Combatting Depression

by Eric Disco
Nov 10

wakkawa.deviantart.com2Socially anxiety is often accompanied by something else that few people, particularly in the community, are willing to talk about: depression.

When attempting to take action, it usually seems that anxiety is the main thing stopping us.

You want to take action, but anxiety feels like a brick wall in your way. You simply can’t do it.

But if social anxiety is a brick wall, depression is a fifty pound backpack filled with bricks.

It sucks up all your energy and enjoyment and makes you want to just go home and be anti-social, to not even attempt to get past your anxiety.

In some ways, guys who are trying to improve themselves with women are more susceptible to depression.

I recently met a guy who had actually turned into an alcoholic in part because it was so difficult for him to handle the highs and lows assoicated with this game.

Learning to get better with women is not an easy road.

When you do a lot of pickup, you are continually putting yourself out there. You are continually being smacked in the face by reality.

It’s been said that people who are depressed aren’t actually pessimistic or negative thinkers. They are actually more realistic.

If each and everyone one of us knew our exact place in life, most of us would be depressed.

But in order to get better with women, we need to test ourselves against reality. It is necessary in order for you to learn and to grow.

This testing shapes and refines you like a fire purifies gold.

But it can be daunting at the same time.

There are times when you feel super confident. Maybe for a few weeks or a few months, things are going fantastic.

Maybe you have so many dates, you can hardly fit another one into your schedule.

And it shows. Women can sense it when you aren’t eager or desperate.

All you can remember are your successes. You’re flying high.

But then the tide turns. Even if you have gotten intensely skilled, your standards may have been raised so high, that you find yourself dateless for a while.

You reach the lower apex of the curve.

wakkawa.deviantart.com15Your confidence deteriorates. Women are less responsive to you.

You dismiss your successes as flukes and all you can remember are your failures.

Ideally, you have an emotional support, friends and family that are there to support you.

But if you feel low confidence enough, depression can even knock that out from under you.

This is because depression can make you feel worthless, like you have nothing to offer other people.

You start to take less and less initiative with friends because it seems like there is nothing valuable in your life that you could offer other people.

As you lose confidence, you isolate yourself from your friends, feeling like they’re losing interest in you.

And when you are depressed, people can become turned off by you.

Depressed people are unrewarding to be around because those people aren’t good at taking initiative in social situations.

And the initiative they do take is needy and pathetic, filled with self-doubt and an overriding stench of desperation.

So as you distance yourself from other people, they distance themselves from you.

This makes you even more depressed. It’s a downward spiral that sucks your energy and motivation.

So what’s the solution? What if you feel like your friends are distancing themselves or you feel like your confidence is too low to even begin?

First of all, you’re not alone.

Everyone gets depressed from time to time just as everyone experiences anxiety from time to time.

Everyone at times feels alienated, alone and down on their confidence.

Feeling these feelings does not mean that you are sick or even unhealthy.

It is not actually the absence or presence of these emotional states that define your psychological health.

Rather, it is your ability to accept, move on and take action that will define whether you will move back into an empowered state.

The very first step in starting to feel better is taking initiative. Even though that seems like the hardest thing to do, that is the only way upward.

There’s a tendecy to want to wait until you feel less depressed to live your life. Taking a break can be good sometimes.

But if you are feeling isolated or in a rut, taking less action usually only disempowers you more.

Some ways that you can start to take initiative:

wakkawa.deviantart.com14Take initiative to get out into the world.

Find some things to do, some things that have social potential, things where there is an opportunity to meet other people.

Maybe take a class or go to a meetup or some other thing where people physically meet–not something online.

Get out of your house once a week. Just start to do one thing.

You don’t even have to talk to anyone yet. Just get out. Go and do it.

Eventually, once you have enough strength, you can take the next step, which is to simply say something to somebody. But for now, just develop an interest in something.

Get back in contact with old friends.

If you feel low confidence, you may be disinclined to reconnect with old friends. You start to over-read any possible signal that would suggest disinterest.

If someone takes too long to return a call, or is immediately busy, you may read that as disinterest.

Take action anyway. Get in contact with a few friends.

As you take initiative, you will start to feel empowered. And you start to become more attractive because you are empowered.

