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Mental health problems are like any other ailment: the sooner you spot and treat them, the more likely you are to cure yourself of them.

However, spotting a mental health problem compared to a physical ailment can be so difficult.

And even if you do think you suffer from depression and anxiety, how do you differentiate long term suffering with simply having a bad day?

Credit: Ronan

And even if you can differentiate, who do you tell about it?

As any young man who has had these feelings knows, it's not as simple as just picking up the phone and speaking to your loved ones about it.

"The problem with depression isn't that people don't spot it, it's that they don't do anything about it," Mike Crawford, Professor of Mental Health at Imperial College London, told TheLADbible.

"I'm a psychiatrist but when I am out drinking with friends I am not spotting signs of depression. It's not for me to do that.

"The key is getting the message across that young men don't have to feel miserable and get them asking themselves, 'Why should I have to put up with feeling like this?'"

As anybody who has suffered or is suffering with a mental health issue knows, admitting you have the problem and asking for help can be the most difficult part of it.

It's also the most important.

Credit: Alex Noble

But for those who have yet to be diagnosed, how exactly do you spot the difference between depression and anxiety and simply having a bad day?

Professor Crawford said: "Having a bad day is when you go to bed fed up but when you wake up things seem a bit different.

"If you go to bed and just want to sleep and then when you wake up in the morning just and want to go to sleep again, there could be a problem.

"I think hopelessness is the key feeling.

"If someone is going through a bad patch and they do something they love, then depression will mean they get no pleasure from it."

The difference between a bad day and having depression is an extremely grey area which only makes it even more important that men actually talk about how they feel.

One of the main barriers to men talking is that it's not seen as 'manly' to discuss our feelings. But really it's just holding us back.

Professor Crawford continued: "It's not brave to suffer in silence. It's not strong to let life just go by while you feel miserable.

"Be brave and actually do something about it."

While there is still a long way to go to completely remove the stigma surrounding mental health, times and attitudes are changing.

It wasn't long ago that coming out as homosexual was a taboo thing to do. Nowadays, the vast majority of society barely bats an eyelid.

The same can and will happen for people suffering with mental health issues - we just have to continue breaking down the barriers and talk about our problems.

Help is out there. You just need to be prepared to help yourself.

Be brave. Talk about it.

'U OK M8?' is an initiative from TheLADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which will feature a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Mental Health Foundation.

At TheLADbible we're trying to gather the biggest picture of mental health for young people and
we're working with a range of charities so that our findings can help them. Filling in this poll will help us find out the extent of the problem.

Illustrations by danwilson1982

George Pavlou

Something witty and self-deprecating...

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