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Why so many men are thanking an Irish guy for revealing a secret they're too afraid to admit

His honesty captivated me. Hopefully it will inspire others to speak up.

Why so many men are thanking an Irish guy for revealing a secret they're too afraid to admit

Niall Breslin has everything going for him.

He's a famous musician, a producer, a former footballer, good-looking, smart, and an all-around nice guy.

So people were surprised to hear that he also battles with anxiety and depression.

The reality is, it can happen to anyone.


People were shocked when he described his anxiety as so horrific that he wanted to rip the skin off his face. At one point, he was in so much emotional pain, he tried to knock himself out by banging his head on the wall.

He slept in a park for two nights in the midst of a breakdown.

But there can be something even worse than anxiety attacks: constantly having to hide them.

Even though so many people have mental health issues or know someone who does, the stigma makes them want to keep it hidden for fear of being judged.

Boys, in particular, are taught that being a "man" means not having vulnerabilities. That perception has to stop.

He's been inundated by emails from men, thanking him for speaking out when they felt they couldn't.

He's trying to reach people who DON'T have mental health issues to help them understand what people who DO have them struggle with.

Understanding = less stigma = people speaking up and getting help.

Hear him explain in his own soul-baring words below.

He's brave for speaking up to help others.

That's another thing he can add to his list of things he has going for him.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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