But not at first.

At the beginning, to get things going, it will take the strength of a locomotive with no momentum.

Once you start to have things in place, it gets easier. When you have momentum and friends on your side, you have a safety net.

Ultimately, even if you do have friends, it’s still you keeping yourself afloat. Friends will come and go. Your power and position will wax and wane.

But as long as you’re willing to take initiative to connect with others in the world, your own movement will build a bridge out of depression.


posted in Self-Improvement Strategies

31 responses
Steven says:

Eric, out of all the posts on this site (and there are some real gems), this is probably the most important, real thing I’ve seen you write. The advice is perfect, and indeed vital, for many people experiencing depression.

Thank you.

BJ says:

i battled depression a long time but your absolutily my case after wanting to change myself i started to take martial arts training (BJJ, MT,MMA) and started to take initiative in everything i wanted to do (traveling, organising things with friends, building a bigger social sircle).

i am really happy i found this blog (it definitely helped me), your awesome thanks :D

Tido says:

Did not even realize I’ve gone though depression episodes, till you described it by saying, “You start to take less and less initiative with friends because it seems like there is nothing valuable in your life that you could offer other.” That hits the nail on the head, and I’ve felt that before.

“It is not actually the absence or presence of these emotional states that define your psychological health.

Rather, it is your ability to accept, move on and take action that will define whether you will move back into an empowered state.”

Genius, I find when I fail or think I fail with a girl, I beat myself up. And that inturn gets me depressed. Thanks for making me understand depression more through your post.


Mark02 says:

I experience such painful and crushing depression that I can’t see my way out sometimes. I’m completely friendless and I can’t even look a cute girl in the eyes–you’re right, I feel like I have nothing to offer so why bother–but I know the key is to take action. Thanks, very great article.

Jay says:

Mark02 – when you say you have nothing to offer,what do you mean? You don’t have to give anything physical.

Mark02 says:

Hi Jay,

I mean like interesting insights, knowledge, etc. I very quickly run out of things to talk about or say when I’m with people. I don’t have a quick wit at all.

Axel says:

Being in a dry spell spanning three years, I definitely have to tread water to avoid feeling like shit.
The only thing that really helps me float is talking to women, as in store clerks and so on, women you meet on your way around. I try to get as many laughs and smiles from women as I can, because their smile gives me so much energy.
Other than that, I try to keep myself busy and I try to get out as much as I can without exhausting myself.

A J S says:

Once again; wise words.

relentless d says:

Hey Mark,

What helped me greatly over the years was to just be the little boy i used to be, and be genuinely curous about everything. Find out how someones day is going, what there doing at that particular moment and why. I still get lost if the girl doesnt add anything to the conversation, BUT if she does then I’m golden. I just listen in, add my insight and try to keep her talking. Thats all one can do I believe.

Great article Eric. Im climbing my way back to the top right now. My game kinda crashed and burned after a little drama I suppose I wasnt man enough to handle at the time. I got hurt so i needed some time to collect myself. I even thought about extending my lil hiatus (4-6 weeks) a little longer so i could focus on school but figured that was just an excuse to hide away from rejection.

I just started going out again for a half hr a day everyday this week. I didnt pressurize myself to talk to the ladies because im just getting back on my feet again (although i did chat with a few). I really didnt do anything ballsy for myself but the objective was to getting used to going out again with a purpose. I know its a tough pill to swallow to actually go out with the intention of probably meeting someone and not making it happen and Im not going to put up with it much longer but its all about momentum as eric always suggests.

I cant wait to see how far I can push myself this time before i get put back down again haha. My recovery time from all this craziness has shortened dramatically so im pretty stoked about that. Just do it people.

Rham says:

This is a very good post.

What is most depressing is finding the community and how awful most of (if not 99%) of the instruction is. Why? Well a couple of years ago I had money in the bank and was bad with women. So I thought I would change that around after reading the Game, going on Mysterys Lounge, finding out about various supposed “systems” and “methods” and spent a fortune on bootcamps and now I have very little money in the back (from spending so much and taking a hit in this economy) and still bad with women and no dates. So now I am both poor and womanless. How is that a success after working so hard?

