I also went Bungee jumping recently in an attempt to combat depression. It wasn't what I expected. One of the first things they told me about how I was expected to feel about it was that 'loads of people had gone up in that crane and they'd all come down with a smile on their face.' Because of depression, I dont have feelings like joy and excitment, so what I felt was quite different to this.

Standing on the edge of a 160ft crane was absolutely terrifying, falling through the air was more awful than I could have imagined. Too close to suicidal thoughts really. When the elastic went taut I felt 'OK' but I guess thats where other people usually feel elation and euphoria.

I also took 5minutes to work up the nerve to jump, which I tried very hard to do, but it just made the instructor impatient, as everyone was expected to go straight up and jump straight off. -most of the other people didn't even scream !- I did the best I could, but I couldnt do it as well as everyone else and the instructor was moaning at me all the way down, which really spoilt it. Its made me feel like Ive achieved nothing + like I did something really terrible, when all I tried to do was the best I could -it still makes me cryto think about it because I feel such a failure. I feel so humiliated that he didn't recognise that I really was trying the best I could, but he didnt seem prepared for someone like me, who does not have 'normal' feelings, who has far more fear and far less capacity for trust/relaxation/joy/excitment/euphoria and who is struggling with the confusion of suicidal thoughts.

However, its a process and Im only at the beginning of. I've heard of people bungee junping and it restoring their sight or hearing, so I thought it might do something for me, but I guess you can't expect miracles on the first go for something as insidious as depression. I you try to do something you really want to do well and you do it really badly then you have to keep doing it to get better. Im going to keep doing jumps every few months and I hope each time gets marginally less terrible until one day it's OK and maybe one day after that it can be even better.

Although my first experience of bungee jumoing to combat depression was horrible and i feel so much worse for having done it, I still think theres merit in the idea and I hope to prove that, however it is an unorthodox idea (I didnt even put depression on the form incase they stoppedme goingbcz of it)and so you might not find the support and understanding AND PREPARATION!! you could really use to help you through it. You have to look after yourself, but you wont know how to do that until after you've done it. You have to be prepared for the fact that the instructor may not know how to deal with someone whose emotions and coping abilities are outside the norm. You have to handle the fact that your feelings and reactions will be different most of the other participants and form the way the instructors keep telling you you're going to feel and react. You wont know how its going to bee foryou freefalling through the air. You may not feel elation or have a great experience, you may not encounter much patience, you may come away feeling dissapointed, but don't be discouraged if the first attempt is bad, just try, try, try again -try to remember that people often incorectly judge what they don't understand, remeber that depression is a parasite that may not be shaken loose by just one jump and most importantly, if you've done a jump when you feel so rotten -that is a huge achievment!! + its beter than electroconvulsive therapy anyway! I'm sticking with it and will post again on jump number 2..


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