real/ deression^(tm), you may actually be doing harm, because you might cause those with depression to feel even worse as they could start thinking of themselves as impostors.
This guy had a real problem - several of them, actually, and I admire him for pulling himself by the bootstraps going up; and for avoiding paralysis which is indeed an issue in situations like this. But being depressed for specific reasons (marriage failure, financial problems), solvable or not, is very different from clinical depression - which may look similar on the outside, but doesn't have a good reason.
I don't want to belittle anyone or anything, but ... I've read countless descriptions of depression, and this one is unlike the others. The author may have suffered from real depression, but I don't believe his experience is applicable to other cases.
To each his own, but the reason I'm pointing this out is to (hopefully) stop HNrs who are unaware of this, who may show this to their clinically depressed friends or family and say "see, you just need some analytical thinking". It may work - some people manage to overcome schizophrenia with analytical thinking - but they are AFAIK a tiny minority.
Rather than attempting analytical thinking first, I think it'd be much easier to initiate a simple activity, walk around the block, see a happy movie, visit a bookstore. Once one gets out of this cycle of ruminative thinking can one have the wherewithal to begin analytical thinking.
Please keep your shame to yourself. Your other comments in this thread sound like you're trying to invoke your shame upon others for declaring bankruptcy.
If your intention was consistently "I would still feel shame" rather than "You should feel shame", that's fine, but please make that clearer.
"Choice" is a funny concept. There are cultures that made people choose between Seppuku and shame, with Seppuku being the honorable "choice". You seem to be accepting and even advocating a financial version of that "choice".
It's not quite as common these days, and for the best IMO.
A family member did that. I felt ashamed of him and less of him. I'm less likely to make him a loan. He lost credit with me. I think that's healthy.
Think of it as a captain staying with his ship. All else being equal the captain should stay on his ship. But if the ship is damaged beyond repair and it's sinking, a human life is far more valuable than a ship. Bankruptcy is leaving the ship when things are too far gone to save.
You can "keep your word", or not, to a person. When dealing with a large organization all that matters is what's in the contract. Shame doesn't factor into it because it can't be reciprocated. Corporations don't feel shame.
Events conspired to prevent you from keeping your word. There's no reason to pay for it emotionally for the rest of your life.
Also, do you think big corporations and CEOs feel shame when using tax loopholes and offshore tax havens to pay less tax than you do?
One can't just declare themselves bankrupt - you have to go through the legal system to do that, which supposedly verifies that you indeed qualify for the protections afforded by bankruptcy. Note that this is the same legal system that enforces the lender's rights in case you are able to repay but will not.
The bank is a business, not your friend. In the 2008 crisis, banks (and hotels and many other businesses) had mailed the keys back to lenders when their non-recourse loans were underwater.
As long as one does not fraudulently acquire the credit, and makes a good faith effort to repay it, there is no problem.
It is NOT shameful for the bank to take interest, which takes into account both the lost-time-value-of-money (inflation and opportunity cost) and the probability of default. They are a business, and the interest takes defaulting loans into account.
It is NOT shameful to use bankruptcy if you qualify. It wasn't added to the legal code to give people a "get out of jail free" card - It was added because, done right, it is more helpful to society at large (as well as individuals) to be able to reset debts that cannot be paid.
So these things are as shameful, which is to say, not shameful.
It was quite a contentious topic. St. Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas both condemned the practice, and the only positive (in favor of contemplation) I can find in a 3 minute search were the musings of Cardinal Hostiensis in the 13th century which were never elevated to the level of doctrine.
All in all, it is somewhat ironic that in the western world, a large part of the inner workings of the economy is predicated on practices condemned or otherwise historically shunned by the major 3 religions.
Yes, yes, I know, times change, women can work and vote, slavery ended, and all that, but there's still value in understanding those pesky historical details to keep one in the present from shooting oneself in the foot.
The main gist of Christian theological thinking though is that living on interest charged to others is immoral and sinful. Lending is a practice through which those that can absorb risk do so, with the hope of some reward come success of the venture. Lending only goes foul when the lender places their right to profit ahead of of their obligation to shoulder risk.
My two cents anyway.
> My ex-wife had a tumultuous upbringing — her mother walked out on the family when she was eight, and her father died when she was 19, leaving her effectively the head of her household which included two younger brothers. She was at a time of great need, and we decided to get married because we were deeply in love, and I wanted to contribute to her stability.
Incredible amount of red flags here for a working marriage. I'm sorry this happened to OP, but I'm really surprised his parents didn't try to stop this way before it happened.
How did I get out of it? Just like the author, a switch flipped. I could keep the status quo and be miserable, or I could do something about It. Read that again: We require a definition of "It".
I did therapy for years, which helped me learn how to organize my feelings and know myself better. What happened is that eventually I was able to identify all of what was making me sick - before that, I couldn't put it into words, I was simply miserable.
In my particular case it stemmed from spending my early childhood in a first world country and moving back to our third world country when I was 7. Dealing with the aggressiveness and irrationality of my native culture is something that left me unable to successfully integrate in that society. This in turn of course means I had few friends, trouble finding a girlfriend and difficulty entertaining myself. I had to find a way out. Moving out of course would be difficult. Third world salaries, family didn't support my decision to leave the country, no good way to insert myself in a first world society with security.
Fast forward 10 years: I managed to immigrate back into the first world through an education visa and convert it into a work visa. Have stable work with good pay, like-minded friendships, amazing girlfriend.
I still have "scars" from back then: some social awkwardness is still there, and sometimes I have blue days. But I know how to manage myself and work to identify and attend to what's bothering me.
The takeaway for me (not a doctor) is that some forms of depression manifest themselves in a healthy nervous system that's exposed to an adverse environment. We have some control over the environments we're in and that's where we should act.
Standard disclaimer - still look for a doctor. Therapy was enough for me, but it may be the case you needs drugs. Seek help. While you don't have to do this alone, you can take ownership and try to solve your problems, even though it might take years. It's worth fighting for.
Rather: you're getting out of your depression and that allows you to tackle problems.
That makes a clumsy title -- "I solved the particular sub-type of depression I was experiencing with analytical thinking". We don't need that cumbersome language if we just remember that the word depression covers different stuff.
I believe that, yes, you can greatly improve your situation by reducing external stressors. But you'll have to get to a point that allows you to do that first, and when you're basically either sleeping or staring at the wall all day, you are not in that state.
To me, "chicken or egg" is rather clear: the depression must give way enough so you can get things done that will improve it further. Suggesting otherwise sounds dangerously close to "hey, if you just wanted to, you could just get rid of depression" which puts suffering from depression close to "it's a choice" territory.
I feel like OP just used described how he fixed a problem that had him down.
Depression can occur without any real problems or issues. It's not something you can "just fix" by paying your bills.
Adverse life events can trigger depression episodes in some people, and when you’re in an episode, adverse circumstances can both feel worse and lengthen the time in the episode.
Finding a way to solve the problems or avoid them entirely is thus an important part of being as healthy as possible, but it is not in and of itself sufficient for maintaining or returning to health.