What is even more depressing is finding out how much we have been scammed by all of this. All of these teachers telling us “bro, it does not matter what you look like” and all of the and none of it works. Hot chicks still respond best to hot guys, hot chicks date men due to value. Hot chicks date guys that give them things they want. Its never going to change. Personality is never going to change that. Never. What kind of value does learning basic lines like “who lies more” or “strawberry fields” or some crackpot Horsegirl line will get women interested enough? I used that Horsegirl line well over 200 times (is that not enough should I have used it 537 times?) and got spit on, the finger, shoved, called all things under the sun. What a horrible opening line. I have never seen it and I have put myself out there time after time.

The majority of this whole thing is a scam I am afraid. I believe Eric is sincere and maybe one or two other guys out there but overall its a scam. Its all about money and at the end of the day, you are more depressed than ever for thinking this was going to help. Its a downward spiral that never goes up.

I take that to the bank and my grave.

KL says:

Rham, what is a Horsegirl line?

Cameron says:

Hey Rham,

I can empathise with your post. I too have spent a lot of money on pickup products and have rarely got my moneys worth (apart from the workshop I did with Robbie). I know its hard when it feels like every guy just wants to take your cash and give you nothing in return.

I agree with you that theres no point in learning lines that aren’t congruent with your personality. All this stuff isn’t helpful and won’t get women interested, at least not on there own.

Your right that there are good teachers out there who care about your success though, the trick is to find them, all the best.


Rham says:


The horsegirl opener is what the “great” Brad P calls the shocker opener. It goes like this:

Point to the girl and wait a moment. Then say:

You: “Do you like horses?”
Her: “Yes/No/Maybe.”
You: “Hmmmm. I thought so. Check this out. When I was in sixth grade there was this girl that loved horses. She loved them more than ANYTHING. She would draw horses all over her binders, she would be running all over the playground making horse noises.
(About this time the girl wonders why you are telling her this and starts getting bored with your story, then you deliver the punch line.)
You: “You look JUST LIKE HER.”

He lives by this and claims it builds attraction and makes you sound daring.

Maybe for 20 somethings it might work but for guys a little older its a nightmare.

KL says:

Haha, I can see why you would strike out with that nonsense. That kind of routine you need very strong presence and frame to pull it off, if it will work at all. The problem I have with these routine gurus is that it’s all useless without the right inner game and mentality.

Give a script to one of the best actors in the world, and give the same script to a second-rate first year acting school student, and you will get two VERY different performances. And getting good with women is not acting; it’s real life. So imagine how much more difficult it is.

So, yeah, I don’t like routines and acting. I’ve never seriously considered any routines, or any of the gurus who espouse them. How can you build a genuine connection with someone by randomly reciting someone else’s scripted performance?

I’ve never spent a dime on any of this stuff. I started out with no friends and no confidence with girls, hot or otherwise. All of my improvement has come from reading free stuff, real world practice and my own common sense. As I think I’ve said to you, you need to focus on genuine connections with people, and building your confidence with girls, and slowly build from there.

Cameron says:

Thats the lamest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

But it’s not about the words Rham, its all about everything else.

Cameron says:

And by the way. Brad P really is fucking great, hes great because hes a fucking cool, confident guy, not because of his stupid horsegirl opener.

Peter says:

Hey guys,

I really feel for anyone who has become stuck in such a rut that it begins to affect their self-esteem like this. The highs and lows associated with learning pickup are sometimes unhealthy and can leave a person worse off than they started. This is why I turned my back on the community’s teachings months ago and have now seen the type of success and improvement that I never achieved by “learning game”.

I respect the hell out of Eric – guys like him have motivated me to step out of my comfort zone on a regular basis and increase my social confidence. But when I hear stories of guys turning to substance abuse because of pickup I have to speak up: “Learning pickup” as a “skill to master” by forcing oneself through thousands of cold approaches and continual rejection is often a demeaning and demoralizing experience that simply isn’t the natural way of becoming a man who is attractive to women. I speak from firsthand experience. When I finally realized this I began to see the results I never got from following the dogma of the community.

The concept that women don’t pursue men is bullshit. The idea that you can’t meet women naturally and nonchalantly and instead have to manipulate each interaction with a skillset is bullshit. One of the few “gurus” I still follow said it best: “If you’ve built your success with women on cold approaches, tactics, techniques and methods, you’ve built yourself a house of cards that’s eventually going to crumble.”

