Hello, friends! I have four money articles in progress, plus I’m editing several guest posts for future publication. But today I want to give a brief update on my mental health. My depression and anxiety have been tough this year but it feels like I’ve turned a corner, and I want to share what’s helped.

Each week when I go to therapy, I complete a survey regarding my recent mood and attitude. It’s about what you’d expect. There’s a list of maybe a dozen statements, and for each I fill in a bubble indicating how strongly I agree (or disagree) based on my experience during the previous seven days.

From memory, sample statements include:

  • I feel nervous and/or my heart races.
  • I feel anxious in social situations.
  • I have friends and family I can ask for support.
  • I have trouble finding motivation to get things done.
  • I’m able to complete everything I want to do.
  • And so on.

At my first therapy session in April, my score on this assessment was awful. I felt anxious all of the time. I was having trouble with increased heart rates. (Thanks, Apple Watch, for constantly flagging that.) And by far my biggest problem was getting done everything I wanted to get done. I wasn’t doing anything. I was too deep in my anxiety and depression.

Last week, I visited my therapist for the first time in a month. As always, I completed the mental health inventory before our appointment started.

“Whoa!” my counselor said when she saw the results. She pulled up my past scores on her computer. “This is the best you’ve been since we started working together. You marked that everything’s fine except for your ability to get work done. That’s great. What happened?”

“What happened is that I got out of my routine,” I said. “I’ve been on vacation. Plus, I’ve been doing a lot of the things you and I have talked about. They’ve helped. Right now, the reason I can’t get done everything I want to do has nothing to do with depression and anxiety. It’s just that I have so much on my plate that I can’t figure out how to prioritize it!”

During our time together, my therapist and I have explored a variety of steps I can take to improve my mental health. When I actually implement these things, life is great. (I have a tendency to talk about making changes without actually doing so. This was especially true early on.)

Here are three changes that have helped me cope with my depression and anxiety.

Spending More Time with People

When Kim and I lived in a condo in the city, I got plenty of social interaction on a daily basis. Now we live in a house in the country. Unless I make an effort to reach out, I can go a week without having a meaningful conversation with anyone but Kim.

Plus, I lost touch with many of my old friends when Kim and I embarked on our fifteen-month RV trip around the U.S. When I returned home, I didn’t resume the relationships (and my friends didn’t either).

Some people have social interaction built into their lives. They’re surrounded by co-workers on weekdays. They attend church on Sunday. They take their kids to school events and/or participate in community organizations. I don’t do any of this.

For many years, I had a built-in social group because I took Crossfit classes. I got to interact with my fitness friends several days each week. But I haven’t attended classes in a long, long time, so that network has vanished too.

This summer, I’ve deliberately taken steps to reconnect with old friends. I invite them to join me at Portland Timbers games. I have lunch or dinner with them. We walk dogs together. Although I haven’t joined any community groups, Kim and I are both looking to do so.

There’s still more work to be done here, but I feel as if I’m moving in the right direction. It feels good to reconnect with people.

Exercising and Eating Right

Speaking of exercise, this is another area where I’ve let things slide.

I used to be fat. I ate poorly and I didn’t exercise, so naturally I gained weight and then maintained it. My poor choices were reflected in my (lack of) physical fitness.

In 2010, I resolved to change. I reduced my calorie intake and made better food choices. More importantly, I started cycling and discovered Crossfit. Within two years, I was the fittest I’d ever been in my life. I was lean. I was strong. It felt amazing.

No joke: Being fit and knowing that you’re fit is one of the best things you can do to boost your confidence and to fight depression. I’d always heard that. For a few years, I lived it.

I maintained my fitness until 2015. When Kim and I left for our RV trip, however, my health began to erode. At first, she and I made time to exercise but gradually our motivation vanished. At the same time, we were eating more unhealthy food (we wanted to try the regional cuisine!) and drinking more alcohol (we wanted to try the regional wine and beer!). We packed on the pounds.

