What Confucius Taught me About Controlling Depression and ADHD

The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither.


Over the course of a year I hunted one rabbit, I was trying to learn to control my depression. That worked so well I ended up in a suicidal spiral.

Then I learned I’m also afflicted with ADHD, and I tried hunting the two rabbits. I didn’t end up in a suicidal spiral, but I didn’t make much progress.

Then I recall how Troy Broussard summed up The One Thing. “Do the one that that makes everything else easier, or unnecessary.”

My one thing is sleep. A poor night’s sleep and both the ADHD and depression are harder to control and the more tired I get, the harder both afflictions get. So, I dedicated this year to learning to get a good night’s sleep, every night.

  • I chose a sleeping schedule, and forced myself to stick to it.
  • I changed my diet, and my eating routine to support it.
  • I modified my exercise regimen to support it.
  • etc.

The results were remarkable. I’m still a natural insomniac, and after only eight months, it’s still fragile, and I can easily slip up, but I am sleeping better.

The result of this one thing, this focus on my sleep, is that it has given me the time and energy to focus on better habits, and routines. By the time my kids are out of bed I already have a list of daily accomplishments, in spite of the ADHD.

This “getting stuff done” elevates my mood and gives me the mental energy to get yet more stuff done. Which in turn allows me to get yet more stuff done, in a positive feedback loop.

It also gives me armour against the depression when the tougher times hit, making the negative spirals shallower.

Improvements in my ability to deal with both depression and ADHD, while getting more stuff done. All from hunting just one rabbit.

And I recorded a video about it, over here.