Ep 10: Mens Mental Health with Psychologist Ben Stiel

8 Nov 2022 PODCAST

Today we speak to Clinical Psychologist Ben Stiel on men's mental health. We unpack how to deal with stress and overwhelm. Being open and vulnerable with yourself and others. And how to manage anxiety and depression.

Episode Summary:
  • Managing stress and overwhelm 
  • How to communicate effectively with your partner
  • Managing conflict and feeling safe in a relationship 
  • Gaining trust in a relationship
  • Deactivating depression and anxiety 


Jess: Welcome to Flip the Script podcast where we flip the narrative on issues that affect men's health.

Louie: Our aim is to talk about the weird, the wonderful, and perhaps the unspoken issues that affect men so you can feel empowered and back to living your best life.

Jess: Let's get into it. All right. Good morning everyone. We are actually so excited to be back in the studio to record with none other than Ben Stiel, clinical psychologist. He was on the podcast before. You probably would have seen him. If you haven't, please go back to episode five. Thank you for coming on again.

Ben: Thank you for having me. Thanks for inviting me back.

Jess: Today we also have with us our treatment plan manager, Louie.

Louie: Hi everyone.

Jess: We are going to be discussing mental health. Before we obviously had Ben on the podcast and we were talking about relationships, but today we're talking about mental health, and this is because it keeps coming up. A lot of people are struggling with it at the moment, and we have been inundated with conversations with our patients, with some of the inquiries that we get through.

It seems to be something that a lot of people are dealing with in one way or another, whether it's yourself, whether it is your friend or your family member or your partner. Today, Ben, we have a couple of questions that we've been given by some of our patients and some of the inquiries that have come through. We're hoping that we could just ask you and see where that leads.

Ben: All right. Well, let's open up a conversation about it.

Louie: Yeah. Well, the first thing that we wanted to touch on was a lot of men, as we know, they're busy. They've got a very busy work life. They may have a very busy social life, they've got a busy home life. What we're noticing a lot, and particularly with men probably around that age 40 and up, is that they are starting to burn out, but the issue with them burning out is that they're not taking care of themselves. They're probably not really speaking to anyone about it.

They're coming home and they feel like they're lashing out at their kids and their wife or partner, and they start to feel guilty about it. What we get a lot is they just don't know how to open the conversation with their partner. They don't know how to start it up or to even show that vulnerability to say, "I'm actually really stressed and this is the reason why. Maybe I've yelled at the kids for something so small."

A lot of them do ask, "How do we open that conversation? How do I speak to my partner about my depression or my anxiety?"

Ben: Right. Well, I think it's great that men are asking these questions. Traditionally, men haven't been particularly good at opening up. The male archetype is one in which men are invulnerable. They show no weakness, they get on with things, they're a strong provider for the family. They're this stoic presence that just has it all together. For many men, that is the presentation that they feel as though they need to maintain in front of their families, and being vulnerable, opening up goes against that, so it challenges their concept of who they should be.

I think it's wonderful that men are starting to recognize that this isn't working for them and they're even asking the question, "How do I open up?" I guess when I hear that question, my relationship therapist ears prick up. I wonder to myself, "What is it about the dynamic in the relationship that these men have with their partners that makes it feel unsafe for them to open up in this way?" We spoke last time about relationships, and this time we're speaking about mental health.

I don't know that there's such a clear distinction to be drawn. A lot of the experiences that people have in relation to their mental health exist in the context of relationships. If a man is in a relationship in which he doesn't feel safe to open up to his partner, then that's probably going to contribute towards the stress, the anxiety, maybe experience of low mood that he's going through.

Jess: Do you think with being unsafe, is that something that is in your head? For example, if men their natural point of what they do is to open up and communicate when something's wrong, societally, they're at the office, they have to be strong, their leadership amongst their friends, again, it's like, okay, I've got to show that I'm the most masculine man there. I'm on the football team.

Again, it's like vulnerability isn't celebrated, so it's not safe in other aspects of their life or their perception, perhaps that's what I mean. Their perception is that it's not safe when indeed it is safe. If they were to just do it once they'd realize, "Oh, wow, okay, my partner is actually showing me so much compassion and is actually helping me through this." Do you think that it's more perception or do you think that it might actually be they've tried before and it hasn't worked out?