Take all the time and energy you put into doing cold approaches and learning pickup and put it into becoming an extremely attractive man. That’s when things start to just happen. And women want things to just happen…they don’t like it when guys force the issue, which is why we deal with SO much resistance and rejection when we approach this as a skill we need to go out and master.

Eric Disco says:

Hey Peter,

Thanks for your input. Can you be more specific when you say a guy should “become an extremely attractive man”? It’s a bit like saying, don’t do anything. Just let women come to you.

That’s all well and good, but that seems like what I was doing for years before I began taking initiative to meet women. Exactly what are you suggesting guys do?


Peter says:

Hey Eric,

That’s a great question. There are basically four areas one needs to work on in order to become a naturally attractive man: Mindset – using daily exercises and mental tweaks to destroy limiting beliefs and become a man who is the prize rather than the pursued; Lifestyle – building a life that is fun, healthy, and internally validating and that will naturally put you into contact with attractive women on a regular basis; Appearance – women aren’t that different from men, they like guys who are well groomed, stylish, and have well-built bodies; Behavior – continually stepping outside of your comfort zone to develop behaviors that exude mature masculinity.

And yes, Eric, I’m with you on taking social initiative – that is a mature masculine behavior that one should cultivate. I think it’s important to have a conversation with an attractive new woman every day…but not in the sense of cold approaching her to practice the next level of your game. It should be about developing the kind of comfort with attractive women that is an inherent trait of the naturally attractive man.

The light finally went off in my head when I decided to dump all the internet theories and instead focus on real world examples that I have seen or experienced firsthand. I realized something interesting: I have always known guys who never had a shortage of hot women in their lives – and they never needed to read pickup theory and they didn’t meet these women by cold approaching and gaming them. They had an abundance of women because they were attractive men who had lives, put themselves out there and didn’t get in their own way when a girl they liked showed interest.

Cameron says:

I think thats a great point Peter.

I think it really is all connected.

Ah well, better do some exercise! :-)

Rham says:


Can you write a post sometime in the near future about what dating is like through the eyes of an attractive to very attractive woman? I have a really hard time gaining attraction with attractive to very attractive women and it just seems like a brick wall with these types of women. It seems attractive women have so many options for dating as compared to males such as myself. However is this really so and if it is how do attractive women look at this? What kind of flaws do they accept?

Do you have any female friends that can give honest, candid, introspective answers (not some kind of “yeah I never find a nice guy” thing) from any attractive women you know that we (us average males) perceive or “do” have tons of options?

That would be appreciated.

Eric says:

Hi Rham,

Yeah, I will put something together like this. Is there anything more specific you would want me to ask? What flaws in particular are you referring to?

One thing seems to be that some women will accept different “flaws” than others. And it also depends on the girl’s own ability to get the “best” guys she wants. Women are limited too. Not every “hot” woman can get every guy.


Rham says:


Well the flaws are pretty basic such as height (shorter guys), hair loss, guys who maybe are not the proverbial “tall, hot, dark haired type”, guys with money “challenges” such as maybe a struggling business guy. I am not handicapped but I guess that would be a pretty big challenge. Is it all about looks to attractive women? I rarely see attractive women with guys that are not say attractive on their scale – say a 9 with a 9 and so forth. I know the community always says that is not true but in my travels, I see likes with likes 99% of the time. Maybe 9′s are more comfortable with 9′s? We are always being told (time and time again) that women do not value looks like men do but I just do not find that to be true.

I really have a hard time seeing how attractive women are limited. A beautiful young woman could find a handsome guy very easily. This is how they play their numbers. All they have to do is go to some downtown bar on even a week night and by just being there she will get approached and end up with a date if she see’s fit. Even say a lounge or restaurant bar. Go to Manhattan or Chicago on a Wednesday night even and there are usually tons of beautiful women in those places. I bomb out when I approach them but I have friends that do (most are taller and better looking) and they have done quite well.

Thanks for the hopeful post.

