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Mental Health and Entrepreneurship

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Fox

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The road of entrepreneurship ain't easy. We all love a good success thread but for every person on the way up, there are quite a few more struggling to get going.

People come on here in all sorts of moods. Some might be feeling angry, depressed, anxious, stressed, lonely. Maybe a bad day. Maybe a terrible month, maybe a down year.

Even when things are going well we can self-sabotage or be too hard on ourselves.

Usually, people in these sorts of moods don't want to leave themselves open to being even more vulnerable so instead, they lash out. It might be a massive rant thread or maybe some asinine comments on someone else's thread.

There are of course a few trolls but I do think there are also real members on this forum who, from time to time, are hurting. I definitely have my bad days. It is hard to get the full picture when you only got some posts to go off. You really have no idea what other people are going through.

I was hoping to start this thread for two reasons:

- Encourage people who are hurting to be a little more open about it and get feedback from the strong community here. Either start a thread, PM someone, or just leave some open comments if you need help. We all have down days and there are people here who will lend a hand. There are many members on here who have been through worse than you can imagine and they can give you some real practical advice.

- Also, on the flip side, when you see someone obviously worked up you try to help them. Shoot them a message, give them some encouragement, see what is going on.

Anyway, I hope I don't come off as being up on my high horse. I ain't no saint myself but I am trying to be a little more helpful and less quick to judge. And I for sure have days where I need to reach out to people myself and get support and advice.

So if you need help please post up somewhere on here and let people help you.
 

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Jakeeck

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I've struggled hard with depression for many years and the only thing that helps me is a good diet. Poor gut health = poor mental health.

For me, I've figured out it was ALL diet. No help in the world can help me if my diet isn't right. I just literally cannot function. I can barely get out of bed and even the simplest of things seem so F*cking difficult.

And it doesn't just come down to "eating healthy." It's deeper than that.

If you're like me, you can't eat rice, potatoes, any starchy carb that can ferment in the colon (colon health is directly tied to mental health).

I'll tell you a diet that will have you feeling like a completely new man or woman in 3 days IF you have the same problem as me. It's worth a shot if you haven't been able to figure out your issues.

Breakfast - 1 cup greek/bulgarian yogurt (plain), handful of raspberries and blueberries or fruit of choice mixed in yogurt (I recommend no bananas as they're a bit starchy)

Lunch - 2 cans of organic vegetable soup.. I use Amy's.

Dinner - Repeat lunch and add a can of sardines/mackerel in olive oil (if you don't like fish, then just skip that)

Before bed - same as breakfast

The probiotics from the yogurt really help your microbiome, which is tied to mental health.

The easy to digest foods (soup and fruit) mean your food isn't making it to the colon and fermenting in there.

This kind of diet takes me straight from suicidal thoughts and severe social anxiety to f*cking amazing and confident in about 72 hours.
 

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I definitely can relate to this. My progress thread is an amazing tool for me as its a point of reference and grounding for when I start to loose sight of the goal and progress I've made towards it.

Also grounding because I can see where I made mistakes, underestimated myself, underestimated a project or timeline and truly learn from it.

Working alone on a project its ease to loose sight and difficult to bounce ideas off people when they just aren't as invested in something as you are.

My main motivation for joining the FLF was to be part of a community similar invested interests.

Great post @Fox
 

TonyStark

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Russell Brand’s Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions is a book I’d really recommend if you’re struggling with some of these issues.

If you think you’ve had it bad, lol....

Sometimes we think we’re too far gone to be pulled back.....
 

Kruiser

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I've struggled hard with depression for many years and the only thing that helps me is a good diet. Poor gut health = poor mental health.

For me, I've figured out it was ALL diet. No help in the world can help me if my diet isn't right. I just literally cannot function. I can barely get out of bed and even the simplest of things seem so f*cking difficult.
@Fox, thanks for posting!

I just want to second what @Jakeeck said. If you struggle with serious depression, at least look into your diet.

My wife had very serious mental health struggles a few years ago. Very serious. Then one day she said "I've been doing some research and I think my diet is my problem." I thought that was about the stupidest thing I'd ever heard (though I had enough sense not to say as much). She actually had been eating what passes for "healthy" for tons of folks (nearly vegan, lots of grains and starches, etc.).

Now she eats meat and non-starchy vegetables almost exclusively and is fine. In fact, I can tell when she's gone off her diet and has had grains and starches because she is sad, irritable, and scared of everything.
 

Jakeeck

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@Fox, thanks for posting!

I just want to second what @Jakeeck said. If you struggle with serious depression, at least look into your diet.

My wife had very serious mental health struggles a few years ago. Very serious. Then one day she said "I've been doing some research and I think my diet is my problem." I thought that was about the stupidest thing I'd ever heard (though I had enough sense not to say as much). She actually had been eating what passes for "healthy" for tons of folks (nearly vegan, lots of grains and starches, etc.).

Now she eats meat and non-starchy vegetables almost exclusively and is fine. In fact, I can tell when she's gone off her diet and has had grains and starches because she is sad, irritable, and scared of everything.
Yep. It's a serious issue for a lot of people and many just don't understand how diet can destroy a person so much.

Anyone who's interested, SCD and GAPS diet are great starting points.
 

JFCopy

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Come to Fastlane for the entrepreneurial advice, stay for the crazy way certain forum posts seem to line up with what's going on in your life.