Ben: It could be either. That's unique to each relationship. A lot of women long for more emotional availability and more openness from their partners. They want their partners to let them in, let them know what's going on in their minds. Many will respond really well to that but there are also situations in which somebody might open up, and that's a very vulnerable thing to do, especially if it challenges their sense of who they're supposed to be.

They're supposed to be this strong stoic figure, and here they are showing vulnerability. What if they get rejected? What if they get shamed for that? Unfortunately, it's quite possible for that to happen in the context of relationships and when it does, it can be really distressing and even traumatic.

If somebody takes the risk to open up and be vulnerable and then gets met with a sort of invalidating or judging or even a shaming response, then that can really hurt and it can make men less likely to open up in the future because they've learned that that's a dangerous thing to do.

Louie: Do you think that's more of the reason why they avoid it, or do you think maybe some don't have the tools to actually open up that conversation, or maybe they can't communicate it as well as they want, in their head they know what's wrong, but they just can't seem to bring it out?

Ben: Or maybe they feel as though if they were to express what it is that's going on for them, they wouldn't be met with an accepting response. There are definitely ways of bringing these things up that are more likely to get a positive response from our partner. These things can be taught if we approach it from a perspective of wanting to express ourselves because this is a way for us to feel closer to our partner, then that's more likely to get a compassionate and positive response.

If we talk about it in a blaming way, if we talk about our frustrations with how our partner is contributing to our stress, then we're more likely to trigger them into a response, which is probably not going to be particularly helpful for us.

Jess: You're presenting the value. You are saying, "Okay. Right now I'm going to open up to you because I really want us to connect better." That is presenting the value, rather than, "I'm going to open up to you and you are part of that problem."

Ben: Yeah, exactly. When I'm doing relationship therapy, I'm always listening out for different layers of what's going on for somebody. Often there's a lot of frustration or resentment or defensiveness on the surface. Underneath that, there's more vulnerable emotion, usually related to fear, grief or hurt or shame. Those are the big three categories of emotion that tend to characterize vulnerability.

Then underneath that, there's usually what's called an attachment longing. A longing to be able to connect around these issues in order to feel closer and people aren't necessarily conscious of this. It's something which is buried right beneath the surface part of relationship therapy is helping people to identify that and draw it out and get them to express it.

When people are able to express vulnerability with this sense of attachment longing laced into the statements that they make, then that's much more likely to get a response from their partner, which is going to be helpful to them.

Louie: What's an example of the attachment longing?

Ben: I guess anything which relates to the desire to be closer to a partner. For example, I met with a couple just yesterday for the first time, and he was saying that he doesn't feel safe in the relationship. His tendency is to withdraw and shut down and pull away, but that's not the sort of relationship he wants. He was expressing that he wants to be close, and he's hoping that he can help his partner to make him feel safe in expressing what's going on for him because he wants to be closer to her.

But currently he doesn't feel like it's safe for him to do that because he's going to be met with a critical or shaming or blaming response from her. That attachment longing, I want to do this, I want to help you make me feel safe because I want to be closer to you, that's music to the ears of somebody who feels as though their partner's not available to them.

Jess: Did she respond quite well?

Ben: Yeah. People tend to respond well, but it depends on the situation. In this particular instance, that brings up fears for her that maybe her criticisms have been overblown and that makes her the bad guy so it's difficult for her to accept that. Again, these are issues that need to be worked through, and there's a lot of vulnerability in that too. If you can express that in the right way, then he might be understanding of that, and then she feels safe and is able to receive what he's saying.

Really, relationships are all about just making both people feel safe, feel safe and secure, that this person is somebody who it's safe for me to be open, authentic, honest, and vulnerable with. If both people feel that way about each other, then relationships tend to go well.

Louie: It sounds a little bit like they're feeling guilty in a way, the men, because they want that attachment and they know what they want, but they just can't seem to get there either, so maybe that they're feeling a little bit of guilt that can contribute to maybe a little bit of depression.

Ben: Yeah. I think men know when they're not showing up in the way that they should be when they're reacting in ways that are unhelpful or damaging to their partners. We're generalizing here. We're basing this conversation on the stereotype of the withdrawing unavailable man and the pursuing woman who wants more connection. That's certainly not the way that it always plays out in relationships. But in general, that tends to be the case more often than not.

Yeah, there can be guilt when men know that they're not showing up for their partners in the way that their partners need them to and there can be shame around that. Unfortunately, what often happens is that their experience of the relationship is one in which they're continually being criticized, they can't do anything right. They're always being told that they're doing the wrong thing.