Since returning to Portland in 2016, I’ve made intermittent attempts to exercise and eat right but nothing has stuck. “I had to buy fat clothes for our trip,” I told my therapist before we left for Italy in August. You can bet she had a chat with me about (a) my word choice and (b) my inability to follow through with fitness.

Now, I have a plan. My crazy summer schedule becomes less crazy on October 15th. After that, I have no travel planned. I will sign up for Orange Theory classes and attend them early every morning. (I have to exercise first thing or it won’t get done.)

In the meantime, I’ve already begun reducing my calorie intake and making healthier choices. My goal is to lose weight this winter instead of gain it.

Lowering My Expectations

Perhaps the biggest change I can make to improve my mental health is this: lowering my expectations for myself. I am a perfectionist. But perfectionism leads to both procrastination and disappointment.

“J.D., why are you forcing yourself to publish so much when you know that doing so is stressful?” my therapist asked in June. “This is an expectation you’ve placed on yourself. Nobody else has done this to you. You are making yourself unhappy.”

Good point. And, you know what? This was one of the primary reasons I sold Get Rich Slowly back in 2009. Ten years ago, I was deeply unhappy because of the publication schedule I had imposed upon myself.

So, Tom and I have been s-l-o-w-l-y transitioning to a different model here at the website.

  • I will write when I want to write (about what I want to write).
  • He and I are working together to revise and expand older articles. We’ll publish new and improved versions from time to time.
  • We’ve been publishing articles from guest authors and from places like NerdWallet.
  • We’re in the process of hiring a staff writer. (Maybe more than one?) If you’re interested, you should apply for the position.

But it’s not just here at the blog that I have to fight my high expectations. It’s everywhere in my life: my relationships, my health, my home — even my expectations of what I do in my spare time.

Yesterday, I was talking with my former Crossfit coach about returning to the gym. “J.D.,” he said, “I know you. And if I could offer one piece of advice, it’d be this: Set your bar for success very low. If you go in and expect to be where you were six years ago, you’re going to give up. For now, you should count it a success if you simply show up.”

“Showing up” seems like a low bar indeed, but my coach is right. If my expectations are too high, there’s no doubt that I’ll fall short. And when I do, I’ll be discouraged. It’ll stop me from starting! So, my first fitness goal will simply be: get to the gym each day.

It’s going to take some time for me to shed all of my expectations. (And, truthfully, I’m not sure discarding all expectations is even desirable.) But that’s why I’m working with a therapist.

Here’s an example of my expectations in action. Although I’ve agreed with my counselor that I should not adhere to a publication schedule at GRS, I begin to get antsy as days pass and I don’t have something new ready for readers.

In fact, this very article is a result of that. For the past seven days, I’ve been working almost non-stop even though there’s nothing new to show for it. It’s been a week since I published my last piece and it’s stressing me out.

When I sat down with my coffee this morning, I started writing a journal entry about how this expectation was making me unhappy. That journal entry turned into this article. I still have work to do on this haha!

Everything I Already Know

The funny thing about therapy (to me) is that my counselor’s advice is stuff I already know. I have a psychology degree, after all, and at one time I intended to become a therapist myself. The things she says and does are all very familiar to me. (She’s always telling me not to worry about things I cannot control, which is hilarious because that’s what I’m always telling you folks.)

But there’s a difference between knowing and doing. You can have all of the book knowledge in the world, but if you don’t put that knowledge into practice, what’s the point? My counselor’s job is to move me from words to action.

Honestly, I feel great right now. This is how I used to feel most of the time — and how I want to feel in the future. I’m enjoying life and getting shit done. The darkness is currently at bay. All I see is light.

Yes, I feel overwhelmed by how much work I have to get done — next Thursday, I leave for another 20 days on the road! — but instead of shirking the work, I’m doing it. And the workload isn’t due to negligence on my part. It’s just a perfect storm of deadlines and travel.