If I'm not being too nosy (I very well might be), does anyone have experience with mental health medications and how going off of them interacted with your ability to do business / be an entrepreneur?

Doctors prescribed me a ridiculous cocktail at the age of 17 (over a gram of substances a day, including popular "college drugs" you'd recognize, at a near-therapeutic dose); I finally went off of most of them late last year.

I wish I could say I felt amazing (I don't)...but I will say that I've realized so many of the problems I face stem from an internal mindset and, yeah, most likely diet. I haven't experimented with diet yet. I really need to. I know I have a carb addiction that needs breaking.

If anyone has any entrepreneurial experiences related to their life changing when they got off of meds, I'd love to hear them.

(Note: Don't go off your meds if you're on them and need them. No shame in that either!)
 

Mutant

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Thank you @Fox for this thread.

When even simple life tasks can feel overwhelming, entrepreneurship can really take it to a whole new level!

+1 on the diet front. Am working on mine & have found I'm dairy intolerant - & for anyone else who is you can get non-dairy kefir, which tastes like yoghurt (I miss it!) & gives you the same kick of probiotics.

Also a really interesting book is "Healing Without Freud or Prozac" by Dr David Servan-Schriber. There's a preview here with a good chunk of the section on omega 3s:
Healing Without Freud or Prozac
 

Timmy C

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Yeh ive been feeling really down lately myself, depression anxiety bit lonely.
On a fair bit of meds right now.
 

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Connor_Motivasis

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Come to Fastlane for the entrepreneurial advice, stay for the crazy way certain forum posts seem to line up with what's going on in your life.

If I'm not being too nosy (I very well might be), does anyone have experience with mental health medications and how going off of them interacted with your ability to do business / be an entrepreneur?

Doctors prescribed me a ridiculous cocktail at the age of 17 (over a gram of substances a day, including popular "college drugs" you'd recognize, at a near-therapeutic dose); I finally went off of most of them late last year.

I wish I could say I felt amazing (I don't)...but I will say that I've realized so many of the problems I face stem from an internal mindset and, yeah, most likely diet. I haven't experimented with diet yet. I really need to. I know I have a carb addiction that needs breaking.

If anyone has any entrepreneurial experiences related to their life changing when they got off of meds, I'd love to hear them.

(Note: Don't go off your meds if you're on them and need them. No shame in that either!)
I take 40mg of Fluoxetine (Generic brand of Prozac) and it has worked wonders for me. I had always struggled with depression. It runs on my mother's side very heavily and lightly on my father's side; although, it's hard to tell what's genetic and what's just human nature. It really just felt like no matter how much I forced my mindset to the positive, and regardless of strategy and habit changes, I would always find myself back on the depression roller coaster. Up down and around again.

There is a good amount of stigma toward medication for depression/anxiety and I refused to even try it until I turned 20 when my situation made me fall pretty deeply into my pit. It was basically either try medication or bust. Luckily it worked after about 3 months of continued use. I'm not immune to being sad, and I still find myself feeling depression on occasion, but it's for justifiable reasons rather than being my passive mood for months at a time. I didn't get the emotional flatness that some have experienced (for longer than a few months) but now I feel my efforts are not in vain when working on my mental health.

It seems that while medication doesn't work for everyone, the ones that it does help it is analogous to a cure. I guess sometimes you just have f*cked up brain chemistry.

Also, It's far easier now to create healthy habits that stick being on the medication. Kind of feels like cheating, but I imagine this is what "normal" people might feel like without medication.
 

Suzanne Bazemore

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I think people are brave for sharing.

@Fox I what a powerful statement of support for people in the forum and a great reminder for me to keep in mind where people are coming from when they post.
 

Timmy C

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I take 40mg of Fluoxetine (Generic brand of Prozac) and it has worked wonders for me. I had always struggled with depression. It runs on my mother's side very heavily and lightly on my father's side; although, it's hard to tell what's genetic and what's just human nature. It really just felt like no matter how much I forced my mindset to the positive, and regardless of strategy and habit changes, I would always find myself back on the depression roller coaster. Up down and around again.

There is a good amount of stigma toward medication for depression/anxiety and I refused to even try it until I turned 20 when my situation made me fall pretty deeply into my pit. It was basically either try medication or bust. Luckily it worked after about 3 months of continued use. I'm not immune to being sad, and I still find myself feeling depression on occasion, but it's for justifiable reasons rather than being my passive mood for months at a time. I didn't get the emotional flatness that some have experienced (for longer than a few months) but now I feel my efforts are not in vain when working on my mental health.

It seems that while medication doesn't work for everyone, the ones that it does help it is analogous to a cure. I guess sometimes you just have f*cked up brain chemistry.

Also, It's far easier now to create healthy habits that stick being on the medication. Kind of feels like cheating, but I imagine this is what "normal" people might feel like without medication.
Like yours mine runs in the family, I had been reluctant to continue my meds and was off them for a while. Recently I have realised the way I feel off them is no way to live. I am not rulling out taking them permanently. I feel much more stable on them, dare I say I actually feel normal and functional. Downside is my emotions are numbed a bit on them but beats the alternative. I am stubborn and over last couple of months stippes taking them as I refused to think I need a tablet to go about life, but I have accepted it now, sucked it up and just continued to take them, been back on them for the last month and I'm feeling more normal, I can manage life better.
 