That contributes to their sense of shame, which hurts, makes them want to withdraw more and that creates a barrier to being able to open up rather than being something helpful.

Louie: Because it'll seem much easier for them to withdraw away from that than to dive in and attack it or defend themselves because it would be just a typical defensive mechanism that they probably picked up from years ago. I guess how would you just counter that? If you really wanted to... This is the last straw, you really need to get to your partner and say, "Look, no, this is not working." Not blaming them, but there's something that's not working and I really need to tell you how I'm feeling. How do we get into that?

Ben: I always encourage people as the first step in relationship therapy to take responsibility for what's going on inside them. That's a really important thing to do, to say, "Hey, I want to talk to you about something. I've been feeling scared, or I've been feeling ashamed that I'm not showing up for you or that I can't get it right for you and that's causing me to react in this way and I know that's not helpful to you."

That's a bit of a formula. I'm going to repeat it because I think it's worth really drawing attention to it. Taking responsibility, I'm feeling this way, it's causing me to behave like this. Then the acknowledgement, I know that that affects you in this way. If you can begin the conversation in that way, then often you'll find that your partner is open and receptive.

Then you can follow on and say, "I don't want things to be like that. I want to be closer to you. I want us to feel safe for each other, and I'm hoping that I might be able to talk to you in a way that helps you understand what's going on for me, that feels safe for me and feels safe for you." If you can start a conversation like that, you've got a pretty decent chance of having a receptive partner.

Louie: In this particular scenario, they would just have to go forward and say, "Look, I've been working so hard and when I come home, I'm still thinking about work and it's stressing me out and it's causing me to lash out or to ignore even at home, and this is why this is happening, and I need your help to, I guess help me through that." Because at the end of the, it's not working, whatever he's been trying to do to fix these, it's not working.

We've gotten to this point now where he's now starting to pick up on his errors and his little behaviors, even though he's not doing it on purpose, in his mind, that would be the best thing to do. Say, "This is the issue, it's work, or it's my sick brother, or it's the economy." Whatever the reason is that they're stressing them out, they need to actually explain that.

Ben: Yeah. I'm feeling financial stress and I'm feeling a lot of pressure to provide for the family and I feel like if I don't do that, then I'm not doing my job as the father figure or as the man in this relationship. I was brought up to believe that I have to fulfill those roles and sometimes I feel like I'm failing at that or falling behind or only just hanging on by a thread.

I worry that if I don't fulfill those roles, then I won't be good enough for you. It would really help me if you understood that I'm going through that, I'm going to keep on working, but if I seem like I'm not as present as you want me to be, a lot of that might be because these things are on my mind. I just wanted to let you in so that you understand and maybe we can share some of that burden together.

Louie: Yeah.

Jess: That's beautiful.

Louie: Because they would come to their own conclusion, wouldn't they? The partner if you're not speaking to them as well.

Jess: Yeah.

Ben: That's right. Yeah. You tend to get this dynamic in relationships where one person is withdrawing more and the other tends to want to pursue for more connection. The pursuing partner tends to be a little bit more anxious about the prospect of whether their partner is there for them, whether the relationship is secure, whether their partner is really interested in them or wants to leave them.

So they might be scanning for little cues that indicate something's wrong, something's off, and then if they pick something up, they're likely to over-interpret that as a sign of threat. There's a lot of catastrophization that goes on on that pursuing partner's end of the equation. It's helpful for the withdrawers to understand that a little bit of reassurance goes a long way, "Hey, I'm here with you.

I know that I'm not showing up in the way that you want me to, these are the reasons, but I want to be in this relationship and it would help me if we could understand each other better."

Jess: Communication. It's a magic thing.

Ben: When done well, yeah, yeah.

Jess: Yeah. Yes.

Ben: I mean, we spoke about this last time. The number one relationship skill is listening. If there's only one thing that you develop in order to improve your relationship, it's your ability to tune in and listen. Just reflect when you hear what somebody is saying, rather than responding to it or appeasing or presenting your own point of view, literally just repeat back your understanding of what that person said so that they feel heard. When people feel heard, they calm down.

For partners who want to make themselves somebody safe for their men to open up to, that's the key ingredient is just get really good at listening and reflecting back and continuing to do that until you can say, "I get it. What you're saying makes sense to me, I hear you." That feels really safe and tends to open up the possibility for people to be more vulnerable and feel safe doing that.