But in the back of my mind, I’m worried about what might happen this coming spring. The past few springs have been miserable for me. I’m dreading a return to the days of lying in bed, the lack of desire to talk to anyone about anything. I don’t like myself when I spend all day in my underwear playing videogames. Yuck.

I’m making the right moves now, though. I’m being proactive. I’m being a grasshopper, not an ant. While everything seems rosy and bright, I’m working to lay a foundation for future success, working to create systems that will help me maintain a positive direction even when the depression and anxiety come creeping back next year.

Fingers crossed that all of the preparation pays off!

48 Replies to “How I’m fighting chronic depression and anxiety”

  1. Financial Samurai says:

    JD! Glad you’re feeling better and great! That feeling is worth more than anything right?

    The self-imposed schedule is one I relate to. I self-imposed to publish 3X for 10 years, and at times, that was stressful.

    Now that 10 years has past, I should feel more relaxed. But then I decided to make a new goal of more entrepreneurship, so the pressure continues.

    Maybe at the end of the day, we’re just addicted to progress? I think progress is my one word definition for happiness. Therefore, the struggle is worth it!


  2. El Nerdo says:

    I disagree with the shrink, it’s not you who puts the pressure, but the market, and reader’s routines, with their demand for fresh content.

    Just like a regular job demands you show up and do your work day in & day out.

    Unless it’s a weekly magazine kind of thing (Can you do a weekly magazine article thing? You’re good with long articles anyway.)

    But I wasn’t coming here with bad news about the tough world out there—I’ve got good news that you could use.

    See, I’ve kept coming back these few days not just cuz the “g” in the address bar loads this place (ah, digital habits) but because while the politics article discussion got stale, the curated box remains very damn interesting.

    So maybe you don’t have to be a daily writer, but if you’re a daily reader who keeps linking to interesting stuff, I’ll keep clicking this page because it’s what I do. I’m not all of your readers though. Different people come here for different reasons.

    For me, I think we’ve had enough weeks of inside baseball, lol. I could use some actionable info now: help me do something. But maybe you don’t need to yourself, cuz that lump sum vs average dollar article you linked is JUICY.

    Reader’s habits…

    Perhaps (perhaps) spare change needs a more visible box on the sidebar? Similar to what used to be the “blog roll” in days of yore.

    Ok, but enough inside baseball for me, lol, or I’ll have to start charging xD

    And best wishes with the depression dude. Maybe (maybe?) individual action is not enough for that. Find a group? Find a cause? Find some collective action? (Ah, socialism, lmao.)

    My old dead shrink was all about the social action. (He was old, he dead now, he was awesome.) He said that individual therapy was just the start. Yeah… Maybe get involved with something that transcends the “me”? If you forget yourself for a spell, the depression and anxiety might just have nothing to attach to.

    Just saying.

    Ok that will be $75 xD

    Live long and prosper brah.

    • J.D. Roth says:

      Haha. I agree with the too much “inside baseball”. In fact, those are the very words I use to describe it. We’re working toward more actionable stuff both from me and others!

    • Wesley says:

      Hey El Nerdo,

      Where is the curated link/area? Perhaps I’ve just been overlooking it this whole time! JD’s mentioned it before, but maybe I’m just not seeing it?

      On the Spare Change section, I just now noticed it…yes, I’m dense. Honestly, I’ve disabled my ad blocker on GRS, to try to pitch in and be a good reader, and that section just looked like another ad, with external links like you’d see on those MSN sections, so as I quickly scanned the content, I’ve been overlooking it this whole time. Doh!

      • J.D. Roth says:

        Haha. Wesley, you are not the only one who has told me those links look like ads. They’re not ads! I update them often, even when I’m not posting other stuff around the blog. In the forthcoming redesign (it’s close, I promise), we’ll try to make it clearer that these are useful links, not spam…

        • El Nerdo says:

          You know, I keep having this idea that each link could be a mini-article instead of a link in a box.

          Many successful blogs do that: they post a quick summary of some large article or study, or their own take on an it (a paragraph maybe?) and then link to the external stuff.

          I think you actually do more work than you admit you do.

