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Karlo Shen

"Life will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it"

-Rocky Balboa

Kind of a trivial quote and overused in many cases, but it is definitely true. From the very start of my life I've always believed that we are responsible for our own lives and how they turn out.

Sure tragedies happen and unforeseen circumstances come up that are out of our control, but what we are responsible is how we react to those circumstances. That is within our control.

I have another quote on my phone by Marcus Aurelius: "If you are distressed bu anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."

So who the hell am I and why you should trust me

I will keep it short and sweet, as I plan to write an article on my story on who am I and what I had to fight in my life.

But, I can make a sweet list of things that I've overcome.

  • Severe and at one point suicidal depression - when it got to that point I knew I had to get a therapist and I did.
  • Anxiety (Not Social) - mostly it was health related
  • Due to both of those things above I've dealt with really big procrastination problem (which actually turned out to be one of the main pillars of my depression, it was a paradox that I got myself into. I got more hopeless because of my procrastination and because of the hopelessness I procrastinated even more ) trust me, it wasn't fun at all.
  • Really interesting kind of OCD - I will not be getting into what it was, as I think it is too screwed up. I managed to hide it quite well.  *My friends might be reading this for gods sake*. If you're thinking that you shouldn't hide your problems from your friends, you're right, you should talk about depression and anxiety with them. But there are some things that should be kept only within you and your therapist.
  • Existential crisis - this was another major pillar in my depression cycle, they all supported each other. I was at total loss of what should I do and it was eating me from inside, it fed the hopeless feeling, because I thought I don't fit anywhere.
  • Real life crisis - due to all of those things above I lost 95% of my work capacity and as you might already conclude I couldn't do much work. So I lost my business and after that a couple of jobs. So I had to scratch that bottom of the barrel. I still remember when I was down to my last euro and no money was in sight, I was in the shop thinking what would be the best purchase and thinking how will I pay rent.

By the way, to make it clear, I didn't come up with all of this, it was a certified psychologist that came up with these diagnosis.

The conventional methods didn't work for me and were way too expensive.


I did therapy for almost a year and it was expensive as hell, I spent around 40% of my paycheck on it and I felt that it didn't work. Well it wasn't a complete waste of money.

I did lose my suicidal thoughts and it helped me to understand that I'm not dying or losing my mind ( I was experiencing pressure in my head, the feeling was like someone would be poking your brain with a stick, vision problems and other unexplainable symptoms). Before going to therapy I was 100% sure that I'm going insane.

My therapist was repeating to me that if we come to the root of the problems it would help and we did. It might not come as a surprise to you, but it was related to problems with my parents. What a surprise.

Just a disclaimer: I'm not blaming them, it's not like someone gave them a book on "how to be the worlds greatest parent" and I'm sure they did their best.

The therapy helped me cope with the symptoms of all the mental illnesses, but it wasn't solving the problem, all the symptoms were there and to be completely honest it was a real pain in the ass.


Then I tried anti-depressants and again, it just helped me to cope with the symptoms, but I still was uninterested in most of the things, the food didn't taste good, previous interests seemed uninteresting and overall I was numb to my emotions.

So I started looking for my own solutions.

How I overcame my depression, anxiety and other problems that came with them.

I found my solution combining various therapy types. I got my hands on every book that I could find and developed my own self-therapy style. It was a combination of Commitment and Acceptance therapy, Cognitive behavioral therapy and Stoicism.

The end result was that I overcame my anxiety and depression within a week. When I did a depression test when I was going to my therapist the result said - severe depression, when I did the same test after a week of my own developed self-therapy it was borderline depression.

That means that I was almost free from my depression, I still had my bad days, but my productivity levels were up from 5% to 70% ( I know, because I measure my productivity). I started to regain interest in life and tacking new challenges.

I still have some days, that suck, but using the techniques that I've learned I can overcome it within minutes and it never lasts more than a half hour. Most of the time I'm out enjoying life.

I hope I will be of some use to people that read my blog, feel free to contact me, I will gladly help out.




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