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10 Photos That Perfectly Capture Being A Man With Depression

“There’s always someone you could talk to. Often closer than you think.”

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In a new #ReachOut campaign, HeadsUpGuys, a resource dedicated to helping men fight depression, asked photographers and artists to capture their own battles with depression and talk about the importance of seeking help.

HeadsUpGuys / Via headsupguys.org

There are a number of reasons why many men dealing with depression don't get treatment — but a big one is because too many men are led to believe that admitting they have a mental health problem is a sign of weakness, thanks to the pressures of masculinity.

"Fighting depression and the stigma attached to mental health issues is tough enough, but adding unrealistic expectations about ‘being a man’ or ‘acting tough’ only makes things worse," Joshua Beharry, project coordinator for HeadsUpGuys, writes. "For many men who have overcome depression, the turning point came when they reached out to a friend, family member, or health care professional. Don’t face this fight alone. Reach out now."

Here are a few photos from the stunning campaign:

1. “Sometimes it can be the hardest part but if you reach out you never know who will be there to pull you through.”

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2. “When we become trapped in our own thoughts, we may leave slack on the lines of communication between our friends and loved ones."

Nicolas Bruno / Via headsupguys.org

"In order to persevere, we must remember to keep our lines taut with the transmissions of care and support for each other.”

Nicolas Bruno, fine-art photographer, Northport, New York

3. "There is no shame in asking for help. We are only human and we shouldn’t carry everything on our shoulders because it would only cause our downfall.”

Mike Alegado / Via headsupguys.org

“When things get heavier and everything is coming down on you, give it your all to reach out for help."

Mike Alegado, conceptual and fine-art portrait photographer, Manila, Philippines

4. "Our loved ones are able to remind us of who we are as a whole.”

Joel Robison / Via headsupguys.org

“By reaching out to those who care about us, we can be reminded of who we are and that we are more than just the depression or anxiety we may be facing."

Joel Robison, conceptual photographer, British Columbia, Canada

(For the rest of Joel's series, check out the whole #ReachOut campaign on HeadsUpGuys here.)

5. "Even in the darkest of times, I can and do reach others."

Rob Woodcox / Via headsupguys.org

“One day I was sitting in my house thinking, 'I wonder what is happening in the box next door?' Literally I sat 10 feet from my closest neighbors, yet I was all alone. I wondered if my time spent here, whether in person or online, was even making a dent in the world. After traveling to Indiana for a photography meet up and meeting 30 people I had never known in person before, it became very clear that even in the darkest of times, I can and do reach others, and it is always possible to make that even more of a reality.”

Rob Woodcox, surreal portrait and fine-art photographer, Portland, Oregon

6. "Isolating yourself only makes things worse."

Tommy Ingberg / Via headsupguys.org

"When all your instincts tell you to retreat inward, find and follow the path that leads back from darkness. It can be hard to find the strength to do it, but reaching out is crucial.”

Tommy Ingberg, visual artist, Nyköping/Stockholm, Sweden

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7. "[Know] you are worthy and deserving of love and support from others."

Tsoku Maela / Via headsupguys.org

“The image reimagines solitude not as a form of loneliness, but an opportunity to reconnect (or in this context, reach out) firstly with yourself. It can be a bit challenging during bouts of depression as the closer you think you are to that self, the further away you feel at the same time – but it’s the process in-between that is crucial. Becoming familiar and valuing self. Knowing you are worthy and deserving of love and support from others.”

Tsoku Maela, visual artist, Johannesburg/Cape Town, South Africa

8. "Even in the darkest days there is always hope and help for clearer days."

Adam Williams / Via headsupguys.org

“My own battles with mental health is in many ways my muse, and the darkest days series is a direct reflection of that. Featuring dark heavy clouds (Battles) broken by flashes of bright sunlight (hope, love of family and friends). Even in the darkest days there is always hope and help for clearer days."

Adam Williams, professional photographer, Sydney, Australia

9. "When you’re able to articulate what you’re struggling with, it almost becomes something separate to you rather than something which is so overwhelming."

Harry Woodgate / Via headsupguys.org

“For me this piece symbolizes that feeling of lightness that comes with being honest about how you’re feeling, not just with others but also with yourself. Sort of like a break in the clouds, or a little flower coming up amongst the dirt, when you’re able to articulate what you’re struggling with, it almost becomes something separate to you rather than something which is so overwhelming. That often makes it easier to begin to appreciate things again, once you’ve ‘externalized’ your feelings.”

Harry Woodgate, fine-art photographer and illustrator, St Albans, UK

(For the rest of Harry's series, check out the whole #ReachOut campaign on HeadsUpGuys here.)

Learn more about depression in men and how to get the help you need here.

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