          Reading and collecting is serious work, and maybe just valuing this activity more would dissolve the mirage of this “productivity” problem that you don’t really have.

          Just… fix the perspective. Zoom into that box and you got a gold mine.

      • El Nerdo says:

        Don’t forget to click on that “Pinboard” link at the bottom right of the list. It’s not what you think hahaha (it’s not Pinterest). That’s actually a page with the whole archive of previous links.

        Not sure why the name but… useful because the list updates frequently and you need to go back and look for stuff.

  3. Carol in Mpls says:

    Hey J.D.,

    Well, I can relate to much of what you’ve shared. Two years ago I started the light box therapy (and it’s about time to get it out again), and it did make a world of difference for me. Minnesota winters can be so glum and relentless. This did help.

    Many of your issues are mine as well, specifically being in that lethargic mode of wanting to get stuff done, having no will or interest to do so, but still expecting results. How would that happen?

    What seems to work for me is having just a few targeted areas to focus on. As an ADHD person, I see the entire world as an option, and it’s challenging for me to narrow it down to something manageable. It’s so hard to give up on ideas or wishes or dreams that will just never come to fruition. As an extrovert, I do feel the need to stay connected to those in my circle, so I’ve become more intentional. I’ll have a small group over for lunch or dinner, do the coffee shop meetup, go to my monthly book club. Those all get me out of the house, and out of my head as well. Like you, I’m trying to re-lay the foundation of what I want my life to look like, what really matters, and how to get there. Like so much, it is a journey.

    • WantNot says:

      “But in the back of my mind, I’m worried about what might happen this coming spring. The past few springs have been miserable for me.”

      Yes, light box therapy is essential for those who suffer from S.A.D. If anyone always gets depressed in spring (or winter), it’s usually the lack of light, and it can be a very awful feeling!

      Thanks J.D. for your honesty and your positive attitude toward all aspects of your life….it helps so many people! You once thought you might become a therapist in order to help people? Hm, seems like you’ve achieved that one!

  4. Dave @ Accidental FIRE says:

    Great to hear you’re felling better and have plans to make it better still dude! If I were a betting man I’d say you’re going to get the most bang for your buck from the fitness gains and weight loss. Listen to this short 10 minute podcast from Drs. Peter Attia and Rhonda Patrick. Summary – “Exercise is the most important thing you can do for brain health”. I’ve found that to be true in my life.


    Good luck!

  5. dh says:

    JD, try keto. I resisted it for years, thinking it was some sort of celebrity fad diet, but I’ve been on it for awhile now, and the results have been like satanic black magic sorcery. I’ve always been really fit anyway, but keto tightened the screws within *days,* giving me that Bruce Lee look I’m going for. Anyway, I’m doing a pretty clean version of it. However, the science behind it is the same even if one does a dirty version: lots of bacon, cheese, steak, sausauge, heavy whipping cream, butter, hamburger, hard liquor, vegetables drowned in butter, cheese, and ranch. All that matters are the macros. There’s really no excuse to be fat anymore. It’s like who the hell lacks the “discipline” to eat cheese and bacon???? Every meal can be a cheat meal, just cut the carbs and sugar.


    • Alice says:

      Oh my goodness! I came here to say the same thing. I’ve been a reader for years and somehow made it to his Facebook list eons ago. Today was the day that I was going to comment about keto. Been doing this myself for about a year and a half.

      I have read more than a dozen books on the science behind keto and why it works. It doesn’t make sense according to our ‘traditional’ teachings of weight loss and maintenance. But when you learn that what we’ve been taught is rubbish and based on who has the most money, and then you see the science behind why keto does work, it all becomes clear. The weight literally FELL off me. Then my husband started and the weight fell off of him, too. And now’s he’s off SEVEN medications including diabetes meds that would have traditionally been a lifetime curse.

      I have seen so many (dozens? Hundreds?) of testimonials in the last year of how ridding oneself of grains and seed oils have helped folks with anxiety, depression, … and about a hundred other things. Is the keto the cure? Maybe it’s just that what we eat is causing all those other problems.

