It’s a typical question.
- I’m good, how are you?
- Everything’s fine
- I’m doing okay
Now ask yourself…
How do I really feel?
Can you honestly say you’re okay…
Or you’ve been feeling down…
…and nobody knows?
If that’s the case – you may be suffering from depression.
Sadly it’s a common issue for men.
I know a guy who’s battled hard against depression – Paul McGregor.
Paul was one of my guest speakers at this year’s Menfluential (StyleCon 2017). Here’s a preview of his speech on male depression and how to overcome it.
Visit Paul’s website Self Improvement For Men to learn more about overcoming obstacles – and living life to the fullest. You can also check out his YouTube channel Style From The Inside & Out which teaches men ways to become the best version of themselves.
Paul McGregor: Male Depression Is Normal
Don’t think that depression is shameful. Don’t think depressed people are weak or crazy. That’s the first (and biggest) mistake.
If you know you’re depressed and realize it’s human thing…you’re already one step towards solving it.
So what exactly is depression? It’s a real medical condition that causes physical and emotional setbacks.
You could have problems eating, sleeping or doing simple tasks. You could dwell on the negatives. The worst case is you feel like there’s no point living anymore…and you contemplate suicide.
You’re likely to have depression if you often:
- Can’t focus or think straight
- Have difficulty making decisions
- Get angry or irritable
- Feel tired all day long
- Lose interest in stuff you used to enjoy
- Blame yourself for past failures
Depression is not something you’ll be able to “snap out” of. It takes time to treat it. But the good news is many people CAN save themselves and get back to normal – with the help of medication and psychotherapy.
Unfortunately, depression is a major concern for men. It was revealed that 76% of suicides in the UK in 2016 were male suicides. That’s a nation where 25% of men are known to have felt depression. This prompted the government to spend £1.5 million on suicide research.
Why is male depression prevalent? We can blame society for pressuring men to be “strong” – as in completely unemotional – while women can let their feelings out. But it’s unhealthy to be bottled up. It’s like emotional constipation.
Remember: it’s okay to feel depressed, constantly worried or stressed out. Anyone can do so because everyone has bad days (even Tony Robbins himself). The real danger comes when you don’t deal with it properly. How? Follow these 3 tips below.
Tip #1 – Ask WHY
Self-awareness is key. It’s about having moments to stop, do the rewind and find out “why this?” or “why that?”
Why do I want to wear expensive suits when I don’t have to? To get people’s attention? Why do I want that attention? Could it be because I was bullied at high school…and I’m trying to prove my worth years later?
That’s an example of self-awareness. You need to peel off the “layers” of reasons until you get to the root cause of everything. It might be a past experience that you still haven’t moved on from.
Do you struggle to clear your mind and ask “why”? Then try learning how to meditate since meditation helps people become more self-aware.
You can go the other route: forget about asking “why” and just bury your emotions. You’ll resort to junk food, booze, clubbing every night or other ways to make yourself feel better inside. But that’s like putting Band-Aids on a flesh wound. They never last.
Tip #2 – Handle Your Feelings
Your negative emotions are the true enemy. Not you, your mistakes or anybody who tries to put you down.
You need an outlet for those feelings. The sooner they’re released the better. But this isn’t a straightforward task since we’re all different. We do different things to wrestle out our own emotions.
What works for most of us is either (A) talk to the right people or (B) engage in physical activities like martial arts, working out at the gym, etc.
It’s important to know option B as not everybody likes to talk. Not everybody can just pour out their thoughts in front a loved one or a therapist (who’s practically a stranger).
But if talking does work for you, it’s definitely going to help. Your listeners may sympathize with you and offer some comforting words. Who knows? Maybe the one who’s giving you problems will come around and try to patch things up.
No matter what, don’t keep saying “I’m fine” when friends and family can tell you’re not. There are more men with personal struggles than you think (many of those at Menfluential raised their hands and admitted it). Don’t feel like you have to face this alone.
Tip #3 – Remember Your Purpose
We don’t come into this world just to suffer. We’re not here to be useless or worthless. We’ve all got a purpose. What’s yours?
Well, you don’t have to look further than the people you love. Those you look forward to seeing when you wake up. Those who depend on you…and support you no matter what.
Male depression tries to trap your mind into some lonely box. You can get so caught up in your own feelings that you forget that it’s not all about you.
You haven’t lost everything. Your loved ones and friends – your cheerleading squad – haven’t given up on you. So don’t be consumed by your doubts and disappointments.
Remind yourself of your purpose. Make that part of your routine at night before going to bed. Just when you’re about to call it a day…think about everyone who makes your life worth living instead of why the day sucked.
That positive mindset will carry over to the next day. You’ll be happy to get up early, exercise, live – and not just exist. You’ll deal with criticisms or adversity much better.
Glass half full. There’s a light at the end of a tunnel. Those clichés will become your philosophy. So always use life’s purpose as your main anti-depressant.
Do you run own business, podcast or YouTube channel – or need some expert advice on entrepreneurship? That’s exactly what you’ll get from Paul McGregor, Aaron Marino & other digital influencers at Menfluential 2018.
It’s a 2-day event in Atlanta, Georgia this coming February, You’ll hang out with my friends Jose Zuniga, Sven Raphael Schneider, Barron Cuadro, Brock McGoff & other big names in men’s style & social media.