“You only look for the blue.” Two years ago, Apollo was a completely different person.

In 2015, Jake Spence, referred to by his stage name Apollo Jackson on the latest season of The Bachelorette, suffered a heart attack at just 22 years old.

He was at a friend’s house following a 14 hour shift, when he experienced what he describes as a “boom” in his chest.

Spence was in critical care for two weeks and says that during that time he entirely “reassessed his life”.

In a short period prior to the heart attack, he had put on 40 kilos.

“I was crazy stressed,” Spence told Now to Love last month. “So I ended up overweight… I was not happy and went through a bit of depression.”

“You think you’re bulletproof at 22,” he told The New Daily“coming back from that had a lot to do with mental health.”

Spence decided to prioritise his health, and started going to the gym four times a week, as well as walking, surfing and swimming. He swapped fast food for good home-cooked meals.

Advertisement

Eventually, he decided it was time for a career change.

Spence had been working as a security guard, but following his health scare, decided to pursue a hobby he had long neglected; magic.

LISTEN: The latest episode of Bach Chat. Post continues below. 

“I think over the last two years since I’ve had my rough patch, I’ve just developed so much as a person,” Spence told Mamamia. “I’ve developed in terms of what I stand for and what’s important to me and where my focus is.”

The biggest thing that helped him overcome his mental health struggles was “getting out there and doing stuff.”

“The more you just sit around and dwell on things, the worse it gets. It’s like a pressure cooker,” Spence said.

“You’ve got to release that pressure. You’ve got to have your therapies.”

Spence said his great network of friends also pulled him through.

But the thing that saved him, he believes, was a shift in mindset.

Jake Spence, known on The Bachelorette as Apollo Jackson.

"Because when you're going through depression, it's like if you're looking around the room and you only look for the blue in the room, you miss all the other colours.

"You have to change your mindset, and look at all the other colours around the blue. And understand that the blue is there, but there's an array of colours as well as the blue."

Speaking about his mental health so honestly on The Bachelorette led to an influx of messages and emails from people who had also gone through depression or a critical health issue.

"The more I talk about it, the more I find other people want to talk about it," Spence said.

As nervous as he was to share his story, Spence has found that it's had a "beautiful and positive impact".

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner or in Australia, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

FROM OUR NETWORK
JOIN THE CONVERSATION