      • Isabella says:

        Yes, to the Keto diet. Give it a try! I have only been on this diet for 12 weeks and have lost 20 pounds. But I began Keto for other reasons. I am a two-time cancer survivor, and I had a complete knee replacement one year ago. Multiple surgeries and chemotherapy had taken its toll. I was more interested in being strong and fit than losing weight, but the weight loss is great. (Still more to go)

        I walk for 50 minutes each day, I sleep like a baby, brain fog has evaporated, blood pressure dropped, and my doctor has taken me off two medications. Plus I am not hungry eating this way. I am naturally an optimistic person, but I, too, have read many testimonies by people who have overcome depression and anxiety on this diet. It’s true that what we eat is who we are!

        • Alice says:

          Isabella – good for you! Way to go.

          JD – My current read is Super Fuel by Mercola and DiNicolantonio. They cover mental health quite a bit.

  6. Kim W. says:

    Thanks for being so open about your struggles with mental health, J.D. My guess is that it’s a lot more common in the personal finance community than it is talked about! I know it’s something I’ve wrestled with over the last couple of years — working 60-70 hour weeks is great for my net worth but has me stretched thin, and I know it’s not great for my wellbeing. I keep telling myself, if I can just get through another 1-2 years of this (really build up my money cushion), then I can figure out a different work-life balance.

    Anyway, I just really appreciate your willingness to share what you’re going through and what’s working for you.

  7. Irene says:

    Different strokes etc — I really appreciate these types of articles. While I also like more financially oriented articles, my favorite articles are ones in which personal life is shared. Your letting yourself be vulnerable enough to dig deep and share what you’re going through and even what is happening with you in therapy is very helpful. And frankly mental health hits every part of our lives — diet and weight, finances, relationships. Thank you for sharing. P.S. It seems that the RV trip had quite a few negative consequences. I’m sure there were plenty of positive things in there as well, but it’s interesting that stepping out of your routine for so long made such a long-term impact.

  8. Kristen says:

    Thanks for sharing – I have similar struggles, especially with finding the motivation to get my butt moving on the endless things I dream of myself getting done.

    I related to your comment about returning from your roadtrip: “When I returned home, I didn’t resume the relationships (and my friends didn’t either).” I feel like my husband and I have lost a lot of friendships because we were the only ones ever organizing get togethers. When we decided to stop and let someone else take the lead, we have gone years without seeing these folks who live so close to us. It’s always “we should get together, we miss you!” but ends there. I want to reach back out but I don’t want to get into that cycle of one-sided-ness again. Did you have a similar experience or have you since crafted new friendships?

    • Anne says:

      Amen sister. The story of my life. “We would love to see you, if you do all the emotional work and risk taking.” Sigh.

  9. Linda Vaughn says:

    Thanks so much for this brave post. So many of us look up to you. You’re a wonderful writer. Regardless of whether you write about finance or your emotional state, we’ll read it anyway. And if we don’t hear from you, we’ll read you when you return. You’ve built up a lot of blogging capital. Maybe it’s time to spend some of it. Enjoy your get-away. See you when you return. (Bet on it!)

  10. Erin | Reaching for FI says:

    Thanks for talking about all of this, JD. Isn’t it funny (not usually haha funny but sometimes!) how sometimes it takes someone else—be it a friend or a therapist—telling you something you already know to have it actually sink in? Very little of anything my therapist tells me is actually groundbreaking information!

    I’m well acquainted with the overwhelm/avoid cycle and am glad you’re getting things done now while you’re feeling good now.

  11. Ann says:

    Just what I needed to hear today. Glad you are doing what your therapist recommends and glad you are feeling so much better.

  12. Scott K McGovern says:


    As someone who struggles with everything you wrote – thank you for sharing. Take your time with everything. We’ve been reading you for years. We’re not going anywhere.

    You’re doing great.

