You are here: Home » Case studies

Cognitive Reframing and Mindfulness Helped Me Overcome Depression and Suicidal Ideation

“After exploring ways to end my life, I resolved to slash my wrist. I retrieved a steak knife from the kitchen and pressed it against my skin. Yet, an unexpected sensation washed over me—a profound sense of peace, love, and joy.”

Hello! Who are you?

Hello! I’m Robert Mack, an Ivy-League-educated Positive Psychology Expert, Celebrity Happiness Coach, and Author. I currently reside in sunny Los Angeles, California. 

Through my work, I’ve been privileged to help a diverse array of clients—from professional athletes and entertainment personalities to senior executives and everyday people—find deeper fulfillment in their lives. 

Beyond my professional pursuits, I am passionate about reading, writing, and exercising. I consider myself a profoundly happy person today, but my journey to this state was far from straightforward, marked by severe depression and challenges that began in early childhood.

💡 By the way: Do you find it hard to be happy and in control of your life? It may not be your fault. To help you feel better, we’ve condensed the information of 100’s of articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet to help you be more in control. 👇

Cheat Sheet Download Thumbnail

Don’t Miss Out On Happiness

Find happiness with this 10-step mental health cheat sheet.

What is your struggle and when did it start?

My struggle with depression and suicidal ideation began unusually early, around the age of six. This struggle intensified during my university years and beyond, despite achieving external markers of success, like a flourishing career in consulting.

The official name of my battle would be clinical depression, characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness.

These symptoms were a constant presence in my life, impacting my daily functioning and well-being. Over time, this struggle became a defining part of my experience, shaping my professional path and personal philosophy.

Thankfully, today I can say that I haven’t experienced any depression or suicidal symptoms in over 20 years.

How did this struggle make you feel at your worst moments?

At my worst, the struggle with depression made me feel isolated as if I were living behind a glass wall, cut off from the peace, love, and joy that we all so deeply desire and deserve.

Despite being surrounded by people who cared for me, I felt profoundly lonely, helpless, and hopeless. I often hid my pain from others, which protected me from judgment on one hand but only deepened my sense of isolation on the other.

👉 Share your story: Help thousands of people around the world by sharing your own story. We would love to publish your interview and have a positive impact on the world together. Learn more here.

Was there a moment when you started to turn things around?

The turning point in my journey came during a dark period in my early twenties. After exploring ways to end my life, I resolved to slash my wrist. I retrieved a steak knife from the kitchen and pressed it against my skin.

Yet, an unexpected sensation washed over me—a profound sense of peace, love, and joy. So, instead of proceeding with my plan, I chose to postpone it, and I began to conduct a different kind of research on happiness.

What steps did you take to overcome your struggle?

To overcome my struggle, I made external changes to my lifestyle, health habits, profession, social circle, and relationships; and I made internal changes in how I thought about life and myself.

I began reading every book I could about happiness, and I applied the authors’ recommended practices the best I could, which wasn’t always very good. Haha! I practiced meditation and mindfulness, which helped me cultivate a more present-oriented mindset and reduced my depressive ruminations about the past and anxious worries about the future.

I also practiced cognitive reframing, which included learning to tell truthful but better-feeling stories to myself and others about everything in my life.  

Have you shared any of this with people around you in real life?

I initially found it difficult to discuss my struggles with anyone at all due to the stigma surrounding mental health. However, with the release of my first book, “Happiness from the Inside Out,” and the follow-up talks and interviews, I began sharing it with anyone who expressed an authentic desire to know more.

I have been pleasantly surprised by how supportive people have been.

If you could give a single piece of advice to someone else that struggles, what would that be?

I would offer this advice to others: Get help–you don’t have to do it all by yourself.

The support of professionals, whether through therapy, coaching, or books can be transformative. Knowing that you are not alone in your struggles can be incredibly empowering, and learning from experts who have faced–and overcome–the same problems you’re facing today can save you time, energy, money, and a ton of pain and suffering in the end!

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, YouTube channels, or other resources for you?

Ester Hicks: “The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham” – This book helped me understand the power of thoughts and emotions in creating my reality. It taught me how to align my energy with my desires and manifest the life I truly want.

Eckhart Tolle: “The Power of Now” – This book guided me on a journey to live more mindfully in the present moment. It helped me recognize and release the grip of my ego, allowing me to find peace and contentment in the present moment.

Richard Carlson: “You Can Be Happy No Matter What” and “Shortcut Through Therapy” – This book taught me the importance of letting go of unnecessary stress and worry in my life. It helped me cultivate a more relaxed and peaceful approach to daily challenges.

Anthony De Mello: “Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality” – This book opened my eyes to the importance of self-awareness and mindfulness in living a fulfilling life. It challenged me to question my beliefs and perceptions, leading to greater clarity and insight.

Wayne Dyer: “The Power of Intention” – This book inspired me to harness the power of intention to create positive change in my life. It taught me how to align my thoughts and actions with my deepest desires, leading to greater fulfillment and success.

Louise Hay: “You Can Heal Your Life” – This book helped me understand the connection between my thoughts, emotions, and physical health. It taught me how to cultivate self-love and forgiveness, leading to healing and transformation in all areas of my life.

Ram Dass: “Be Here Now” – This book introduced me to the concept of spiritual awakening and the journey of self-discovery. It helped me embrace the present moment and find meaning and purpose in life’s unfolding journey.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

You can learn more about me and my work through my website, and follow me on Instagram (@robmackofficial), LinkedIn, and Twitter (@robmackofficial).

💡 By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, I’ve condensed the information of 100’s of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇

Cheat Sheet Download Thumbnail Clean

This Cheat Sheet Will Help You Be Happier and More Productive

Thrive under stress and crush your goals with these 10 unique tips for your mental health.

Want more interviews?

Continue reading our inspiring case studies and learn how to overcome mental health struggles in a positive way!

Want to help others with your story? We would love to publish your interview and have a positive impact on the world together. Learn more here.

Hugo Huijer AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

Leave a Comment