Neil's story

Neil shares his experiences with low mood and depression.

Neil shares how long it took him to discover he had depression because he mainly had physical symptoms and felt he had no reason to be depressed. It was only when he started crying that his GP suggested it.

It's common for people to wave away concerns but, with mental health problems affecting 1 in 4 people each year [PDF], it can happen to anyone at any time in their life.

Read more from Mind about understanding what's happening to you.

If you don't know what's happening and you want someone to help you phone 111 and choose the mental health option.

Neil talks about the difficulties he had in being able to be open about his thoughts and feelings. Many men say they feel they can't express their emotions for fear of being judged.

Breathing Space is a confidential listening service where you won't be judged

More than 1 in 3 men in Scotland say they've experienced suicidal thoughts. CALM provides free, confidential support and advice for men.

Neil discusses when he first reached out to his wife for help. The feeling of wanting to have a prepared speech that summed up all his feelings.

In the end a simple "I'm struggling" was enough to break down that barrier and lead to the start of getting help with his thoughts and feelings.

Mind has information on how to open up to friends and family.

Neil explains how starting to talk about his problems led to him receiving professional help.

Neil is now a volunteer with The Changing Room a group, supported by SAMH who support men at many of Scotland's football clubs.

Neil describes how losing interest in watching football with his son made him realise he needed help.

If this is how you feel you could talk to your GP or phone 111 now and choose the mental health option.

Neil says what he finds helpful is to focus on the aspects of his life he can control, such as making plans to meet with his friends and adapting to change.

Read the Problem solving self-help guide

Learning to adapt to situations life throws at you can be hard. Sometimes we can get things out of proportion, but talking to other people can help.

Breathing Space is a confidential listening service.

Neil talks about how he created a routine to help his mental health and how this gives him a sense of accomplishment.

Bad days will happen to everyone but having a routine in place helps Neil deal with that and move on.

The Mental Health Foundation has more information about recovery.

Neil's message to any man struggling with their mental health is simple: "please talk about it".

He shares how he was surprised by how much supported he received and recognises that stigma is real but things are improving.

Mind have information on how to talk to your friends and family.