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Speaker 1: Well, I think it's a lot to do with feeling ashamed of what's always been considered to be something that you don't talk about, maybe it's part of our Australian culture. Men are just tough and they never cry, they just get on with it.

Speaker 2: The family might be concerned about you and you might be concerned not to burden them, so you don't talk to them and so the conversation doesn't happen.

S1: I mean, humans are social beings, we're meant to share our lives and we're meant to talk. I thought, "What the heck, life can only get better for me. I feel so terrible in my mind, and I'm desperate enough to ask for help."

S2: I think sometimes you've gotta be brave and take a risk and that may seem like an incredible risk. And if you really don't like how you're feeling and you really feel things are going from bad to worse, why not try something that gives you at least a chance of getting out of the hole.

Speaker 3: There was a morning where I had probably been awake for hours and my wife then woke up to go to work and I just said, "I'm not going too well. I just can't do anything. I've never felt this low." 

S1: I just said, "I'm in big trouble here, what do you think I ought to do about it?"

Speaker 4: "Look, I'm really feeling crappy, you know. I'm really feeling flat, I don't seem to have any energy anymore. I'm really feeling shit-house." That's really what I would've said. And I don't know what to do about it.

S3: I actually said to her, "I'm not coping with life." Now, I'd never used that phrase before but it described exactly how I felt.

S2: I live alone, therefore nobody really saw what was going on other than me experiencing it.

S3: That's where organisations such as beyondblue, where you can pick up a telephone, completely confidential, and at least start that process. Once you actually start to talk to somebody else and you're actually externalising. Now, of course, different people will react in different ways.

S2: You've gotta know or trust the person well enough, so that if you feel that you've totally mucked up the way that you have said it, then that person is not going to judge you, is not going to leap to wrong conclusions.

S3: It's a bit true about a problem shared is a problem, you know, sort of reduced. There's certainly a very positive impact about talking to somebody about how you're feeling.

S1: You feel the sense of relief, feel relieved. You feel like you're not alone anymore.

S4: I think I realised from that first conversation that I'd started to talk about it and that now I needed to take some action. I'd say talk early. When you’re feeling a bit flat, say it. When you're feeling down in the dumps, say it. If it hangs on for too long, do something about it. The key, in my view, is to just start anywhere, it's the process of talking about it, that helps.

S1: You're doing yourself a favour, the sooner you ask for help, the better off you are. 'Cause healing is that much closer. And the good life is that much closer.

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