Connor_Motivasis

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Like yours mine runs in the family, I had been reluctant to continue my meds and was off them for a while. Recently I have realised the way I feel off them is no way to live. I am not rulling out taking them permanently. I feel much more stable on them, dare I say I actually feel normal and functional. Downside is my emotions are numbed a bit on them but beats the alternative. I am stubborn and over last couple of months stippes taking them as I refused to think I need a tablet to go about life, but I have accepted it now, sucked it up and just continued to take them, been back on them for the last month and I'm feeling more normal, I can manage life better.
This may be a silly question but have you tried different medication types? I know there are quite a few out there. Maybe one of them won't give you that numb feeling?

I hated the feeling when I had it, made reality kind of feel fake to some degree.
 

mrarcher

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I think this is a very important subject. All too close to home unfortunately. Looking at some peoples posts, it can come off obvious that theres something not right there and maybe the poster doesn't realise themselves.
A good community stands by each other and helps in as many aspects as possible. The fastlane forum is a great community and I think posts like this now and again show how valuable of a community it can be hopefully seeing something like this may help people who are struggling in the trenches.

I hope stuff like this helps someone one day. It's nice to see people looking out for others.
 

SteveO

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The road of entrepreneurship ain't easy. We all love a good success thread but for every person on the way up, there are quite a few more struggling to get going.

People come on here in all sorts of moods. Some might be feeling angry, depressed, anxious, stressed, lonely. Maybe a bad day. Maybe a terrible month, maybe a down year.

Even when things are going well we can self-sabotage or be too hard on ourselves.

Usually, people in these sorts of moods don't want to leave themselves open to being even more vulnerable so instead, they lash out. It might be a massive rant thread or maybe some asinine comments on someone else's thread.

There are of course a few trolls but I do think there are also real members on this forum who, from time to time, are hurting. I definitely have my bad days. It is hard to get the full picture when you only got some posts to go off. You really have no idea what other people are going through.

I was hoping to start this thread for two reasons:

- Encourage people who are hurting to be a little more open about it and get feedback from the strong community here. Either start a thread, PM someone, or just leave some open comments if you need help. We all have down days and there are people here who will lend a hand. There are many members on here who have been through worse than you can imagine and they can give you some real practical advice.

- Also, on the flip side, when you see someone obviously worked up you try to help them. Shoot them a message, give them some encouragement, see what is going on.

Anyway, I hope I don't come off as being up on my high horse. I ain't no saint myself but I am trying to be a little more helpful and less quick to judge. And I for sure have days where I need to reach out to people myself and get support and advice.

So if you need help please post up somewhere on here and let people help you.
I do agree with you that it is good to be supportive of others in their efforts. I also agree that we should "play nice" with each other.

But, I also feel like some of the rants and "woe is me" posts are a distraction from the main goal of promoting a different way of life.
 

Connor_Motivasis

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I do agree with you that it is good to be supportive of others in their efforts. I also agree that we should "play nice" with each other.

But, I also feel like some of the rants and "woe is me" posts are a distraction from the main goal of promoting a different way of life.
I can't speak for all of the posts on this topic, but I can say this thread has stayed pretty far from "woe is me". At least it seems that way to me. To some degree, a little bit of that comes through. It's part of the subject matter after all. As long as no one is expecting special treatment because of these roadblocks, I think it's healthy to discuss and extremely pertinent to the forums subject matter.

It's a little bit sad that such a thing is so common that it becomes an annoyance. Hopefully, some genius will come along some day and eradicate this crappy set of disorders. Go C.R.I.S.P.E.R. researchers haha.
 
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I do agree with you that it is good to be supportive of others in their efforts. I also agree that we should "play nice" with each other.

But, I also feel like some of the rants and "woe is me" posts are a distraction from the main goal of promoting a different way of life.
Ya agreed. Every generation before us had things a lot harder and there has never been more opportunity. I feel like tough love and a “step it up” approach is definitely warranted most of the time.

I think those who are genuinely in need of help should reach out but others definitely use these things as an excuse also.
 
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Yeh ive been feeling really down lately myself, depression anxiety bit lonely.
On a fair bit of meds right now.
Not an expert but really try nail down the basics first...

- fresh air and sunshine everyday if possible
- good diet free of processed foods and sugars
- enough high quality sleep
- as much water as possible and cut back on alcohol and coffee
- social interaction
- excercise daily
- cut out all negative and addictive media
- replace with uplifting content and resources
- work on having a core goal and moving towards it daily

I think most people on medication could massively reduce or remove their dose taking these steps.

Not a medical expert, just my input***
 

AceVentures

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This time last year, I was undergoing one of my worst depressive episodes. For a moment, I felt absolutely crazy. I was petrified, because for the first time in my life, I thought there was no way out. That I was genuinely, chemically messed up, and that I was going to spiral out into madness. The primary contributor to this lost feeling was my sense of emptiness in relation to my future: anxiety about my career choice, about my prospectivity of success in the oil and gas sector, my fears of growing old and alone, of having no real friends, FOMO, and more.

During this time, I picked up a great book called "Lost Connections" by Johann Hari. The author does a tremendous job of breaking down the study of depression, it's history, the pharmaceutical industry taking advantage to sell people prozac, and their numerous biased "studies" that proved the effectiveness of prescription medication for treating depression.