Louie: I guess that's what we want to touch on. That's the first thing about the partners. We have been getting a lot of men actually speaking to us. There's one in particular that mentioned that he can tell his friend's off, that there's something just not right. He's asked him, "Is everything okay?" Like, "Yep." He'll just ignore him or palm it off like everything's fine but he knows there is something more to it.

What he wanted to know, and that's what he was asking, was how can he encourage his friend to either speak to him or to speak to somebody else and what steps that they can do as a friend that's concerned? Or it can be anybody, just a family member too, but what can they do to speak to them? Because they obviously put their wall up, "No, there's nothing wrong. Why are you even asking me this question? I'm absolutely fine." What can we do?

Ben: That's a really difficult question to answer. It's difficult to give a blanket response that would apply to all situations. This is something that I struggle with as well. I think we've all had the experience of friends who we know are struggling, but they're just closed off to us and we care about them. We want to help them find a way through whatever it is that they're dealing with, but we don't know how to encourage them to open up.

To an extent, it's not up to us to decide what's best for another person. It's not up to us to decide that my friend needs to do this. That's for them to decide. If we start imposing our own ideas on what's best for them, then actually we're probably more likely just to push them away. I think that the best we can do is turn ourselves into the sort of friend who is safe for somebody to open up to.

If we don't have that friendship with this person at the time that we're worried about them, then one of the ways that you can expedite that process is by sharing your own vulnerability. There's a lot of research that shows that if you're willing to share your vulnerability with another person, then that makes you feel like a safer person for them to share their vulnerability with you. That's something to bear in mind.

It's probably better to implement that as a principle in relationships that are important to you before the point that it gets to a crisis before the point at which someone is struggling, just as a general principle in friendships. Paradoxically, if you want somebody to open up to you, then opening up to them is probably the fastest way that you'll be able to achieve that to make yourself feel like someone safe to do that with.

Jess: Yeah, that's really helpful. It's almost like be the energy that you want back.

Ben: Right.

Jess: If you want them to be open and honest and vulnerable, you have to walk the talk, right?

Ben: Yeah. Yeah.

Louie: It would be frustrating-

Jess: I guess you would talk the talk.

Louie: It would be frustrating if you do open up and you still don't get that back.

Jess: Yeah.

Louie: It'd be tough.

Ben: Yeah. I guess you have to be judicious about this. If you're just opening up in order to manipulate somebody into opening up with you, then that's probably-

Jess: It's obvious.

Ben: ... not the right agenda. We have to be careful about who we're vulnerable with as well. It is a risky thing to open up and be vulnerable with somebody. We shouldn't use that as a tool just for a particular agenda of getting somebody else to open up. If you think about it, what message does it give you if somebody trusts you with their vulnerability, if somebody comes to you and talks about something that's really personal and values you enough, trusts you enough to open up to you about that, what message does that give to you?

Louie: Well, it shows that you value their opinion, firstly, that you actually ask them for advice and whether maybe you're not asking them for advice, you just need somebody that you trust to unload on. Sometimes it's just simply that. Yeah, that would be what that would pick up on that. Then you'd hope like we're saying that eventually, it doesn't have to be immediately, but eventually that when they're feeling similar ways, they'll contact that person back and say, "Look, actually you know what we spoke about last time, yeah, I'm feeling the same thing." That's what you'd hope.

Ben: Yeah. Even again, stripping that agenda out the equation, if you open up to somebody, then you are communicating something to that person about what you think of them. I think you are somebody trustworthy. I think you are somebody who is safe. You are somebody whose perspective I value. It feels really nice to be that person to somebody else. If we know that somebody sees us that way, then that person will feel more safe for us to open up to. Yeah, it really does improve the quality of friendships or relationships if we're able to open up and be vulnerable with one another.

Louie: So very, very similar... Not very similar, but similar to what was touching on with the partner. It's all about that vulnerability and the communication. That's something that we need to start for men in particular get out of our heads and not worry about, I guess losing in a way, because they always want to win and if they are getting into a situation where there's a more likely chance that they're going to lose or they're going to be put down, or they're not going to have their feelings acknowledged that potentially that they don't even want to get into that situation-

Ben: Exactly.

Louie: ... in the first place. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. Because men carry this idea that they're supposed to be invulnerable, that they're supposed to be strong. That's something that all men are socialised into. So when you ask your mate, "Is everything okay?" They say, "Yeah, it's fine. It's fine." There's something threatening there. Because if things aren't fine, well, what does that say about me as a man? That says that I'm weak, that I'm vulnerable, that I'm oversensitive, that's a very shameful thing because that's not how we're supposed to be as men.

