How Do You Guys Combat Depression/Thoughts of Self-Harm?

Every time I muster up the energy to apply to firms or get close to an offer, the process is halted by some sht. When I was recruiting out of UG, I had a pandemic to combat against in a sht country (Canada) and now, a goddamn recession. I've given up in trying to enter a field I genuinely enjoy, and have settled for work. But after being auto-screened out of any new graduate position, and considered "not a good fit" for everything else, I'm pretty comfortable saying that if I were to pass away today, I would not miss this life.Β  I was hoping reading Stoic meditations and other books surrounding life philosophy may help. Perhaps focusing on the inputs and finding the good in every day. But despite my best efforts, I come back to this feeling of angst, bitterness, hatred, envy, and such.Β 

I'm getting really tired of trying to think of reasons to avoid doing anything permanent. Anyone been this stuck before? I've been recruiting and doing everything humanly possible for ~4-5 months now, and I naively thought that after gaining a bit of work experience, it'd be easier to search for a full-time role the second time around. Perhaps life would just feel better if I gave up on consulting & finance altogether and took some gov job and pray the boredom kills me slower than the depression.

I understand the above thoughts are incredibly dark, but it's been like 2 years since I've tried entering business consulting and the only advice I've consistently received is to get more relevant work experience as if that's an option.Β 

Anyone else been through this or something similar?


Comments (19)

Isaiah_53_5 πŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’ŽπŸ™ŒπŸ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sometimes with depression, you just have to go through the motions. Do what you're supposed to do. You may be numb, but your actions will determine your fate.

Work on your lifestyle habits, sleep, and nutrition. If you get in a hard workout a few times a week, you should feel better mentally.Β 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
FinnesseGod, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've been trying and trying hard to go through the motions. But today alone, I got yet another rejection from my newest top lead after the last two pulled their positions altogether and countless others wouldn't even extend me an interview because of a combination of my resume being good, not great or them already interviewing some folks that are overqualified. I'm running out of stamina to even do anything let alone anything productive.Β 

How do you manage to go through the motions with a pain in your gut?Β 

theAudiophile, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Keep on going. Sounds cliche, but plenty others have been through it too. Keep yourself busy with other things in the background like a pet, self study, volunteer work, joining a rec league in any sport and as everyone else says on here, exercise. As competitive as we all are on here, I'm amazed we don't do fantasy sports leagues too which would be another good background activity too.Β 

  • 1
Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Five Star Man, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Betterhelp is legit, talking it out helps.

Have something outside of work that you care about. It's lame, but think about how much worse off your family and friends would be without you.

Rely on discipline to get through the day. Not in a military or weird way, make a to do list of easily achievable things (brush teeth, shower, read 10 pages of a book) and you'll feel better checking things off the list.

Baby steps for a while. Then, when you have that under your belt, you'll get new energy and you can take on more.

Christian Suing, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Somebody here mentioned : going through the motions while numb. Exactly what needs to be done but maybe I'll share my story and the nearly same situation I'm in, hopefully you derive some comfort knowing you're not alone.

Back in 2020, I graduated from my Bachelors without much of relevant finance experience, knowing a Masters in Europe was expensive to fund. Given the COVID situation, I decided to take a year off to rack up some exp until the macro situation normalised. This involved doing shitty corp fin internships at no name places in my 3rd world country (I remember how competitive some of those internships were: I was being screened against MBA level folks for a position that paid the equivalent of $50/month). I managed to get two of them, hoping that when I started my masters I'd probably have some leg up against my classmates. Couldn't afford a target masters however (despite scholarships, LBS and HEC were way outside my budget), settled with a (semi target?) masters (cheaper tuition, heavy financial aid) in a country where I didn't know the language.