In essence, modern mainstream training courses teach that forms of mental distress such as depression and anxiety have three kinds of causes:
  1. Biological
  2. Psychological
  3. Social
However, what the industry wants you to believe is that your depression is primarily biological, that it is because of chemical imbalances, so they can write you a prescription, and you buy a bottle of fairy dust and poof, your depression is gone!

A lot less emphasis is placed on the psychological and social causes of depression - yet they can be just as effective, if not MORE effective, than the magic pills at dealing with mental distress. What's interesting is that every one of the social and psychological causes of depression and anxiety have something in common: they are all forms of disconnection. They are ways in which we have been cut off from something we innately need but seem to have lost along the way. The book then goes into the various forms of disconnection and provides concrete examples of how these disconnections cause distress, and provides examples of how real life people have overcome these issues and found a renewed sense of self worth.

I've outlined several of the forms of disconnection the book explores from my own notes.

  1. Disconnection from meaningful work:
    • A study of civil servants over a number of years discovered that people at the top of the civil services were four times less likely to have a heart attack than the people at the bottom of the Whitehall ladder.
    • The higher up you went in the civil service, researches found, the more friends and social activity you had after work
    • When work is enriching, life is fuller, and that spills over into the things you do outside of work. But when it's deadening, you feel shattered at the end of the day.
    • Despair often happens when there is a lack of balance between efforts and rewards
  2. Disconnection from other people:
    • Neuroscientist John Cacioppo performed studies in the 1990s: they gathered one hundred strangers at the University of Chicago to take part in an experiment nobody had tried before. Equipped with heart rate monitors, 9 times a day the strangers had to write down how they were feeling and spit in a tube. When the study was completed, the data was startling: Feeling lonely, it turned out, caused your cortisol levels to absolutely soar - as much as some of the most disturbing things that can ever happen to you. Becoming acutely lonely, the experiment found, was as stressful as experiencing a physical attack.
    • Professor Martha McClintock separated out lab rats. Some were raised in a cage, alone. Others were raised in groups. The isolated rats developed EIGHTY-FOUR times the number of breast cancer tumors as the rats who had a community.
    • Another scientist, Lisa Berkman, followed both isolated and highly connected people over nine years: she learned that almost everything became more fatal when you were alone: cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems. Loneliness itself seems to be deadly... John Cacioppo discovered that being disconnected from people around you had the same effect on your health as being obese.
  3. Disconnection from meaningful values:
    • Tim Kasser, an american psychologist, discovered from studies that higher depression among materialistic people: but there was a result more important. It really seemed that materialistic people were having a worse time, day by day, on all sorts of fronts. They felt sicker, and they were angier. They experienced less joy, and more despair.
    • Materialism leaves you constantly vulnerable to a world beyond your control
    • Materialistic people are less happy, because they are chasing a way of life that does a bad job of meeting an innate need to feel connected, to feel valued, to feel secure, to feel we make a difference in the world, to have autonomy, and to feel we're good at something.
  4. Disconnection from childhood trauma:
    • This belongs to the "psychological" cause of mental distress
    • Psychological damage doesn't have to be extreme as childhood violence to affect you profoundly
    • Your wife cheating on you with your best friend isn't a malfunction in your brain, but it is a cause of deep psychological distress - and it can cause depression and anxiety.
  5. Disconnection from status and respect:
    • Robert Sapolsky, an American neuroendocrinologist, studied baboons to understand the relationship between social hierarchies and mood. Baboons live in a strict hierarchy, and everybody knows their place in the rankings, from top to bottom. At the top, the alpha baboon could do whatever he wanted. If he saw anyone else in the troop chewing something, he would take it for himself. He could have sex with any female he wanted - half of all the sexual activity in the whole troop of 50-150 baboons cut the alpha baboon in on the action.
    • To avoid getting savaged, baboons with the lowest status would have to compulsively show that they knew they were defeated. They would do this by making subordinance gestures. What's striking is that when a baboon is behaving this way - when nobody around him is showing him respect, and he's been pushed to the bottom of the pile - he looks an awful lot like a depressed human being.
    • When the status gap is too big, it creates a sense of defeat that you can't escape from. Look no further than to the liberal snowflakes that demand government payouts for signs of depression and anxiety.
  6. Disconnection from the natural world:
    • We know from a century of observing animals in captivity that when they are deprived of their natural habitat, they will often develop symptoms that look like extreme forms of despair. Parrots will rip their own feathers out. Horses will start unstoppable swaying, elephants will start to grind their tusks until they are gnarled stumps. Some elephants in captivity are so traumatized they sleep upright for years, moving their bodies neurotically the whole time.
    • A group of scientists at the University of Essex in Britain conducted a study on 5000 households over a period of 3 years: They looked at two types of households - people who moved from a leafy green rural area to a city, and people who moved from a city to a leafy green rural area. The people who moved to green areas saw a big reduction in depression, and vice versa.
    • We have been animals that move for a lot longer than we have been animals that talk and convey concepts, but we still think that depression can be cured by this conceptual layer. Let's fix the physiology first. Get out. move.
    • It's hard for a hungry animal moving through its natural habitat and with a decent status in its group to be depressed, there are almost no records of such a thing. The scientific evidence is clear that exercise significantly reduces depression and anxiety. Researchers believe this is because it returns us to our more natural state.
There are a couple more causes of disconnection outlined in the book, buuuut I gotta hit the road for a 4hr drive to Dallas, so I'm afraid I must bring this reply to an end. I can work on editing it with the remaining causes if anyone is interested. Just let me know and I'll get started on it tomorrow morning :)

TL;DR just go slam some weights, eat some good food, listen to your favorite music, crack a good joke with some buddies, go for a walk in your community, work on your goals, and you'll be so ecstatic you'll forget you have any problems.
 