  13. Cici says:

    I started OrangeTheory (sometimes referred to as OrangeTherapy on the r/orangetheory subreddit) last winter and I’m shocked to report that I really, really like it. And this is from someone who hates exercising–and spending $ to exercise (!). I go in the very early a.m. because of work, and because, like you, if I don’t go in the morning, I talk myself out of it. I do think that going EVERY morning might be a little ambitious–you’ll be sore.

  14. Patricia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. The worst thing about mental illness is how isolating it is, so it’s comforting to hear from someone that’s also suffering. I’m glad you have such a variety of articles, including this one.

  15. Elly says:

    Hello! One thing that’s been good for me in previous springs is new exercises – so I didn’t have any expectations. For example, indoor rock climbing or skate skiing – latter is fabulous because you can appreciate the grey and cold, and also be in nature which is shown to improve mood.

    Good luck! I’m rooting for you:)

  16. Amanda says:

    Glad to hear you are getting better. Being open about mental struggles is still tough in our society. I applaud you for letting us all read about and support you as you undertake this journey.

  17. Jennifer says:

    Hello JD, I’m so glad life is brighter for you these days and I hope that continues. Your writing keeps me checking in daily and I know you don’t write daily. That won’t change just because you don’t write for a while. Perhaps it makes it better when you do write? After all when something is scarce doesn’t demand increases… so hey… keep us waiting my friend. 🙂 I’ll happily just keep checking your site… and reading the spare change articles. Peace

  18. Joe says:

    Hey JD, glad to hear you’re getting a bit better. It sounds like the RV trip really disrupted your good routine. Hopefully, you’ll find the right groove soon. I know it can be tough when you’re stuck in a bad routine. Let’s get together next time you come for the Timbers game. Have you been to Life of Pie? I’ll get in touch.

  19. Gwen @ Fiery Millennials says:

    Oh we are so going to Mexico in the spring. Sunshine, excellent company (if I do say so myself), different exercises like surfing and walking along the beach….. Sounds like just the way to shake up a dreary spring.

    I have been struggling with blog expectations and getting things done too. Like you, I feel like I’ve turned a corner. I’ve written and released two articles this week! They’re not perfect, but that’s ok. They’re done and people can enjoy them. Maybe later I’ll go back and create pretty pictures for them.

    Can’t wait to see you in a few short weeks!

  20. Sue says:

    Take care of yourself JD! I’ve got your blog bookmarked:)

  21. Sue G. says:

    Unsolicited: I currently follow four blogs and I have trouble keeping up with more than one post a week to read (per blog). In fact, as blogs increase to 3 or more posts a week, I stop reading them (including GRS when it expanded/sold). It’s too much for me. I think in the blogosphere publishing deadlines are completely subjective and therefore irrelevant. Do what works for you. That includes taking writing/posting breaks. If bringing on a staff writer helps you, _then_do_it! But remember, for early GRS, current GRS and Money Boss, we come here for your voice and vision. You are what makes GRS unique and interesting. However, at the end of the day, this platform has to serve you and what you need.

    Above all, please take care of yourself. Do what you need to do to set yourself up for good health and a contented life.

  22. Anne says:

    May I suggest Donna Freedman as a staff writer?

  23. Bill says:

    JD glad to hear things have been positive recently. High expectations really can sabotage your efforts in so many areas. When I was learning golf years ago, it just became an exercise in frustration until one day I decided to forget score cards. I thought, really, who am I fooling. I’m never gonna make the PGA tour. And suddenly it became an enjoyable way to get outside for a few hours with a few friends. This past Sunday, I ran a 5k and was a little pissed at myself for running a 9 minute pace. But then for some reason I thought of all the people from my high school who’ve passed away recently. And here I am in a beautiful park on a 70 degree Sunday morning. Running. I met a few new people, I challenged myself, and came home sore. Like Sam said above, maybe we’re addicted to progress and it’s tough to accept anything but. But there’s something to be said for just showing up every day. So I’ll take the 9 minute mile and the shitty golf game. My fingers are crossed too, that we maintain a positive direction and just keep going.

