"You can’t just ask for help, you need to want the help, and you need to actively participate in the help you get and the goals you set out for yourself."

About Spencer McLeod:

I am a web developer, online marketer, and blogger with a background in electrical engineering. I am also a life long musician who loves to play, write, and record music. Learn more at spencermcleod.com.

Spencer’s Story

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

A shift in attitude as well as a bit of an “Ah ha!” moment. I started taking responsibility for my depression and doing something about it, as opposed to just accepting it or even using it as an excuse. I also theorized that (at least in my specific case) depression can be developed over a long period of time as a result of learned thought patterns – whether consciously or unconsciously. If there is any truth to that, then it is possible to “unlearn” depression. This gave me hope.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED?

Having a Hobby

  • Having something that can be enjoyable, yet challenging is huge. It can be a very healthy distraction from the negative thought patterns in your head as well as give you a sense of accomplishment.

Being Active 

  • Being active may seem like a fruitless endeavour at times, but I always noticed the feeling afterwards made it worth it. For me it has been a mix of the gym and playing the drums.

Maintaining Some Social Contact

  • Having a regularly scheduled social activity each week helped me to keep going. It keeps you accountable to other people and if you can combine it with something else, it can help even more. (ex: sports teams, jam with a band, social clubs, etc.)

Routine & Setting Small Goals Daily

  • When you don’t know what to do with yourself, having some kind of routine and setting small goals or tasks to do during the day really helped me to come out of a slump. I had a day timer I would use to write down basic things to do throughout the day. For example:
    • 9AM: Eat Breakfast
    • 10AM: Gym
    • 12PM: Do A Load of Laundry
    • etc.

Talking about it

  • Having a way to express yourself and what you’re feeling can’t be understated in my opinion; and talking about it is probably the simplest way. For some people that’s therapy, a couple of friends, and/or specific family members. For me, even blogging about it helps.

Action

  • Taking responsibility for my depression was huge. You can’t just use it as an excuse all the time. You can’t just ask for help, you need to want the help, and you need to actively participate in the help you get and the goals you set out for yourself.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER GUYS FIGHTING DEPRESSION?

The two biggest pieces of advice I could give is to make sure you have a way(s) to express yourself when you need to, and to take responsibility for your depression. Bottling up thoughts and feelings never leads to a good situation and amplifies how bad you feel as time progresses. Ensure you have outlets to express your thoughts and feelings honestly.

Accepting depression as something you just have to live with, or that it’s simply part of who you are did not give me any hope. When I realized that it was possible to recover from depression, I wanted to make the effort. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to take responsibility for it.

To me, depression comes in episodes that vary in severity and length. It’s like catching a cold. It can be treated, and possibly even prevented. When I thought of it this way, my entire outlook changed and suddenly I was a little more optimistic. Suddenly I had hope.

– Spencer McLeod, web developer, online marketer, blogger, musician, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Find about more about Spencer.  twitterHeadsUpGuys Instagram

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