Got lucky with a buyside internship at a small shop hoping it would offer a gateway to bigger banks. Got some promises from MDs at campus career fairs that they'd be interested in my profile only to have those promises withdrawn when recruiting time came ("sorry we are not looking for interns now", they said). London IBD was my goal and I kept pushing. Got to intern at a T3 bank instead. Applied everywhere in the UK for 2023 SA only to get "one" super day at a BB. Was elated but my hopes were crushed when during all 3 interviews, the guys were busy working on something instead of listening to my responses. Didn't hear back obviously.

Now hoping I'll get an offer at a T3/T4 bank in this euro country I wanted to get so desperately out of (zero social life owing to language barriers). London IBD was a goal i had been prepping for for 3 years or so, it's painful knowing I'll never achieve it. Yes, I don't see the point of working hard or living as well at times, but I do think I'm still accountable to my family who did whatever they could to financially support me until now. Just holding on to the hope that I can get to better places if I don't make it today.

Sorry for the long write-up but hope it helped if you made it till here :)

WolfofWSO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

People like you make it. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Keep grinding. Like all things in life, the cream rises to the top.


  • 1
Christian Suing, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks a lot :) given the fact that people around me consider I'm crazy for working hard, even words coming from a stranger online means a lot :)Β 

Most Helpful
Stonks1990, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey pal.

Couple of things. First - thanks for being willing to speak out. Even though this is an off-topic post on an anonymous forum, there are a lot of people I know who wouldn't dare reveal to anyone that they're thinking like this. Especially within this industry, you'll find that it attracts a lot of image-driven dick-swinging contests, and there is still the unfortunate circumstance that men seeking mental health treatment somehow make them 'weak.' We've come a long way since I was growing up, but there is still work to be done. So thank you for being willing to share - while it may not seem like much, I think that's a great first step to getting yourself out of a rut.Β 

Second, please consider reaching out to someone professionally. While all of us on here have the best of intentions (myself included), we are in no way professionals and can't truly relate and help you as someone else could. I never thought I'd have a therapist, and I went through 2-3 of them before I found the right match. But I credit that man with a lot of my current success - my job, my wife, my happiness, and everything in between. I only see him once every two weeks, but sometimes I look forward to those sixty minutes more than anything else on my plate.

That being said, you asked if anyone else had gone through something similar. I'm sure many have had their fair share, but I also have mine. I don't tend to get too personal on this website when I can, but sometimes it's good to mix that up. I suffered seriously in my late teens and early twenties from anxiety, depression, and then-undiagnosed ADHD. I was a nervous wreck constantly. I undervalued myself - I didn't think I deserved good things. This meant I didn't try so hard in school, I didn't try very hard to get a job, and I didn't put myself out there.Β 

In many ways, I had a good college experience. I'm lucky for those good days - there were plenty. But too often, those good days are overshadowed by memories of the bad ones. The ones where I told myself I was a loser, the ones where I would watch due dates and assignments fly by, unable to even muster up the courage to get started. There were days when I would look at my friends who were going to the gym, and get jealous that they were doing so. Why would you be jealous, Stonks? Just go with them! The truth was, I could. At any point in time, I COULD have told my brain to go fuck itself, and just got out of bed and made shit happen. But it was a snowball effect at this point - remember, I had already convinced my subconscious that I wasn't good enough. That depression took hold of my brain and caused a ripple effect throughout everything.Β 

Through some miracle, I managed to make it through college and land a fantastic job. I can actually vividly remember the Thursday - I got the offer on a Tuesday, but it took two days to process. That day of realization, I thought that I may finally change my ways and become the person I want to be. This Thursday may be the day that you are seeking, which I understand. I'll tell you this - that happiness lasted for about a week. By the time I was at that office, the anxiety of not doing things right and constantly being under time pressure, feeling like I was going to let people down, EVERYTHING I experienced in college was still there. I was just another year older.Β 

If you've read this far, I hope you don't miss the overarching point I'm attempting to make - this probably sounds really fucking depressing by now. But keep reading, I'll get to the point I'm trying to make in a minute. Just gotta set the stage.Β 

