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"Speaking up allowed me to create a support system and eventually get the help I needed."

About Cody:

I’m a former hockey player, entrepreneur, and the founder of HEAD1ST. The HEAD1ST brand stems from my personal experience overcoming depression caused by my sports-related concussions and losing four friends I played hockey with to suicide. 

From my personal experience, I came to realize that we have nothing without a healthy brain, and became passionate about finding ways to take care of mine while empowering others to do the same. 

Cody’s Story

CodyWHAT WAS THE MAJOR TURNING POINT IN YOUR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION?

After spending three years and seeing 30+ medical professionals trying to find the answer to my depression, the turning point was finding Dr. Larry Komer. He determined that the one of my main contributors to feeling depressed was likely a severe hormone deficiency caused by concussions I had playing hockey.

He prescribed testosterone replacement therapy to treat my low testosterone levels. For me, this made a major improvement in my mood in a relatively short period of time. This, combined with the understanding of why I felt this way, allowed me to do other things to improve my situation. It led to a passion for taking care of my brain and leveling up my mental fitness. 

You can read the full story here

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED?

1. Testosterone Replacement Therapy

  • After starting this therapy, to address my severe hormone deficiency, I was able to restore my hormone levels back to where they needed to be. In turn, I was able to dramatically improve my energy, drive, and overall well-being. Please note that, though this worked for me, there is limited evidence for testosterone therapy as a broader treatment for depression.

2. Working out

  • Making an effort to move my body every day has a huge impact on both my physical fitness and my mood. Even though I’m not playing, I make an effort to train like an athlete and to include variation, which keeps it fun.

3. Nutrition

  • Ensuring that I’m eating and supplementing properly allows me to keep my mind sharp. I hired @brainignition to create a nutrition plan and it’s been a game-changer. Limiting alcohol (for the most part) also helps a ton.

4. Journalling

  • I put pen to paper every morning for roughly half an hour. Aside from writing down my goals and what I’m grateful for, it allows me to get all of my anxieties out of my head and trap them on the page. From there, I can work through them objectively instead of letting them overwhelm me.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER GUYS FIGHTING DEPRESSION?

Speak Up – Often times we as athletes and/or men, prefer to try working things out ourselves instead of telling someone or asking for help. This is largely due to our perceived identity and the false assumption of what success in sport/being a man looks like. Speaking up allowed me to create a support system and eventually get the help I needed, and I’m sure it can do the same for you. 

Take Action – What’s something positive you can do right now to improve your mental fitness? Can you work out, go for a walk, clean the house, or get dressed? Doing something positive helps shift your mental state, and accumulating those small wins can dramatically improve your mindset, results, and perspective. 

Be Relentless – There’s a solution to every problem. Never give up in the pursuit of a healthier and happier life, because it will get better.

– Cody Oehm, former hockey player, entrepreneur, and founder of HEAD1ST, based in The Blue Mountains, Ontario, Canada. Personal: insta HEAD1ST: insta

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