Georg Rösl suffered from depression for years and even ended up in a clinic with suicidal thoughts. There he realized that self-healing was the only way out of the abyss. With the method he developed, he now also helps other sufferers.

Georg Rösl is a founder, entrepreneur and financial expert. As a pioneer in the New Economy sector, he built up the largest advertising marketer in Germany. At the age of 25, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year, then headed one of Germany’s most successful financial portals as CEO and built up Germany’s largest stock market publisher with 1.2 million subscribers. And all of this as a trained coachbuilder.

He seemed to succeed in everything; his life was characterized by happiness and success. But the hard work and some severe strokes of fate, both privately and professionally, eventually made him ill. For years he suffered from burnout and severe depression.

But he found a way to heal, which he now shares with other sufferers.

FOCUS online: Mr. Rösl, what does it feel like when you suffer from depression?

Georg Rösl: Extreme. It’s an extremely dull life. Because you no longer feel anything and don’t feel anything anymore. The perception of the outside and the feeling of the inside are hardly present anymore. You walk around like the living dead. It’s like eating without tasting anything.

Added to this is the hopelessness. You can’t imagine that at some point it will be over, that you will come back to the light. You isolate yourself from society and even from your own environment. Because everything is too much. And because of course you feel very, very bad.

And then there is this strong urge to escape everything. I wanted to emigrate back then. I wanted to break up. I wanted to quit my job. I wanted to get out of my body, which felt like I was permanently wearing a tight rubber suit. At the same time, you can hardly plan anything because you don’t have the energy because you’re sick. But you don’t want to believe that because you can’t grasp this illness, you can’t touch it.

That’s what makes the illness of depression too difficult for those affected, but also for their relatives – you can’t see it. This is completely different with purely physical illnesses.

Rösl: I always said to my wife: I would rather have one arm missing, because then you would know when I had to lift a water tank that I couldn’t do that because I only have one arm.

I didn’t know for a long time that I had depression. I didn’t want to admit it either, even in the clinic I still hoped that I had a brain tumor, because I could understand that, I couldn’t understand depression at the time.

When did you realize that you needed help to overcome the illness?

Rösl: When the suicidal thoughts started for me. One day I was sitting in a meeting. The office was on the fourth floor and the window was open. And suddenly the thought came to me: If I fall out of the window now, I’ll be dead. Then the pain will be over. And then I was very scared. It was clear to me that now it would be extremely dangerous.

But that was just the beginning. In the weeks that followed, I couldn’t walk past a high-rise building without thinking: If I fall down there, my problem will go away. When I took the escalator to the first floor in the department store, I thought again: If you fall down, you’ll die. Then it’s over. The thought was omnipresent, it went through my head 300 times a day. Right up until the hospital and even afterwards – but by then I had learned to deal with it.

How do you learn to deal with such thoughts?

Rösl: I learned that there are active and passive suicidal thoughts. If someone has active suicidal thoughts, immediate action can be taken by sending the person concerned to a clinic.

For me, they were passive thoughts: I thought about them, but I didn’t plan or act. Still, it was sheer horror.

You also have to be aware that while we are on the phone there are probably several suicide attempts taking place in Germany. There are 100,000 per year. I figured it out: it happens about every five minutes.

Editor’s note: We have decided to publish a text that, among other things, addresses suicide. FOCUS online deals with the topic carefully because there are indications that certain forms of reporting can lead to copycat reactions. If you need help, please contact the telephone counseling service immediately. You can also get support from free hotlines such as 0800-1110111 (Protestant), 0800 1110222 (Catholic) or 0800 3344533.

Were you able to talk to your wife about your illness?

Rösl: I decided back then to keep it away from her for a while. I tried to figure it out myself. I just didn’t want to open another construction site. I barely understood it myself – how was I supposed to explain to someone else what was going on every day? I think that was a good thing in our case. I quickly realized that it was overwhelming my wife. And I could understand that well.

We found a good relationship. Thank God, because the divorce rate during such a phase of illness is 40 percent.

