Celebrity comedian Dave Hughes has revealed that he once thought he had schizophrenia, opening up about his battle with alcohol and drugs.
“When I was 21, I was drinking heavily and smoking marijuana and having sort of episodes at night, and I said to my mum that I think I’ve got schizophrenia,” Hughes announced on ABC’s Q&A program last night.
One in five Australians suffer from mental health issues and yet few of them feel ok about asking help.
Women are slightly better with 18 per cent of them asking for help when they need it compared to 11 per cent of men.
Personal trainer Robbie Hardy who has fought mental health issues for most of his life as someone diagnosed with Bipolar disorder is one bloke who believes more men need to be encouraged to speak up.
Mr Hardy and his business partner David Ferguson are working with the charity Livin, to help break down the stigma around mental health.
"I've had a few stages in my life where I'd thought it was all over and it was too much to imagine a way out. These times are hard but they pass with time and the right help. I count myself to be incredibly lucky to have loved ones who support no matter how dark it gets" Mr Hardy said.
Bipolar means ‘moods swings’ but in the most severe cases is what used to be known as ‘manic depression’.
The most severe form is Bipolar disorder I which is most commonly associated with mania and or psychotic episodes.
People who suffer from Bipolar disorder I are more likely to end up in hospital whereas Bipolar disorder II suffer from highs without the psychotic episodes.
But there are other forms of mental health problems such as severe anxiety and depression.
Symptoms of depression include lower self-esteem, trouble sleeping, lack of energy, change in appetite, anger, guilt and anxiety.
Mr Hardy, who has Bipolar I said the notion that men should tough it out is “bullshit”.
"Admitting you need help is not weak, it's brave. Far too many people suffer in silence and it's time everybody stood up and helped each other."
The pair from Emperor Fitness are raising funds for Livin by lifting weights with a goal of hitting 1000 tons over the month of April.
"We put a rule in place to make it a bit harder" Mr Hardy said.
"We won't count any weight lifted that is lighter than 160kg."
The men have been lifting weights since they were teenagers so the challenge is fun for them.
"Personally, as someone who lives with Bipolar disorder, I can say that exercise has saved my life on more than one occasion" Mr Hardy said.
"When you have times in your life that you feel so out of control, it's amazing to have something that is a constant and you can go and escape for a little while."
So if you have been touched by mental health speak up!
HOW YOU CAN DONATE
Simply visit the Livin website, and be sure to add "Emperor Fitness" to your donation reference or visit the Emperor Fitness site.