As I make this post, I've taken some time to look around me. I'm on my laptop in my living room. Jazz music is playing, we've got the fireplace running. Dog is asleep next to me, my wife is cooking dinner. Tomorrow I'm going to get coffee before work with an old friend. Life is good. Life is good, not because I sacrificed everything in my life to get to where I am now, but by failing so many times I got to learn about myself. Any success I've had in work didn't come from me getting the next job, or getting the better promotion. I'm here now because I've accepted two primary things:

  • There will be events in my life that I cannot control and am unable to change. I am not responsible for the cause, but I take ownership of the effect it will bring on me.Β 
  • My happiness can never be permanently fixed by outputs, such as jobs or cars, or things. They must come from within, the inputs.

Do I sound like some Buddha-preaching fuck? Probably. But if we turn back in time again, we can travel to maybe 2-3 years post-UG. I was about to enter business school, and I was a different person. I still had a lot to work on as opposed to where I am currently, but I had gotten through the hardest part: getting started. I had gained some weight by going to the gym. I had been in the industry for a little while and knew how the game was played, which I transferred to my nerves. I had gotten a therapist and gained insightful remedies, exercises, medications, and quite simply: a fucking outlet. A place to blow off steam, to be heard. In return, I wouldn't get pushback, I would get validation. I would get understand. But most importantly, I would get ADVICE. I would get METHODS on how to handle these kinds of things. I applied those things to my daily life, and what do you know? The guy with a doctorate in psychiatry who has been a five-star therapist in my city for 20+ years knows his shit.Β 

This is becoming a novel, so I'll wrap it up here: take a breath. You are worth so much more than your job. I understand the frustration and exhaustion but please - human life is a god damn miracle. Our minds and bodies are just insane, and to consider removing that one-in-a-trillion chance of you being born by virtue of a stupid fucking career isn't a move I'm going to entertain. People here need you, whether it's your parents, siblings, friends, or random strangers on the internet... like me! I've been there before, and I have had times where I'm driving home and thinkingΒ you know, if that truck took me out right now I wouldn't even swerve.Β If only that person on that highway could see where I am now.Β 

Control what you can, my man. Keep pushing to get that job. You can accomplish anything you want if you set out to do it. It's cheesy as fuck, but man if it ain't true. Control your inputs - outputs will follow. Understand and accept that you can't do shit about the pandemic, you can't do shit about the recession, and you can't change time to do a different career path. The past simply does not exist except in memory, and our memories are pretty damn sharp.Β 

PMs are always open if you need someone to talk to. Please find a therapist, and take care of yourself. Godspeed, brotha.Β 

tranchebaby08, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'd be a liar if I said I read every single word here, but I did read most of it. I urge OP to read the above reply. As someone who was in a very very similar state out of UG as you describe, all I can say is persistence pays and never stop investing in yourself. What do I mean by this?

Out of UG, I too took a job that I didn't want, but that's what was on the menu at the time and I had no other choice. I remained persistent in my efforts to get into the industry. I took the FINRA SIE and 63 without even being in finance and this helped me greatly during interviews. I recommend you do the same. It'll be an out of pocket expense, but I always thought of monetary caveat such as this one as "investing in myself". The idea of investing in yourself can also be applied to eating right and working out.Β 

Staying persistent while investing in yourself will produce massive improvements in your situation. I, myself, am still making sure I stay persistent in growing my industry knowledge and investing in myself by periodically interviewing for random roles and attempting to keep my body in good shape. My mental demons have backed off while my industry knowledge and career have improved. Godspeed.Β 

Gucci Loafers, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I start to analyze what makes me feel sluggish and then I try to address those. It may be decluttering, reducing my to-do list to not feel overwhelmed, unwinding more in my free time, adding some variety in my day-to-day (eating different things and healthier options, going more outside, more social, etc.),Β  prioritizing sleep (sleeping routine and using melatonin to go to bed at an acceptable hour), exercise, supplements (Omega-3, Magnesium, Vitamin D3, etc.), more green tea and less coffee (coffee amplifies anxiety), etc.Β 

Also, regarding those things that can't be changed, I just try to see them from a different angle, more positive. If it's impossible to do so, then I reconsider if I really want to bear X responsibility that's causing me to feel down or bad and if the answer is no, then I try to come up with other alternatives.