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BellaPippin

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This time last year, I was undergoing one of my worst depressive episodes. For a moment, I felt absolutely crazy. I was petrified, because for the first time in my life, I thought there was no way out. That I was genuinely, chemically messed up, and that I was going to spiral out into madness. The primary contributor to this lost feeling was my sense of emptiness in relation to my future: anxiety about my career choice, about my prospectivity of success in the oil and gas sector, my fears of growing old and alone, of having no real friends, FOMO, and more.

During this time, I picked up a great book called "Lost Connections" by Johann Hari. The author does a tremendous job of breaking down the study of depression, it's history, the pharmaceutical industry taking advantage to sell people prozac, and their numerous biased "studies" that proved the effectiveness of prescription medication for treating depression.

In essence, modern mainstream training courses teach that forms of mental distress such as depression and anxiety have three kinds of causes:
  1. Biological
  2. Psychological
  3. Social
However, what the industry wants you to believe is that your depression is primarily biological, that it is because of chemical imbalances, so they can write you a prescription, and you buy a bottle of fairy dust and poof, your depression is gone!

A lot less emphasis is placed on the psychological and social causes of depression - yet they can be just as effective, if not MORE effective, than the magic pills at dealing with mental distress. What's interesting is that every one of the social and psychological causes of depression and anxiety have something in common: they are all forms of disconnection. They are ways in which we have been cut off from something we innately need but seem to have lost along the way. The book then goes into the various forms of disconnection and provides concrete examples of how these disconnections cause distress, and provides examples of how real life people have overcome these issues and found a renewed sense of self worth.

I've outlined several of the forms of disconnection the book explores from my own notes.

  1. Disconnection from meaningful work:
    • A study of civil servants over a number of years discovered that people at the top of the civil services were four times less likely to have a heart attack than the people at the bottom of the Whitehall ladder.
    • The higher up you went in the civil service, researches found, the more friends and social activity you had after work
    • When work is enriching, life is fuller, and that spills over into the things you do outside of work. But when it's deadening, you feel shattered at the end of the day.
    • Despair often happens when there is a lack of balance between efforts and rewards
  2. Disconnection from other people:
    • Neuroscientist John Cacioppo performed studies in the 1990s: they gathered one hundred strangers at the University of Chicago to take part in an experiment nobody had tried before. Equipped with heart rate monitors, 9 times a day the strangers had to write down how they were feeling and spit in a tube. When the study was completed, the data was startling: Feeling lonely, it turned out, caused your cortisol levels to absolutely soar - as much as some of the most disturbing things that can ever happen to you. Becoming acutely lonely, the experiment found, was as stressful as experiencing a physical attack.
    • Professor Martha McClintock separated out lab rats. Some were raised in a cage, alone. Others were raised in groups. The isolated rats developed EIGHTY-FOUR times the number of breast cancer tumors as the rats who had a community.
    • Another scientist, Lisa Berkman, followed both isolated and highly connected people over nine years: she learned that almost everything became more fatal when you were alone: cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems. Loneliness itself seems to be deadly... John Cacioppo discovered that being disconnected from people around you had the same effect on your health as being obese.
  3. Disconnection from meaningful values:
    • Tim Kasser, an american psychologist, discovered from studies that higher depression among materialistic people: but there was a result more important. It really seemed that materialistic people were having a worse time, day by day, on all sorts of fronts. They felt sicker, and they were angier. They experienced less joy, and more despair.
    • Materialism leaves you constantly vulnerable to a world beyond your control
    • Materialistic people are less happy, because they are chasing a way of life that does a bad job of meeting an innate need to feel connected, to feel valued, to feel secure, to feel we make a difference in the world, to have autonomy, and to feel we're good at something.
  4. Disconnection from childhood trauma:
    • This belongs to the "psychological" cause of mental distress
    • Psychological damage doesn't have to be extreme as childhood violence to affect you profoundly
    • Your wife cheating on you with your best friend isn't a malfunction in your brain, but it is a cause of deep psychological distress - and it can cause depression and anxiety.
  5. Disconnection from status and respect:
    • Robert Sapolsky, an American neuroendocrinologist, studied baboons to understand the relationship between social hierarchies and mood. Baboons live in a strict hierarchy, and everybody knows their place in the rankings, from top to bottom. At the top, the alpha baboon could do whatever he wanted. If he saw anyone else in the troop chewing something, he would take it for himself. He could have sex with any female he wanted - half of all the sexual activity in the whole troop of 50-150 baboons cut the alpha baboon in on the action.
    • To avoid getting savaged, baboons with the lowest status would have to compulsively show that they knew they were defeated. They would do this by making subordinance gestures. What's striking is that when a baboon is behaving this way - when nobody around him is showing him respect, and he's been pushed to the bottom of the pile - he looks an awful lot like a depressed human being.
    • When the status gap is too big, it creates a sense of defeat that you can't escape from. Look no further than to the liberal snowflakes that demand government payouts for signs of depression and anxiety.
  6. Disconnection from the natural world:
    • We know from a century of observing animals in captivity that when they are deprived of their natural habitat, they will often develop symptoms that look like extreme forms of despair. Parrots will rip their own feathers out. Horses will start unstoppable swaying, elephants will start to grind their tusks until they are gnarled stumps. Some elephants in captivity are so traumatized they sleep upright for years, moving their bodies neurotically the whole time.
    • A group of scientists at the University of Essex in Britain conducted a study on 5000 households over a period of 3 years: They looked at two types of households - people who moved from a leafy green rural area to a city, and people who moved from a city to a leafy green rural area. The people who moved to green areas saw a big reduction in depression, and vice versa.
    • We have been animals that move for a lot longer than we have been animals that talk and convey concepts, but we still think that depression can be cured by this conceptual layer. Let's fix the physiology first. Get out. move.
    • It's hard for a hungry animal moving through its natural habitat and with a decent status in its group to be depressed, there are almost no records of such a thing. The scientific evidence is clear that exercise significantly reduces depression and anxiety. Researchers believe this is because it returns us to our more natural state.
There are a couple more causes of disconnection outlined in the book, buuuut I gotta hit the road for a 4hr drive to Dallas, so I'm afraid I must bring this reply to an end. I can work on editing it with the remaining causes if anyone is interested. Just let me know and I'll get started on it tomorrow morning :)

