The history of alpinism can, to at least a first approximation, be summarized as "veterans with PTSD fixing their heads the best way they knew how". This goes for freeclimbing too, to a somewhat lesser extent.
I heard a interview with a vet and climber once who described the appeal of alpinism as "all of the good parts of combat, without the shooting or any conscious thing trying to cause me harm".
Skydiving sounds similar, if shorter in duration than 3 weeks on K2 or something.
Former skydiver here, 1400+ jumps logged. The effects of skydiving on you mental state are well known to us, though rarely put into writing. I'll defer to Charles Lindbergh, who had a way with words (in addition to airplanes) to sum it up :
"When I decided that I too must pass through the experience of a parachute jump, life rose to a higher level, to a sort of exhilarated calmness. The thought of crawling out onto the struts and wires hundreds of feet above the earth, and then giving up even that tenuous hold of safety and of substance, left me a feeling of anticipation mixed with dread, of confidence restrained by caution, of courage salted through with fear.
How tightly should one hold onto life? How loosely give it rein? What gain was there for such a risk? I would have to pay in money for hurling my body into space. There would be no crowd to watch and applaud my landing. Nor was there any scientific objective to be gained. No, there was deeper reason for wanting to jump, a desire I could not explain. It was that quality that led me into aviation in the first place — it was a love of the air and sky and flying, the lure of adventure, the appreciation of beauty. It lay beyond the descriptive words of man — where immortality is touched through danger, where life meets death on equal plane; where man is more than man, and existence both supreme and valueless at the same instant."
 The Spirit of St Louis, Charles Lindbergh, 1953
There's a genetic component to depression, there is a societal component to depression, and there are situational components to depression. A lot of therapy is to identify rumination when it happens so that you can short circuit that neural pathway (thought process) and focus on being more realistic (ironically) or in the moment. You can think of depression as a deep neural network that's been overtrained on certain inputs to always predict depression. A life or death scenario forces you to act in the moment and decide in the moment (or very near future). That short circuits the rumination as well. Maybe it is an entirely different brain system as well.
Definitely, would do it regularly if not for my daughter.
Cheapest therapy ever, ~$200. Everything in life gets the reset button. Just so happy to be ALIVE. I kissed the ground on my return, haha.
A friend asked how long it lasts, personally was about two months, but there are still residual effects years later.
Motorcycling can do this too. I've ridden with quite a few people who get depressed if they can't ride.
On a similar tack, in Australia they have been treating methamphetamine addiction with flying lessons: http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/43369891/a...
Between middle and high school, I went to summer camp, where there was a ropes course. I remember how scary it was to jump from the 60 foot platform, even knowing that the zipline harness would catch me. It was an experience of being very scared, but pushing through the fear, and then getting the instant reward of how much fun it is to whoosh through the air and accomplish something difficult.
Though probably less scary than skydiving, it is still considerably scarier than most things people ever encounter in everyday life. And you can't quietly shy away from it, either, the way you often can from social situations or intimidating opportunities or novelty in real life; you're standing there on the platform, everyone is watching and cheering you on; and success is binary-- either you jump, or you are shamefully lowered back down to the ground (which is still probably not much less scary anyway).
I didn't think of that experience of being very important, but it occurred to me recently that many people have never had that experience-- of being very scared, but pushing through it. It resets your baseline for fear, and it shows you what you are capable of. It is, I think, important training for the skill of managing any strong emotion, but particularly fear.
It is a kind of experience I think everyone should have in their life, ideally early on.
If this were true, I wonder how many people would have taken the first step toward curing their depression a few seconds before ending their own life.
Darwin used to immerse his head in cold water - the Victorian 'reset button' for depression.
There's an incredible amount of euphoria when you conquer your fears.
To me (IANA...) this reads like 'Sky Diving relieved my anxiety which cause(s/d) my depression'.
I find flying little airplanes has a meditative element. One does not ruminate idly while flying, but is effortlessly focused on aviating, navigating, and monitoring in the here and now. Very calming.
There is a real downside to this not spoken about. If/when you get hooked into an adrenaline based lifestyle and for some reason have to leave the lifestyle behind (financial, family, injuries) it can be extremely devastating to not do what was in essence keeping you alive. Still worth it but the crash can be worse than the cure, unless you figure out how to persevere gracefully.
Different experience here. I did one dive. Nice view from up there. Not very exciting. Falling out of the plane was good fun, felt a bit nuts. The fall was very pleasant. Opening the chute was fun. The canopy ride was boring and uncomfortable hanging in the harness. Saw the video of the guy who jumped before me, he was woohooing all the way.
I'd love to see a clinical trial on this. What's a suitable placebo for jumping out of a plane, I wonder?
Having three kids cured my depression.
It often feels like falling out of a plane.
I wonder what gives you grater chance of dying, depression or skydiving?
Skydiving and BASE jumping can be both a cure for and a cause of depression, depending on how long you spend doing it and how many of your friends go in during that time.
Sailing did this for me.
I'm not a fan of the clickbait title here. It trivializes depression.
I think the only cure for depression is death. Too morbid?
You manage depression with behavior and therapy. You can attempt to treat some of the symptoms with drugs. You can break out of a rut by trying new things. But curing depression... like once and for all? That's not realistic.
"Sky diving helped me get out of a depressive episode," or "Skydiving helped me stave off having depressive episodes..." would be more accurate.