I'm a big believer that what 80% of people consider "depression" it's just a matter of improper diet, sleep and mindset.Β Can't comment on thoughts of self-harm, never happened.

WolfofWSO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Therapy. I had a therapist for years who aided me in overcoming self imposed shortfalls. Most insurance companies cover this almost entirely.

But, more importantly, look in the mirror and see if this is really the path you want. Answer the question for yourself. As a registered poster on WSO, you may think IB/PE/MC is all there is; it isn't.

I scrubbed out of every IB interview I had. I didn't have the fire in my belly to make it. If someone would have played Santa and given me my conjured up dream job of M&A, I'm sure I would have hated it in a week. I recently talked to an MD during a deal whom remembered me when I interviewed for an analyst spot. Seriously, yet jokingly, I said you made the right choice NOT hiring me as I was enamored by the idea of IB, not IB itself. I now work in corp dev and enjoy the balance of work and life offered. The money is good enough for me.

A coworker of mine took his life after many of us were given layoff notices years ago. He was a fit, good looking, intelligent, and great guy. Yet, in my opinion, he was blinded by the unknown of no longer working in his job which he identified with. I just wish someone could have let him know that life is beautiful and there is more than the title behind your name (any paycheck, you find a way to make it being broke or not).


  • 6
WolfofWSO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sent a message too


rabbit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey there, please consider therapy. It's done absolute wonders for me.Β 

The Canadian job market is a clusterfk, to put it lightly. The dynamics are surprisingly a little different than the US. You're not the first to hear you need "relevant experience" or "relevant Canadian" experience for a junior gig. I am more than happy to chat if you want some guidance, feel free to PM.

TheBusinessAdministrationMajor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Cupiditate inventore facere ab porro amet laboriosam eligendi. Aliquid nostrum impedit velit debitis ut deleniti totam. Molestiae iure velit enim magni tempore. Aliquam et ea nostrum nobis exercitationem eos.

Consequatur consequatur veritatis beatae et perferendis perspiciatis adipisci. Ab est rerum natus odit minus consequatur. Placeat et id vero. Dolorem et molestias fugiat iste quae. Ut ratione soluta eaque enim eos est illo voluptatem. Reprehenderit expedita qui quo cupiditate eligendi.

Voluptatem quisquam dolore sint. Eveniet ullam incidunt quia qui sint cupiditate libero. Quis voluptatum porro facere ea velit. Beatae ut tempore accusamus totam. Perspiciatis repellat molestiae fuga dolorem. Facere incidunt natus et reiciendis est.

Est laboriosam omnis ut quaerat ab. Eaque et ut magni et excepturi. Quibusdam ab ipsam voluptatem dolor occaecati quis.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

December 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (β–²08) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.3%
  • Financial Technology Partners (+ +) 98.9%
  • Evercore (β–½01) 98.5%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (β–²01) 98.2%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

December 2022 Investment Banking

  • PJT Partners (= =) 99.6%
  • Evercore (β–²02) 99.3%
  • Greenhill (β–²05) 98.9%
  • Canaccord Genuity (β–²15) 98.5%
  • William Blair (= =) 98.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

December 2022 Investment Banking

  • PwC Corporate Finance (β–²14) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (β–²03) 99.3%
  • Jefferies & Company (β–²04) 98.9%
  • William Blair (β–½02) 98.5%
  • Evercore (β–½01) 98.2%

Total Avg Compensation

December 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $613
  • Vice President (38) $392
  • Associates (220) $255
  • 2nd Year Analyst (139) $163
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (19) $160
  • 1st Year Analyst (466) $153
  • Intern/Summer Associate (88) $151
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (337) $92