Rham says:


I guess the case is this. I feel rather hopeless when I am in say a bar or place where I am surrounded by taller, better looking guys. If there are some really attractive women (say in a lounge or restaurant bar) and there are also guys that are like anywhere from 6 to more inches taller (I am around the 5’4-5’5 area) I feel like I do not have a chance no matter how well my personality might be. I might make the the hot blonde laugh but I feel that no matter how much I do that or even if she might like me, she will think in her mind “that tall guy over there is pretty hot and I do not want to screw up my chances with him if he comes over or I start talking to him.”

I have been thru the ringer and have done thousands of approaches but the Alpha dude always seems to win.

In this way, does an average guy (or below physically average) have a chance with with a hot woman? I know they always say “Oh I want a nice guy or a guy who can make me laugh” but we all know they do not usually end up with this type of guy. Is that by choice or are they just so attracted to taller Alpha guys that no matter what game you may use, you really do not have a chance.

That would be very helpful.

Nonstop says:

Physical attraction matters on a superficial level. My interpretation of learning pickup is to go from being an average person who can talk to people in a superficial level…. to beginning that person who can make you feel different, better, just by being around them. When you impact people on a deeper, emotional and primal level, a lot of the other bullshit doesn’t matter.

Physical attractiveness is important, but it’s only a small part of the puzzle. it works both ways: you can be really into someone you’ve never seen, but have talked to extensively until you meet them, or on the other hand be really interested in someone hot until you speak to them and realize that there’s nothing more there beyond looks.

Ricesteam says:

Amazing post by Eric. This is just what I needed. I’ve been feeling down and frustrated recently. I’m 28, I just started gaming and I have yet to kiss a girl or have girlfriend. I was doing good, approaching women, number closing — it was a high, as Eric elegantly wrote in this blog, but not the waves of the tide hit a wall and I’m stuck.

The numbers I closed stopped responding to me. I have yet to go out on a date with one of them…It’s very depressing.

Besides the article, the community feedback is insightful. Peter has touched on some enlightening things that I should work on. But I agree with Eric that women do not simply come to you. Before gaming, I’ve been volunteering, going to meet ups, and going to classes. I didn’t meet any women. At some point you have to take the initiative. But to take the initiative, I have to work on some of the items Peter has mentioned. Mainly, being in touched with my masculinity.

Thank you guys, this has helped me.

YAT says:

I am only half-way reading this post and i must say – this is one of the better pieces of cheerup and encouraging text i have ever read.

Knowing those downward routes to depression so well, you have enriched me by pointing out the fact that even though i am willing to increase the feelings of loneliness and solitary, this is the time to act in the other direction and throw those feelings away.

Thank you very much.

cynical optimist says:

Depression loves isolation….FACT
Very imformative post, its could be described as CBT Cognitive Behavioual Threapy for the pua. Depression is an incredible disease, it takes away one s motivation, enjoyment and eventually dignity. Weight lifting nutrition and socialising it cant breed in this environment.

zeus says:

Depression is something that we’ve all experienced. It starts small and slowly keeps growing inside of use until it consumes us until we are a former shell of ourselves. You have to keep telling yourself positive things everytime you start thinking negative thoughts until you finally start thinking positive thoughts and eliminate the constant bad thoughts.

Chris says:

Thanks for this post Eric…this motivates me to get out of the rut I’m in right now.

Lately I’ve been feeling drained and very frustrated… it seems like such work to go out and make new friends in a new city. Plus I’m in a rut career-wise… feeling worthless.

This post reminds me that the best cure to my frustration is to fill my life with activities that EXCITE me. Tim Ferriss of the 4 Hour Work Week said that the opposite of happiness is not sadness… the opposite of happiness is Boredom.

I’ve been drained lately b/c my day-to-day life has been BORING. I’ll start taking initiative by signing up for that martial arts class I’ve been wanting to do.

I’m still feeling massive resistance to going out and cold approaching, but I think that if I can fill my life with more activities that are fun (and social) I’ll get out of this rut and take a bigger leap to go out and meet people during the day.

“for now, just develop an interest in something.”

daniel says:


I’ve just recently discovered your site ( though i know roissy/roosh for a few years), and just reading the archives I stumbled into this.
I am battling depression for a year now and your post just motivated me ( like many other people have ) to overcome it.

Thank you very much.