What Bungee Jumping Can Teach You About Depression

Topics Discussed:
0:14 – Supplements I Took Before Bungee Jumping
0:38 – What I Experienced Jumping Off the Platform
0:50 – Skydiving Years Ago When I Was Depressed
1:26 – The Day I Realized Depression is Real
2:01 – Bungee Jumping Compared to Depressed
2:34 – Keep Trying New Things to Fix Your Depression

No I am not going to tell you to go bungee jumping to fix your depression.

Bungee jumping doesn’t fix your depression anyways.  It might fix sadness, but not depression.

How I Told a Multimillionaire He Was Wrong About Depression

I recently attended a large business event.  One of the speakers was extremely successful and well established.

We find ourselves in the elevator together and start talking while we go to eat lunch at one of the best buffets I’ve ever had in my life.

As we were walking, we started talking about this website and how I want to help people cure their depression.

He tells me how he has gotten depressed a few times and I began to start my story about skydiving.

He cuts in and says, “Oh yeah! Whenever I start to get depressed, I just go skydiving or do something crazy and it solves it.”

I say, “No, that isn’t depression then.”

And he responds, “No! It’s true! Research shows that doing something like skydiving elevates your dopamine levels hours afterwards.”

I then proceed to tell him my skydiving story…

The guy is awesome and there is absolutely nothing wrong with what he said… But this is just one more case of people misunderstanding the word depression“.

Depression Is Not “Sadness”

We need to create a new word for depression.  So many people confuse sadness or feeling down with depression.

If you feel down for a few days, you are not depressed.

Depressed is feeling like crap for weeks, even months at time.  Depression is feeling like shooting your head off for months at a time.

There is a massive difference between feeling down and wanting to blow your head off.  That is where a lot of misunderstanding about depression comes from.  There is a wide range of states along the depression spectrum.  You don’t necessarily have to want to blow your head off with a shotgun to be labeled as depressed.

But depression is a state of mind that you cannot get out of for at least a few weeks.  And it can’t be solved by jumping out or off of high things.  That is why it is depression in the first place. Depression IS not being able to enjoy those things.

Skydiving Did Nothing For My Depression

Bullet Bike Crash

I eventually crashed and didn’t get hurt at all, but that’s another story.

Go back about 5 or 6 years.  I have a Yamaha R6, a motorcycle that you will instantly be liable for a reckless driving ticket just by twisting your wrist a few centimeters.  I drive it around going above 100mph every time I ride it.

I hit corners so fast it feels like my bike is an ice skate capable of cutting into the asphalt and maintaining traction where ever I go.

I chase adrenaline wherever I go.  At night on the highway I race other bikers just to see who’s bike is faster.

When I get home the hairs on my arm are all sticking up because of how fast I was going.  I could barely even make the corners while staying in the same lane because of how fast I am going.

I’m still depressed.

 

Snowboarding Doesn't Fix Depression

I eventually crashed and was almost paralyzed, but that is another story.

I participated in all sorts of crazy extreme sports.  I played ice hockey where in my championship game someone got knocked out cold and sent to the hospital.

I mountain bike with my friend who is way beyond my skill level and hit jumps I shouldn’t be hitting.

I ride dirt bikes in the sand dunes as fast as I can.

I start hitting the biggest jumps I can find at the ski resort on my snowboard.

I have this weird belief that this is what I need to do to cure my depression… yet….

I’m still depressed.

So back to the multimillionaire.  About 6 years ago I am training to be certified in skydiving so that I can go on solo jumps as much as I want… to fix my depression.

It is all good and fun, and I think everyone should go at least once, but the fourth time I jumped, something happened.

Depression is a State that You Are Trapped In

On the drive to the skydiving place, I feel nothing.

On the way up in the plane, I feel slight nervousness.

I jump out the plane with my own shoot… I free fall for almost a minute.  I pull my shoot, glide down to the ground, turning perfectly into the wind and pulling on my chute at just the right time.

People run up to me in excitement, but slowly their excitement turns to an awkward surprise.

When they ask me how it was, I shrug, “it was ok.”

I didn’t enjoy any second of that jump and was almost even more depressed on the drive home.

When I got home, I realized, “I just went skydiving and I still feel like pure shit. I think I have depression.”

You think?

Depression was a state of mind I was stuck in that was blocking me from feeling pleasure from even the most extreme experiences.

That is the day I realized just how real depression is. I had depression and I needed to do something on a deeper level than just ride fast motorcycles and jump out of planes.

Bungee Jumping While Not Depressed Is Awesome

So instead I started bungee jumping and that solved everything….

Just kidding.

Flash forward to now.  I went bungee jumping with my Vietnamese friend in Thailand.

The night before I was still adjusting to the time zone difference, so I took an L-Tryptophan at night and in the morning I took an L-Tyrosine.

As we are driving to the spot, I am nervous and excited.

As I am buying the ticket, I start to feel surges of anxiety and excitement.

I’m going up the crane and I feel so nervous I am legitimately worried that I am going to pee myself.

I jump off the platform as the employee counts to three in Thai and fall towards the water at the bottom in what must have been one of the most adrenaline surged experiences I’ve had in a while.

Afterwards I’m elated and excited, replaying the experience in my head.

On the drive home, that’s when I realized I had fixed my depression for real.  I wasn’t just running from my negative states trying to surge myself with the craziest things out there.

I had fixed my depression through repairing my brain and body on a deeper level with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and healthy food.

I felt so grateful looking back comparing my experience with jumping out of a plane and feeling nothing to jumping off a small platform where I felt everything.

If you haven’t yet fixed your depression and haven’t taken a deeper look into nutrition and supplements, then do it now.

P.S. If you liked this post, please let me know if something about my journey with nutrition and supplements would be interesting.  I am contemplating writing a book or course on it, but I only want to create something if it will be valuable to people.

 

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  • Carmen Luckino

    thanks for sharing , I can totally relate.

    • TJ Nelson

      Relate in which ways?

  • Carmen Luckino

    the not feeling things- like when you described how you felt after sky-diving and you were kinda like ” whatever, that was cool”. ( lol) I have felt that. its like you’re in a trance and nothing makes you flinch..

    • TJ Nelson

      Yes it is crazy, huh? That’s why I think it is bizarre now when people tell someone that is depressed to “snap out of it” or to think positive.

      If jumping out of a plane doesn’t snap someone out of depression, nothing will until you fix those root causes first.