  24. El Nerdo says:

    So here are some “spare change” (you should listen to Billy Connolly talk about “spare change,” hahaha—some Scottish joke from an old standup routine…)

    Sorry got derailed.

    Here some articles you’ve read that I would enjoy discussing with the GRS folks:

    High-density housing (100 square-foot apartments) in Hong Kong [photo essay]

    How much space do we really need in our homes?

    “Is it normal to be terrified of having to work for the rest of my life?”

    What are some other life-changing ideas like FIRE?

    How to do nothing

    75 years of American Finance (1861 to 1935): A graphic representation [AMAZING!]

    Where you are born is more predictive of your future than any other factor [individualists hi]


    • J.D. Roth says:

      I love that photo essay about small apartments in Hong Kong. Also that graphic of U.S. economic history in the late 19th century. I hear you, Nerdo. Let me cogitate on this.

        • El Nerdo says:

          Amazing! The shape on the hillside reminded me a bit of the pyramids of Teotihuacán, though this has to be a much larger scale.

          Proof that humans don’t need a lot of space in this life or the next one, ha ha ha.

          Also—I’m not a thrift store guy, but that shoe video turned out very cool.

          I didn’t know you could dunk shoes in water like that… and wow, impressive results, seriously.

  25. Carolina says:

    Hi I’m a new reader and loved this article. I have chronic depression and anxiety. It was great to nod along as I read this article, so much rang true. I would love to see more articles and how depression and anxiety affect the relationship with money. I’ve had a really hard time consistently producing income long term (never mind even thinking about investing). I want to have security in my life so badly, but don’t even know where to focus on. It’s tough to even work some days. So any articles focusing on how mental health affects money would be amazing.

  26. Lisa says:

    JD, thank you for sharing your experience. I too suffer from anxiety/depression and it’s always a good reminder that I am not alone, and it’s ok to ask for help. I agree with the social interaction though for me I feel less social when I am struggling and have to make myself be social. I tend to struggle the most with the change of seasons, and it am always making the calculation between medication or not. I understand the challenges with being productive and how it can be make us feel worse when we are not. I think we have to remember to be kind to ourselves and recognize that it’s ok to take time off when needed. Glad you are feeling better and please keep writing about your mental health. It’s appreciated! You are a wonderful writer.

  27. Barb says:

    As a long time reader, I echo the other comments and your therapist that there is no need for you to feel pressure to publish on a schedule. Trying to force post can lead to bad things. If you look at Trent’s simple dollar, that used to be a popular blog. Now I don’t know anyone that regular reads it and I can’t recall the last time someone mentioned it in a post or comment. He unintentionally ruined his blog by posting twice a day and there were too many post that were not worth reading. Carl was on a bad path having way too many 10 question articles. It seams like he is back to writing himself and that is a good thing. In contracts Pete has been posting only around one MMM article each month and his blog is as popular as ever. The number of posts don’t improve readership, its the quality that is most important. I’d much rather have less posts, but have them be quality posts from you

    • El Nerdo says:

      I think you hit the nail right on the head with Moustache. I went to look at his website again.

      He doesn’t write as often, but he’s got a layout that keeps things refreshed by featuring old posts without obscuring the fact that they’re old (e.g. one I saw yesterday had comments spanning from 2011 through 2017)

      There are multiple points of access, e.g. he has a “start here” thing, and you can read like a book.

      There’s also a box that links to his twitter feed (he tweeted twice yesterday, then about once a week). Twitter is a microblog that lets you post 280 characters and a link to interesting stuff with little effort.

      There’s also a box that features the latest comments wherever they might be found. The latest article, from 9/12, has comments going on through… today? Plus other “recent” comments can link you to past articles with recent discussions.

      There are multiple entry points in the Moustache website, and many ways to read it.

      GRS on the other hand is basically linear. The latest post sits on top and dominates everything. It’s like a tube. If one end gets plugged up everything else backs up. This creates pressure to refresh the top article because there’s no other way to change things up.

