His depression pit was so deep, dark and painful that Adolf Hitler needed a genuinely radical solution to get out of it. At that time antidepressant drugs did not exist (the first one will be developed only in 1950s). And although at that time lithium (lithium carbonate, to be more precise) was already in use as a medication for gout, epilepsy, and cancer, it will not be used in the treatment of mental disorders (as a mood stabilizer) until 1948.
Consequently, the only hope for Adolf Hitler was psychotherapy. However, there were two major problems with that. First, although by that time there were such clinics in Vienna (the famous Sigmund Freud opened his clinic there in 1886 and began to use psychoanalysis in 1896), these services cost money (and a lot of it). Money that Adolf Hitler did not have.
The second problem was even more serious, because he definitely was not even aware that he had a mental health problem. Even now millions of individuals in very much developed nations that suffer from depression and bipolar disorder, do not admit even to themselves that they are mentally sick and need serious help from mental health professionals.
On top of that, Adolf Hitler obviously had an Everest-size ego and such individuals are very reluctant to admit any health problems – let alone mental health issues that even today carry with them a powerful social stigma.
Therefore, the only realistic remedy was self-help. I myself suffered from bipolar disorder for a quarter of a century (and happen to be one of very few individuals who managed to get rid of this nasty disease exclusively with self-help techniques – without any medications whatsoever), so I know very well how it works. And believe me, it works.
The only way to stabilize one’s mood (calm down the manic phase and lift oneself up during the depression phase) is to tie one’s life to a super-goal. The one that seems impossible (i.e. humanly impossible) but in reality is very much possible (it is well-known that under “normal” circumstance an individual uses at most 10-15% of his or her capabilities and creative potential).
And pursue this goal no matter what. Until it is successfully reached. Interestingly enough, it was proven (see, for example the incredible story of Flesch János – Hungarian chess Grandmaster) that this approach works not only for mental diseases but to very much “physical” ones, such as lung cancer.
It also helps to achieve genuine happiness. Albert Einstein was absolutely right when he advised: “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal”. Meaning, obviously, a super-goal.
The fundamental problem is, obviously, how to identify and properly define this super-goal. It took me about ten years to do it and it appears that Adolf Hitler was, too, searching for this elusive goal for about a decade.
As in most endeavors, the critically, vitally important step is to start looking for this super-goal because it is already a major leap (a quantum leap, actually) towards healing.
I was officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 21. By a well-recognized and highly competent psychiatrist (subsequently the diagnosis was confirmed by two other psychiatrists in two different – and very much developed – nations). So I knew very well what I was doing, why and what for (i.e. what was my ultimate objective from both professional and mental health perspectives).
Adolf Hitler got hit by a debilitating bout of depression (i.e. by the depression phase of a bipolar disorder) when he was about the same age – 20. However, he was obviously not diagnosed with this disease until decades later.
So, although he did exactly the same thing that I did (his goal turned out to be very different, however). But he did it (obviously) without having a clear understanding of the medical objective of the whole endeavor. Most likely, he did not even admit to himself (possibly, even did not consciously realize) that there was a “mental health dimension” to this project.
Consequently, it is no surprise at all that he never completely got rid of this disease. In other words, he suffered from bipolar disorder his whole life. To be completely honest, he suffered only from the bouts of depression – he learned to very skillfully use (and possibly even provoke) the manic phases to boost his oratorical skills.