TL;DR just go slam some weights, eat some good food, listen to your favorite music, crack a good joke with some buddies, go for a walk in your community, work on your goals, and you'll be so ecstatic you'll forget you have any problems.
I was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety. The first one was not biological. I acquired it eventually and over time after moving abroad to live with my now ex, who abused me in several ways for a good 4 years. Before that (and I'd say I'm almost if not pretty much back to that) I was a confident powerhouse, optimistic, naive person that trusted people immediately and wore my heart on my sleeve (I did learnt a few lessons on the last two, though)

The anxiety though, runs on my mom's family, and I've had it since I finished high-school, but I didn't "know" it as anxiety, I called it "overactive acid stomach problems". In reality it was my body expressing every single thing that gave me anxiety through a stomach ache. During my marriage it compounded 10x as I was walking on eggshells and expecting it to become physical anytime, my chest went on such overdrive I was ready to jump from an overpass several times to stop the physical pain (which I had found no solution for, because all my blood work and what not was always A+ so I got sent home)

At my lowest I decided to go see a real doctor. He heard my brief story and my physical symp
toms and made a prescription. I went, bought the (2) bottles of fairy dust and

POOF

No joke, it was that easy. Pain disappeared, with it suicidal thoughts. Suddenly I was functional enough to do all the rest of the things you and everyone (rightly) recommend: get sun, cook to eat better, not feel sleepy all day and actually do stuff, shower like a normal person, meditate, you get the idea.

Sometime this year I might start weaning off my meds and we will see: my hypothesis is that the depression meds will have served its purpose (I left marriage 2 years ago, and I'm having a GREAT, SAFE, WHOLESOME situation going on), but the anxiety one might stay, and I'm ok with that if that is the case. My nervous system is overreactive, no matter how much yoga, meditation, valerian, chamomile, whole grains, anti-oxidants, you name it, I will get a kick in the gut and chest pains for no reason at all and skip a heartbeat when I first open my eyes in the morning.

I might be biased because my dad is a doctor, but I strongly believe in science and the good people behind it and while I do agree there's greedy people in the industry I also know that mental health meds are necessary sometimes, and its stupid they're seen as different than your normal antiacid or heart pill. The brain is an organ and it can malfunction at several levels of intensity.

Anyway just sharing my perspective, I always get a little triggered when there's a blanket statement about the "capitalist mean people" but there's some real science going on too getting put on the same bag. My doctor alleviated the physical/neurological symptoms with the medicines. With that out of the way I was physically able to sustain the lifestyle changes we all know make us healthy.
 

redplant

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 5, 2018
16
26
25
I've been suffering from depression for a few years now, I think -- it's not a clinical diagnosis since there's still a huge stigma towards mental health problems where I live.

Personally, I can pinpoint the main source of my depression at my seeming inability to solve my problems. There's nothing that can make you feel helpless than problems that you think you can't solve. I remember, before I started believing that I can solve my problems, I'd ask God each night to just take me because, really, what else was there for me to do?

I was tired of escaping, of wasting time on movies, tv shows, music, books, video games, and whatnot. I was tired of pretending that each day was going to be alright when I really didn't know what I was doing. I was tired of constantly being ashamed of my ineptitude, of disappointing everyone, especially my parents. I was just plain tired and I just wanted to go.

