Male Mental Health: How To Tackle The Stigma Around Anxiety And Depression In Men | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Male Mental Health: How To Tackle The Stigma Around Anxiety And Depression In Men

On Wednesday, Collingwood Magpies midfielder Dayne Beams revealed he is a “broken man”, and would be stepping away from the AFL to focus on his mental health.

And he isn’t the only one – former model Nick Bracks has also fought his own private battles.

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Suffering from anxiety and depression, the 32-year-old fought to maintain a healthy mindset while juggling a career on screens and magazine covers across the country.

Now, the advocate is sharing his personal story, to help Aussies tackle the stigma around mental health.

“Growing up, I had issues with anxiety and a whole range of things I wasn’t aware of, and it elevated and became debilitating,” Bracks said.

Identity crisis

Nick is the son of former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks – and that in itself led to an identity crisis for the former model and actor.

“I was putting this immense pressure on myself because I felt I had to prove I’m not the son of this person, I’m Nick Bracks,” Bracks said.

“My dad couldn’t have cared less. I love him, and he’s one of my heroes, and he just wants me to be happy, like any dad.

“I was putting immense pressure to try and be someone I wasn’t, or live up to false expectations.

“It’s a very common thing – and more common than ever right now with social media and the pressure kids are putting on themselves.”

The problem for men

Collingwood player Dayne Beams confirmed he would be taking indefinite leave because of his mental health – and on his social media post, he pleaded for “anyone out there doing it tough just to tell someone”.

“With men, they’ve traditionally been taught that we need to just push on,” Bracks said.

“We’re taught showing emotion means that we’re weak, and we’re not a man – but it’s actually the complete opposite.

“It takes a lot of courage to show emotion – that what makes you more of a man, if you can be yourself and be open.

Beams’ public announcement is going to help so many people because this is an AFL star that’s struggling. It shows he’s human.

“No one is above mental health. If you’re a human, you’re going to help mental health issues at some point.

“It’s absolutely okay. It’s part of the human experience.

“We just need to understand how to deal with it, and not feel shame and all these awful emotions that, on a societal level, we’ve been made to feel.”

Signs of struggle

“If someone is withdrawing, having angry outbursts, not sleeping well, or showing prolonged anxiety, normally that’s when there’s an underlying issue that we need to address,” Bracks said.

“We need to have the self-awareness to check in with ourselves, and be looking out for these signs in the people around us.”

This article originally appeared on 7News

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