It can be really threatening for somebody who's struggling within themselves. They feel a sense of shame. I'm struggling. I'm not supposed to be struggling because I'm a man. I'm supposed to be strong and resilient, so they're carrying that within themselves. Then somebody else notices that, well, that's shaming as well. That's probably where you get that, I'm fine. Don't worry about it reaction.

Again, that's why normalising the sharing of vulnerability in a relationship is a really good bridge to opening up the possibility for those sorts of conversations.

Louie: If you get that reaction, I'm fine, what do you do? Do you just let it go and say, "Yeah, no worries." Or do you try and speak to them a little bit more? What do you do in that situation?

Ben: I don't know. Yeah. I don't know the answer to that question.

Louie: Tough.

Ben: Yeah. It would really depend upon individual circumstances and the nature of the relationship that you have with this particular person. I think that you need to respect people when they put boundaries up, but to the best of your ability, if you are able to let this person know that you're someone safe for them to open up to, you're there for whatever they need, then just them having that knowledge might make a difference to them and who knows, maybe down the track if the relationship is established in such a way that you feel like a safe person, they might open up to you if and when they're ready to.

Jess: I guess it's patience. You got to have patience.

Ben: Yeah. I think prevention is better than cure. It's better to try and establish these sorts of relationships before it reaches that point of crisis rather than try and hurriedly build that relationship at the point at which it's needed.

Jess: Is there anything else that you want to share today on mental health?

Ben: One thing that we didn't really talk about that I think is useful, people talk about depression and anxiety and these categories of mental health issue as if they're discrete things. I don't particularly like those labels. I think that they are oversimplified, the experience that people are having. Rather than saying, "I'm depressed," it's much more useful, I think, to explore what is the actual experience that you are having here?

What are the thoughts that you are having? What are the emotions that you are experiencing? Where do they come from? When are they more prevalent? When are they less prevalent? Really creating an individual formulation for the experience that a person is having, rather than just use some blanket label like depression or anxiety. I think that the way that we talk about these things actually limits our understanding of the actual human experience of these sorts of struggles.

Going back to the first question, how do I talk to my partner about depression or anxiety? I would encourage people to explore what's happening for them more deeply, what lies underneath those labels, and relaying the actual experience of what's going on in an emotional and a cognitive level. That's something that I always like to throw in whenever we're talking about these sorts of issues.

Jess: Is it better not to label... Say, instead of saying, "I'm anxious," say "I'm feeling upset because... or I'm feeling a lot of pressure because of work."

Ben: Right. Yeah, exactly.

Jess: Talk about the why as opposed to the what?

Ben: Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

Louie: Yeah. Yeah. I'm feeling anxious about work or when I'm at work, I am feeling anxious, not I'm an anxious person.

Ben: Yeah. Right. Rather than identifying with this idea of being somebody who's anxious or being a depressive, talking about how I really worry about what's going to happen in the future if I'm not able to continue performing to this level, and maybe you won't respect me as much if I fail at what I'm doing or if I let the family down in this way, that's much more informative and a much richer description than just saying, "I'm feeling anxious," which doesn't really tell us very much.

Similarly, with depression, everybody lives inside a story and people who are experiencing depression, their story is one in which they are feeling really terrible about themselves or about their circumstances, and have very little hope that things can improve. Being able to flesh out and talk about that story is much more useful than just saying, "I'm depressed."

Louie: The other thing, what I don't like is that they put them in a category where it's a bad thing, where it's technically just an emotion. You're feeling happy sometimes when things go right, you feel anxious when things aren't going so right but they put that label on it like it's a wrong thing. But it seems to be a good thing if you're feeling that way, anxious or depressed, it's telling you something's wrong, so you should be using it?

Ben: Right. Exactly. Yeah. When we experience negative emotion in this way, it's a cue to us that tells us that our needs aren't being met in some way. Our needs to feel valued, our needs to feel connected, our needs to feel safe and secure. Those sorts of emotional experiences aren't necessarily a sign that something is wrong with us. They're a sign that something is wrong with our situation and our circumstance, and those circumstances are not meeting our needs. That's a really useful thing for us to be able to tune into.

Louie: Which, yeah, we should.

Ben: Right. Yeah.