Sorry for making this dramatic, :happy:. At this point, I still feel like I don't have the right to give anyone any advice about this but here the things that helped me, and are still helping me, deal with it:
  • Believing that I have the ability to solve my problems. The sheer belief that the mere act of choosing and making a decision and acting on them, no matter how small, is helping me move towards my goals. (Thank you MJ for this.)
  • Reading books that help me understand myself better, like Emotional Intelligence.
  • Surrounding myself with people that inspire me. Following positive and driven people on social media. (The only social media accounts that I have are for this purpose only. Also, this is why I follow you @Fox, :rofl:) There's a whole community on Twitter that will give you a daily dose of motivation. And nope, it's not your typical quote-of-the-day spammy accounts. Start with @ArmaniTalks, @kobegatsby, @PaulDomenick.
  • Having heroes! I have some heroes around here, but most of my heroes are already dead. Start with Gary Halbert, even if you're not a copywriter. Learning about Gary and his heroes is massive mindset changer.
  • And lastly, believing that I can solve my problems. I know, I'm repeating myself but this is really important for me. These days, no matter what problems that I face, believing that if I just keep looking for a solution and trying, that I will be able to solve them, helps me weather the storm.
By the way, about the tough-love thing, I am firm believer that people learn the important lessons in life by facing their own problems. But, when I was tired and just wanted to go, no amount of man-it-up or just-snap-out-of-it talk could help me -- I know, because I was constantly subjected to them by everyone. If anything, they just made me feel more inept. And honestly, if a huge problem went down on me then, I'd probably just escape, you know, do the deed.

Don't get me wrong though. I don't encourage the 'woe-is-me' attitude. Everyone has each own sob story. But I think we should also lay-low with the outright derision to those who are genuinely looking for answers. Some are genuinely lost and are really looking for solutions or any sort of direction to help them solve their problems.

Anyway, I read somewhere that when we're giving advice to someone, it's not really to them that we're giving advice but to our former selves. That couldn't be any more true for this post.

Just keep solving your problems. You've probably heard this a lot but the real failure is giving up.
 

AceVentures

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Apr 16, 2019
92
221
149
Houston
I've been suffering from depression for a few years now, I think -- it's not a clinical diagnosis since there's still a huge stigma towards mental health problems where I live.

Personally, I can pinpoint the main source of my depression at my seeming inability to solve my problems. There's nothing that can make you feel helpless than problems that you think you can't solve. I remember, before I started believing that I can solve my problems, I'd ask God each night to just take me because, really, what else was there for me to do?

I was tired of escaping, of wasting time on movies, tv shows, music, books, video games, and whatnot. I was tired of pretending that each day was going to be alright when I really didn't know what I was doing. I was tired of constantly being ashamed of my ineptitude, of disappointing everyone, especially my parents. I was just plain tired and I just wanted to go.

Sorry for making this dramatic, :happy:. At this point, I still feel like I don't have the right to give anyone any advice about this but here the things that helped me, and are still helping me, deal with it:
  • Believing that I have the ability to solve my problems. The sheer belief that the mere act of choosing and making a decision and acting on them, no matter how small, is helping me move towards my goals. (Thank you MJ for this.)
  • Reading books that help me understand myself better, like Emotional Intelligence.
  • Surrounding myself with people that inspire me. Following positive and driven people on social media. (The only social media accounts that I have are for this purpose only. Also, this is why I follow you @Fox, :rofl:) There's a whole community on Twitter that will give you a daily dose of motivation. And nope, it's not your typical quote-of-the-day spammy accounts. Start with @ArmaniTalks, @kobegatsby, @PaulDomenick.
  • Having heroes! I have some heroes around here, but most of my heroes are already dead. Start with Gary Halbert, even if you're not a copywriter. Learning about Gary and his heroes is massive mindset changer.
  • And lastly, believing that I can solve my problems. I know, I'm repeating myself but this is really important for me. These days, no matter what problems that I face, believing that if I just keep looking for a solution and trying, that I will be able to solve them, helps me weather the storm.
By the way, about the tough-love thing, I am firm believer that people learn the important lessons in life by facing their own problems. But, when I was tired and just wanted to go, no amount of man-it-up or just-snap-out-of-it talk could help me -- I know, because I was constantly subjected to them by everyone. If anything, they just made me feel more inept. And honestly, if a huge problem went down on me then, I'd probably just escape, you know, do the deed.

Don't get me wrong though. I don't encourage the 'woe-is-me' attitude. Everyone has each own sob story. But I think we should also lay-low with the outright derision to those who are genuinely looking for answers. Some are genuinely lost and are really looking for solutions or any sort of direction to help them solve their problems.

Anyway, I read somewhere that when we're giving advice to someone, it's not really to them that we're giving advice but to our former selves. That couldn't be any more true for this post.

Just keep solving your problems. You've probably heard this a lot but the real failure is giving up.
I love what you emphasized here. Believing you can solve your problem is really what has helped me too. The limiting belief is what causes the anxiety, the fear that theres no way out of the misery. Believing that I'm not grounded to my career, that I can get up and leave if I wanted to, that I could go live in Thailand if I wanted to, that there are a 1,000,000 ways I could lead my life, have chased away my scarcity mentality and allowed me to believe I can fix my problems. You're 100% on the money with this!

I'm happy for you, and you definitely are in a position to help others, why not?! You don't need a PHD and 10 years or clinical experience to share your insights and turn someone's life around. Thanks for sharing your story and the insight you've gained through your own suffering.
 

