"I always feel my best when I’m outside."

About Mitchell Auger-Langejan:

I am 22 years old. I am a student in Biology. I like living things and learning how they work is a humbling experience. I am currently researching local invasive aquatic plants using molecular biology. I also enjoy time in nature. I rock climb, cycle and take pleasure in hiking.

Mitchell’s Story

What was the major turning point in your recovery from depression?

In short, I haven’t recovered fully to where I want to be. I was raised in an abusive household and the loss of my father still hangs with me. That’s okay, depression is hard and if it wasn’t we wouldn’t need to talk about it. The major turning point in learning to live with these feelings and improve my own life happened 4 years ago. I walked and cycled 7000 kilometers across Canada. It forced me to make decisions for myself and gain the confidence I needed to become in charge of my life.

What are some things that really helped?

Therapy

  • Professionals who are equipped to understand what I am dealing with can give useful advice. Therapy helps me develop healthy habits and gives me a place to speak about tough subjects I need to work through.

Exercise

  • I always feel my best when I’m out. Even better if I have a friend or two to go up a big mountain and look at all the beautiful things there are to see. I can’t feel that way if I spend time alone inside.

Patience and Kindness

  • Some days I do great, other days I’m a real bum. What helped was to be patient with myself. I needed to accept that I wouldn’t always be where I want to be day to day. Being kind and making sure I feed myself well, taking days off when I need them, and choosing to like myself really help.

Personal Responsibility

  • I cannot facilitate personal growth if I do not accept my role in improving my own life. Self-pity should be kept to small doses, and addressing what I can do to make my life better has always led me to a happier place.

What advice would you give to other guys fighting depression?

  • Seek out support. Depression isolates us and makes life painful and unenjoyable, especially if we are alone. Surround yourself with a community of people who genuinely care about you and support you. Get friends who hug you and ask how you’re doing and invite you to healthy activities that make you feel good.
  • See a therapist, I know it can be tough and it’s hard to find the right one, but do it.
  • Get out every day, spend as few whole days inside as possible.

– Mitchell Auger-Langejan, Biology student based out of Victoria B.C. Canada.

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