NDO Champ has had a traumatic past and deals with depression and anxiety to his day. This is how he overcomes it.

In our previous GI Exclusive segment with NDO Champ, he detailed his past escaping the Liberian Civil War and the struggles he faced upon arriving in the United States. We followed up this moment by asking NDO if he faces regular anxiety and depression. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, NDO Champ details his experience with anxiety and depression. He also discusses how fitness helped him overcome it.

It’s common knowledge in general that fitness is a great way to overcome negative emotions. Part of that is biological as we produce positive hormones in the body upon exercise. Another part behind it is the meditative focus that exercise creates. It’s a repetitive action that requires work. It helps push off other thoughts in your head. It also leads to positive results. Over time those positive results make us feel good.

But there’s a difference between general “bad moods” and suffering from real anxiety and depression. While NDO Champ doesn’t claim to be officially diagnosed with any sort of psychiatric disorder – he does admit to facing anxiety. He even claims to have had a few “breakdowns” throughout his life.

In some respects this is no surprised based off his complicated and often traumatic past. NDO Champ has faced poverty and violence throughout his younger years. He escaped the Liberian Civil War to live in America. But upon his arrival he faced racism and gang violence.

NDO Champ overcame these challenges and is now living a more stable life as a bodybuilder, boxer, and man who gives back to his community. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t face anxiety to this day.

NDO Champ goes into detail about the anxiety he faces and how bodybuilding helps him overcome it. But he also warns that “being strong” is not a shield a person should completely hide behind. NDO points out it’s important for a person to be happy with their true self. We can’t always be strong, we can’t define our happiness by how much weight in muscle we carry.

It’s this same identity anxiety that NDO Champ sees in social media as well. While NDO uses social media to reach out to the community, he cares not of his followers or the comments posted about him. He fears that too many people in this world define their well being by their Instagram accounts. This ultimately creates more anxiety than it helps fix.

NDO Champ advises to be passionate about what you love – whether that’s being strong as a bodybuilder or being a popular influencer. But to also not define yourself solely based off that passion. If a bodybuilder loses some muscle – it shouldn’t cause a year of anxiety. If a influencer gets less likes on a post, it shouldn’t ruin their day.

That’s the tactic NDO Champ has learned over the years as he’s faced a wide variety of challenges and traumas. He is not invulnerable to anxiety and depression. He tries his best to use both his passions and his ability to define himself beyond his passions as a way to overcome negative thoughts.

You can watch NDO Champ’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

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Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.