Who am I?
Hi, I'm John! 23-years old born and raised in Los Angeles. Recent Cal Poly graduate in Computer Engineering and Cognitive Psychology and now engineer in San Jose. 3-time Ironman, 9-time Tough Mudder competitor. Lover of burritos, hamachi sushi, and ratchet music.
See that picture? That's me in 2011 after I received a concussion. This photo is misleading as I appear to be happy, but it was short after I was diagnostied with Dysthymia (Chronic Depression) and took over my life the next two years. I lost interest in education, interests, and often questioned what purpose I had on Earth everyday. Waking up each day was extremely difficult and I sheltered myself from my friends and family when I shouldn't have. Through their support, I overcame this stage of my life and lifted a measureless weight off my shoulders.
What is the Worlds Toughest Mudder?
A 24-hour obstacle race set in Lake Las Vegas. I will be running as many 5-mile laps for the entire duration of the race.
*If you are interested in being part of my Tent Crew, please reach out to me :) *
Why am I racing?
After I received a concussion in 2011, I lapsed into having Dysthymia (Chronic Depression) and it took over my life the next two years. I lost interest in education, interests, and often questioned what purpose I had on Earth everyday. Waking up each day was extremely difficult and I sheltered myself from my friends and family when I shouldn't have. Through their support, I overcame this stage of my life and lifted a measureless weight off my shoulders.
In 2012, I pursued an education in cognitive psychology and felt empowered to help those in need and educate others on depression.
Having gone through this stage in my life, I am racing to raise awareness for cognitive disorders and depression.
The funds raised from this campaign will go to the Hope for Depression Foundation.
How can I manage my own depression / How do I help someone who has depression?
It is extremely difficult for friends and family to help one who is depressed. Individuals close to one may feel anxious, frustrated, or fearful to attempt to give help, but providing any support is a huge benefactor to help treat depression.
1) Learn about depression.
The more one understands about this condition, the better one can cope and retrieve the sources necessary to overcome depression.
2) Share your feelings with close friends and family.
Depression not only affects you, but those around you. It is important for everyone surrounding the affected individual to lean in and share emotions.
3) Be understanding.
Let your friends, family, or the affected individual know that you care. Depressed individuals can feel more invigorated to overcome the problem by being continually reminded that they are loved. You cannot "fix" someone else's depression. Complete recovery is in the hands of the depressed person.
4) Monitor symptoms.
Keep a running diary of how you/one feels daily. Track progress and emotions and see if the depressed individual is gradually recovering from depression.
If at any time the depressed individual talks about death or suicide, seek immediate help. Contact your doctor, go to your local emergency room, or contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK).
What inspired me to do this?
After going through this stage of my life, I felt that no other challenge will be as great as dealing with depression. Running back-to-back Tough Mudders, completing a full Ironman, or any of the other crazy things I do will compare to the tremendous pain inflicted by depression.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, "Depression affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year." This is a huge number and I personally do believe that in modern times, people need to be aware of cognitive disorders.
Any likes or shares on this campaign will help increase the awareness of depression. Thank you for your support!