Men open up on­line about cop­ing with de­pres­sion

TALK­ING FREELY: Ad­vice, per­sonal ac­counts at Head­sUpGuys site in­spire hon­esty

The Province - - Live It! - ERIN EL­LIS eel­lis@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/er­inel­lis

The strong and silent type might be hid­ing a lot of angst. That’s the un­der­ly­ing mes­sage of the Univer­sity of B.C.-based web­site called Head­sUpGuys that is telling the sto­ries of men with de­pres­sion.

Dur­ing Oc­to­ber, the two-yearold web­site is post­ing 20 per­sonal ac­counts of men who have had de­pres­sion and found ways to cope. Pro­ject co-or­di­na­tor Joshua Be­harry says there are few sources of in­for­ma­tion on de­pres­sion de­signed specif­i­cally for men, so Head­sUpGuys has gained read­ers from around the world.

“It’s more of an ac­tion-based ap­proach,” says Be­harry. “We try to give more prac­ti­cal, con­crete ad­vice.”

Joel Ro­bi­son, a B.C.-based con­cep­tual pho­tog­ra­pher, is one of the men who con­trib­uted his ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I think my ma­jor turn­ing point was be­ing hon­est both with my­self and with my fam­ily and friends,” he writes. “For a long time I’d been push­ing things away, hid­ing my emo­tions, and pre­tend­ing that ev­ery­thing was OK.

“I wrote an hon­est blog post just telling peo­ple where I was with my men­tal health, and that was re­ally the turn­ing point.”

His ad­vice? Reach out to oth­ers, get out­side in na­ture and re­sist the urge to do noth­ing.

Head­sUpGuys also in­cludes tips from ex­perts on ev­ery­thing from stress man­age­ment to main­tain­ing re­la­tion­ships. Its ini­tial fund­ing from the Movem­ber Foun­da­tion will run out next year and this month’s per­sonal pro­file se­ries is part of fundrais­ing ef­forts to con­tinue its work. For more in­for­ma­tion go to: head­supguys.org

Look­ing at ADHD from the in­side

Ev­ery­day ADDvice is an on­line mag­a­zine launched this month by Van­cou­ver’s Karen Ryan to help Cana­dian fam­i­lies seek­ing ways to cope with at­ten­tion deficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der.

Ryan came to the topic af­ter her son was di­ag­nosed with ADHD 11 years ago and had a strong ad­verse re­ac­tion to med­i­ca­tion he was pre­scribed. She quit her job as a nutri­tion man­ager at a lo­cal health au­thor­ity to help him, com­ing up with a plan heavy on daily ac­tiv­ity and a diet of healthy, un­pro­cessed foods free of dyes and added sugar.

The first is­sue looks at ways to en­cour­age a good night’s rest be­cause stim­u­lant med­i­ca­tions for ADHD may af­fect sleep and many kids with ADHD also have a sec­ond con­di­tion like rest­less leg syn­drome.

The is­sue in­cludes first-per­son ac­counts of liv­ing with ADHD and tech­niques the au­thors de­vel­oped for suc­cess­ful learn­ing.

The board of ad­vis­ers for Ev­ery­day ADDvice leans heav­ily on natur­o­pathic prac­ti­tion­ers so par­ents look­ing for in­for­ma­tion based on sci­en­tific re­search will want to check out the Kelty Men­tal Health Re­source Cen­tre lo­cated at B.C. Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal or at kel­ty­men­tal­health.ca.

Ryan got a grant from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to start the mag­a­zine and hopes to make it into a profit-mak­ing ven­ture based on ad­ver­tis­ing and sub­scrip­tions which are $5.99 per is­sue or $34.99 per year.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to: ev­ery­dayad­dvice.com

Joshua R. Be­harry is pro­ject co-or­di­na­tor for Head­sUpGuys, a Uni­ver­sity of Bri­tish Columbia-based web­site fo­cus­ing on men’s de­pres­sion and how they can cope with it.

Van­cou­ver-based Karen Ryan is editor of the ADHD on­line magazine Every­day ADDvice.

Joel Ro­bi­son, a con­cep­tual pho­tog­ra­pher, shared his story on the Head­sUpGuys site.

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