What do people in Germany get sick with? In a major focus area, FOCUS provides online information about the four major widespread diseases

We shed light on the medical background surrounding causes, symptoms, risk factors and treatment options. At the same time, we show you what you can do for each illness to minimize the risk.

In case histories, one affected person also reports on their life with cancer, heart disease, dementia or depression – moving, sometimes sad, but always encouraging.

Today you have overcome your illness. How did you manage that?

Rösl: It was a long journey because I suffered from depression for about 10 years, and it was severe depression for three years. In addition, there were all the secondary diagnoses, unfortunately you’re not just fighting on one front.

I was in therapy and was also given antidepressants. But the turning point was my hospital stay. But only because I wanted to accept help. It all depends on what attitude you go in with.

I finally found peace in the clinic. I was able to stabilize myself and become able to work again. This is the basic requirement for healing. But 90 percent of the work actually begins when you get out of the hospital. And here the crucial point is your own attitude and the will to become completely healthy again.

At the time I thought: The number hasn’t come through yet. If I can do this, then I will help other people in the future. The thought helped me.

In fact, you have found a way to help other sufferers. Your book “The MHR Method” has just been published. How come?

Rösl: I developed the MHR method out of my own healing process. It offers the opportunity to develop into your own coach. But to be able to work with it, you have to be stable.

If someone is in a slight depression or mood or is mentally restless, then the book is good and also if someone wants to rebuild themselves from 0 and has already found peace. But if someone is in severe depression, nothing helps at first. The first step must be to become psychologically fit to work again so that you can actually work on yourself.

That’s how it was for me too. When I came out of the clinic, I realized that the real work was just beginning. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that many people make: they believe that when they come out of the hospital they will be healthy. I like to compare this to physical illnesses: If someone breaks their hip, they have surgery and then put it in a cast. When this person comes home, they are not healthy. The actual healing, self-healing, only then begins.

“The MHR method – resetting the mental compass” by Georg Rösl

And this self-healing is where your book comes in?

Rösl: Exactly. I originally come from the business world, where it was of course important to be able to work in a structured way, i.e. to break a big mountain into small parts and then process them. I then applied this methodology to my health and first asked myself what was actually going on – because I need to know what is going on so that I can heal it.

So I first got an overview of what was going wrong in my mental life. And then I wrote down what needs to heal now. At first I was really shocked at how long the list was. Of course there were a few banal things, but I knew that this was the block to healing.

And that’s how the book is structured. It has five chapters. The first two are about self-analysis, i.e. research and learning. In chapters three and four I show the tools and strategies for healing. And the last chapter is about building your own plan.

The book is 100 percent based on my experience. From my own story, but also from the insights I have given from webinars and seminars with around 1200 participants.

What does the abbreviation MHR stand for?

Rösl: MHR stands for Mind – Reflection – Health. That is the technical term that is also in the book. But I think there is a more apt translation: M a H of rules. Because it’s really about knowing your own house, your own inner life. Knowing what needs and what values ​​are there. You have to realize: This is my life, my house, my foundation. It’s about taking care of this house. Or, if it was shattered, to rebuild it. You have to keep setting your own rules for yourself. And my method should help with that.

The tricky thing about depression is that it recurs for many of those affected. The recidivism rate is officially over 50 percent. Do you think your method can prevent such relapses?

Rösl: In fact, it’s often like this: the healthier you become, the more old demons come back. Things that may have thrown you off track before come back to haunt you. Then it depends on how you deal with it. Whether you fall back into old patterns or stay true to your new path. It’s not easy, it takes determination.

At the same time, everyone must be clear that there will always be problems that we have to deal with. And we can learn how to do it best so that it doesn’t blow us away again.

I like to compare it to a dry alcoholic: Good psychologists say that if an alcoholic relapses, it’s not a bad thing at first, because we’re not perfect, none of us. How I deal with it afterwards is crucial: Saying it just happened now, but now I’ve been sober again for five years. It’s the same with psychological issues. And yes, I think my method can be a good support.

What would you like to say to people who are currently suffering from depression?

Rösl: Stay patient and hopeful. I can promise you that in almost all cases you will come back to the light and become healthy again, because I and many others are the best example of this.