Louie: We shouldn't be masking it with substances. We shouldn't be trying to avoid them. There's obviously something telling us that it's not right right now so why are we ignoring it?

Ben: Yeah, exactly. That's right. When we feel depressed, I think as men often we have this idea that, "Oh, there must be something wrong with me. I'm not supposed to be depressed." Actually, when we experience depression or anxiety or those sorts of mood states, it's an indication that something is going on in our life that isn't meeting our general needs for connection, feeling valued, feeling safe, feeling secure, whatever it might be, and tuning into that and listening to that is really important.

Jess: Yeah. Are there some things that you can do within yourself? Because there's going to be moments where you won't have that support network around you, or some people just don't have it. Is there a way that you can support yourself? What are some self-soothing or self-supportive things that you can do?

Ben: I guess anything we do that is wholesome is good for us. There's a particular approach to treating depression, which is called behavioral activation. That's just a fancy word for getting out and doing things that are wholesome and good for us, even when we don't want to, because the mind takes cues from the body.

If we're acting in a way that suggests that we are worth something by treating ourselves in a way that's wholesome, then the mind will take cues from those actions and start to rewrite the story. It's really good to try and get out and do things that are good for you, that are wholesome, that give your mind the message that you are worth something, even if you don't feel like doing them.

Louie: Like simply going for a walk or getting out into nature, things like that because that's what I hear, it's if you get this-

Ben: Eating a healthy meal. Yeah.

Louie: Treat your body good.

Ben: Treat your body well. Treat your mind well, even when you don't feel like it. That's one of the most insidious things about feeling really down, is that it saps your energy and motivation to do anything and so that sort of becomes a bit of a self-perpetuating thing, because if you can't do anything that's good for you, then you're not able to experience these moments in which you're treating yourself as though you're worth something and so then that reinforces this idea that I'm useless, I'm worthless, I'm a piece of crap.

That just further decreases our motivation to be able to do anything. Even when you don't feel like doing something, if you're able to get out there and start doing things that are wholesome, that just give your mind and your body the message that you're worth something, that you have some value, then that seems to be a reasonably effective way of just starting to kickstart a different type of cycle in our thinking.

Louie: Yeah. We had the owner of Breakthrough Fitness on, and he touched on that. He said even if you're feeling upset or stressed, you should still go to the gym and do a workout and still trying to keep that routine going. Straightaway, when you mentioned that I thought when you're feeling upset or you're feeling stressed, instead of cooking at home, you go out and get take away, but then it makes you feel worse by the end of the night. It's just giving those good things to your body so it can give good things back to you.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. That's really difficult to do, but if you can find a way to put yourself in autopilot and do it anyway, it certainly won't do any harm.

Louie: It wouldn't make it worse certainly.

Ben: It won't make it worse. Yeah.

Louie: Yeah.

Jess: I must admit, I always feel like a quizillion times better after a workout, but even just walking in nature, that doesn't take a lot of mental strength. Even just to get out and walk, I mean, you don't have to do a cardio HIIT workout. You can just literally walk out your front door, go for a walk around the block. That is honestly going to make such a world of difference. I think that movement is that process of moving forward, physically and mentally.

Louie: Even a few weeks ago, me and my partner there was just work and work and all these things were going on. The kids were sick as well for a couple of weeks. They wouldn't get over their sickness. We're like, "No, we need to go do something." Saturday we just drove down to the beach and just sat on the sand. Something so simple, the kids were playing and didn't have to hear all the outside noise. Nothing was stressing us out, and it just was a really nice morning to get out. Something so simple like that would definitely help as well.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. It just makes a small difference to the reality that you're living in in that moment, doesn't it? Which can shift your mental state.

Jess: Amazing. Well, thank you again for coming on the podcast today, Ben, and thanks Louie, as always.

Louie: Thank you, Ben.

Ben: Thanks for having me.

Jess: If you have any questions at all to any of the listeners or viewers today, please email us at info@optimalehealth.com.au. Louie, did you have anything else to add?

Louie: No. Look, I just hope if anyone does take anything from this is it's all about you. It's not about anyone else. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, it's always best for you to try and fix it for yourself. At the end of the day, you've got people around you that can help, even professionals like Ben or even your doctor, but you've got to understand that this is all within you. We've got the strength to do it. We just need to tap into it. I think that's really important.

Jess: Awesome. Thank you.

Ben: All right.

Louie: Thank you.


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