“As a man, mental health is not easy to talk about. It’s amazing to know I’m not alone.” – Age 21, Canada
"Recovery is possible; many men have fought through and overcome depression."
Depression can knock you on your butt, but don’t let it keep you there. Map out your road to recovery.
Like many other injuries, like a herniated disc in your back or a torn ligament in your knee, there aren’t exact guidelines for how long it takes to recover from depression or which treatments will work best for you. This doesn’t mean recovery is impossible; it just means you’re going to have to be patient and put in some tough work to get better.
This is one of the reasons why it’s really important to reach out as early as possible.
Remember that even in the worst cases, depression can be treated – many men have come back from places they never thought they would recover from.
STEP ONE: Self Check
Our Self Check is a depression screening tool. Though it can’t give a diagnosis, it can help you evaluate how symptoms are affecting your life.
For lots of guys, using our Self Check is the first time they realize they might be dealing with depression.
Print out or write down the results to bring to an appointment with a doctor. Once you’ve put things in place to start getting better, take the Self Check again to track your progress.
Talking with a doctor is a critical next step. A doctor can evaluate symptoms and rule out other possible causes. Depending on your symptoms, a doctor can help connect you with other local resources and treatment options, like talk therapy, support groups, or if appropriate, medication.
Depression can affect your sleep, diet, and energy levels, among other areas of your life. There are a number of things that you can start on your own to improve your functioning and performance, while at the same time reaching out for professional support.
We’ve organized these tips into six sections (sleep, stress management, food, social life, physical activity, and sex & relationships). With depression, it can be hard to keep up with the most simple daily tasks, so start small and give yourself credit for each step you take toward feeling better.
Fighting depression requires a team approach. Trying to do it by yourself won’t get the job done. Recovering from depression becomes much easier – and more effective – when you bring other people into the mix. Developing a partnership with a doctor or counsellor is critical. If you want to reach out but don’t know where to begin, our HeadsUpGuys Therapist Directory can help you find a therapist in your area who has experience and expertise in treating men.
A doctor is a key member of your recovery team, but in between appointments it’s important to have other supports in place. If you have friends or family members you trust, reach out to them. Often, they know something is going on already and are waiting to help.
If you don’t know who to talk to or need someone in the middle of the night, crisis/health lines are a great option. At first, it can seem daunting to call, but they exist for a reason and there are people working there who are trained and want to help if you give them the chance.
Depression is painful and we know you want to get better as fast as you can, but recovering from depression takes time. It can be a long road back to good health and there are going to be ups and downs along the way.
Take time to learn more about depression, read through this site, and find stories you connect with. Guys from all walks of life have fought and recovered from depression.
There is no quick fix; but the steps you take now to improve your health will help set you up for a lifetime of better living.
Find what works for you, and stick with it.
"You’re Already on Your Way"
Coming to our site is a solid first step toward recovery. Build on that momentum. Take our Self Check now.