      It’s an old format.

      I just started reading “The E-Myth Revisited” (too soon to tell everything about it) but from the intro the author separates the business (the website in this case) from the technician (the writer). The pie baker from the pie business.

      The entrepreneurial, managerial and technical aspects of a business are three separate things that work in their own particular ways. Small business owners often fail to recognize these three aspects and end up suffering as a result (I can relate very personally to this.)

      Sure, we all like JD’s writing, so we keep coming back here, but he can’t operate a business at a loss.

      The business has demands of its own. The crux of the problem is how to run a profitable website without grinding JD into a pulp like most small businesses do with their owners.

      The whole platform could be organized and managed better without requiring JD to constantly be churning out fresh content in a website.

      Figuring this out requires entrepreneurial effort—finding ways to innovate and improve the business. Which is not writing, but entrepreneurship—looking for opportunities, opening markets, innovating. Two separate things.

      Additionally, a lot of the good work he does daily is going to waste through bad formatting (bad “management” per the E-myth paradigm). Maybe the “spare change” material could be the meat of the twitter feed. Twitter seems made for it. 280 characters and a link.

      I get that loyal readers might want things to stay always the same, but things change, especially on the internet, and a business must adapt or go away. I mean, J.D. is a writer and will always write, but a writing *business* is a different thing and has a life of its own.

      I’m going to the library later to get the rest of the book for myself, but I’ve got a strong feeling that a lot of people could benefit from reading it too. There’s a story there about a great pie baker who was encouraged by her friends to open a pie shop. Three years after she did… she hated pies and everything about them, and was utterly miserable.

      *A pie baker and a pie business are two different things.*

  28. Raghu Bilhana says:


    Try mindfulness meditation for 35 minutes a day everyday (Time of the day does not matter, but try doing it in one stretch) This will do wonders for your anxiety and depression. If you feel you do not have 35 minutes a day to this, then the urgency to do this meditation is even more.
    Alternatively you can also try MBSR 8 week program. This is free at https://palousemindfulness.com/. This again is 35 minutes a day every day.

  29. Jason says:

    Excellent update JD. I fully admit I have some difficulty with this, but it is about being the spouse of someone chronically depressed. I need to do a better job of supporting her and lower my expectations a bit. The fact she “shows up” (and she shows up a lot) is a win. I need to remember that. I need to give her more grace. And this was a good reminder.

  30. Michael says:

    I think it is important to see a counselor and should be more of a service everyone is entitled to having I was lucky enough during grad school to get free sessions and that helped a bit. I think the biggest tidbit I took away is its okay to feel depressed/anxious /other emotions as long as its not hindering you its natural.

    Also just talking with someone who can challenge your thoughts can help alot. I had a lot of issues during my undergrad that popped back up at grad school that I was able to burry just by talking them out and coming up with strategies.

    (For people who want to know my problems was I had some anxiety problems. Basically, I would get in this weird feedback loop. I would be late and think the teacher would say something or think less of me so I would just not show, then I would need to work hard to miss work and I would fall behind and stay up late I would wake up and be late then not go for fear of what I thought the teacher would think.)

  31. Darren Steele says:


    I’m a big fan of GRS and have been for years. Great post! I’m a therapist and tell my clients that there are 3 things that typically keep people from asking for help-pride, fear, and shame. So, folks who need help often times continue to suffer. It’s important to know that even successful people like yourself seek help when they need it. That’s one of the reasons they’re successful in the first place. Glad you’re feeling better. Take care friend.

  32. Chris Avery says:

    Hi JD,

    I’m a recent finder (is that a word?) of your website and I too have struggled with anxiety for many years now. So few people talk about it (although this is changing) that I wanted to say well done for speaking about it.

    Of course now my own anxiety makes me wonder if I am saying the right thing now and what other people will think but just to say you are not alone.

    Take care and I hope your symptoms are something you can learn to manage when they flare up.


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