Ninjakid

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 23, 2014
1,848
3,883
891
Buddy Guy Eh
I was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety. The first one was not biological. I acquired it eventually and over time after moving abroad to live with my now ex, who abused me in several ways for a good 4 years. Before that (and I'd say I'm almost if not pretty much back to that) I was a confident powerhouse, optimistic, naive person that trusted people immediately and wore my heart on my sleeve (I did learnt a few lessons on the last two, though)

The anxiety though, runs on my mom's family, and I've had it since I finished high-school, but I didn't "know" it as anxiety, I called it "overactive acid stomach problems". In reality it was my body expressing every single thing that gave me anxiety through a stomach ache. During my marriage it compounded 10x as I was walking on eggshells and expecting it to become physical anytime, my chest went on such overdrive I was ready to jump from an overpass several times to stop the physical pain (which I had found no solution for, because all my blood work and what not was always A+ so I got sent home)

At my lowest I decided to go see a real doctor. He heard my brief story and my physical symptoms and made a prescription. I went, bought the (2) bottles of fairy dust and

POOF

No joke, it was that easy. Pain disappeared, with it suicidal thoughts. Suddenly I was functional enough to do all the rest of the things you and everyone (rightly) recommend: get sun, cook to eat better, not feel sleepy all day and actually do stuff, shower like a normal person, meditate, you get the idea.

Sometime this year I might start weaning off my meds and we will see: my hypothesis is that the depression meds will have served its purpose (I left marriage 2 years ago, and I'm having a GREAT, SAFE, WHOLESOME situation going on), but the anxiety one might stay, and I'm ok with that if that is the case. My nervous system is overreactive, no matter how much yoga, meditation, valerian, chamomile, whole grains, anti-oxidants, you name it, I will get a kick in the gut and chest pains for no reason at all and skip a heartbeat when I first open my eyes in the morning.

I might be biased because my dad is a doctor, but I strongly believe in science and the good people behind it and while I do agree there's greedy people in the industry I also know that mental health meds are necessary sometimes, and its stupid they're seen as different than your normal antiacid or heart pill. The brain is an organ and it can malfunction at several levels of intensity.

Anyway just sharing my perspective, I always get a little triggered when there's a blanket statement about the "capitalist mean people" but there's some real science going on too getting put on the same bag. My doctor alleviated the physical/neurological symptoms with the medicines. With that out of the way I was physically able to sustain the lifestyle changes we all know make us healthy.
I actually read your post before and it made me want to try medication. I went to a psychiatrist and got anti-anxiety medication. Just like you, it almost completely took the anxiety and symptoms away within a month. Medication is extremely effective if used correctly.
 

ChrisV

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 10, 2015
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Islands of Calleja
I actually read your post before and it made me want to try medication. I went to a psychiatrist and got anti-anxiety medication. Just like you, it almost completely took the anxiety and symptoms away within a month. Medication is extremely effective if used correctly.
Yes, there is a group of people that say "you don't need meds... all that is is Big Pharma trying to sell crap you don't need! all you need is sunshine and positive thoughts!" and imo those people are so dangerous.

It can be really dangerous to tell someone they don't need meds. You're not a doctor. I think it should be considered manslaughter if someone hurts themselves because someone told them they "don't need meds"
 

Ninjakid

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 23, 2014
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891
Buddy Guy Eh
Yes, there is a group of people that say "you don't need meds... all that is is Big Pharma trying to sell crap you don't need! all you need is sunshine and positive thoughts!" and imo those people are so dangerous.

It can be really dangerous to tell someone they don't need meds. You're not a doctor. I think it should be considered manslaughter if someone hurts themselves because someone told them they "don't need meds"
Yes, and I've also heard people say they've tried meds but it doesn't work for them. But the thing I notice with these people is:
  1. They are not consistent with their medication and don't take it as directed.
  2. They don't follow their doctor's advice about other necessary lifestyle changes.
  3. If the medication isn't right for them, they do not follow up about trying others.
  4. They have substance abuse problems (this not only undoes any positive effects of treatment, but makes the illness exponentially worse).
From what I've seen, psychiatrists are usually very good at determining the right treatment for people. It's not worth it to suffer, doctors can do A LOT to help someone struggling with mental illness.

Hopefully this gives hope to other people dealing with the same thing.
 

ChrisV

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 10, 2015
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Islands of Calleja
Yea I mean meds aren't perfect

and you're not always going to get the perfect med on the first shot

but that's going to changes genetic testing becomes more standard, because we can predict medication response (pretty darn accurately) based on genetics

This is an amazing comic on the subject:

 

BellaPippin

Aluminum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jul 16, 2015
541
1,044
377
30
Chicago, IL
Yes, and I've also heard people say they've tried meds but it doesn't work for them. But the thing I notice with these people is:
  1. They are not consistent with their medication and don't take it as directed.
  2. They don't follow their doctor's advice about other necessary lifestyle changes.
  3. If the medication isn't right for them, they do not follow up about trying others.
  4. They have substance abuse problems (this not only undoes any positive effects of treatment, but makes the illness exponentially worse).
From what I've seen, psychiatrists are usually very good at determining the right treatment for people. It's not worth it to suffer, doctors can do A LOT to help someone struggling with mental illness.

Hopefully this gives hope to other people dealing with the same thing.
Ah I’m so glad they helped you, so happy for you. Nothing like going through non-stop dull palpitations for an hour straight and being told “just take it easy”.

You’re right also all the people complaining they don’t work either had bad side effects and refused to switch to try another one (like, the same thing happens with birth control and nobody complains) or it’s the ones that go “I felt happy so I stopped it” then proceed to have withdrawal anxiety for stopping cold turkey. Can’t mess with your brain chemistry like that it’s not like an anti-acid.

Anyway like my doctor says if the symptoms are under control then you can focus on doing everything else.

Don’t let people judge you or make you feel weird remember some people appease their anxiety by smoking a pack a day. Stigma is a bitch but also pretty hypocritical.
 

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