'Bottling it up can kill you': Pinjarra man sharing his story to help others overcome demons

Life hasn't always been easy for Brett Dellar.

Now a respected chiropractor operating out of his clinic on McLarty Road, the Pinjarra resident spent years battling past traumas that led to long term depression before he was able to, as he puts it, "reclaim his power."

"I was depressed for 30 years without any of my close mates even knowing," Dr Dellar said.

"It consumes you. You just don't know where to turn to."

It was that feeling of helplessness in his darkest hours that Dr Dellar often recalled during our chat in the waiting room of his clinic on Friday afternoon.

As he shared his story with me he spoke of the struggles men dealing with serious mental illness face. Often referring to it as a "man mask", he touched on the need men feel to be respected, and looked at as if they have everything under control.

Pinjarra's Dr Brett Dellar is sharing his own story to help other men battling mental illness like depression. Photo: Justin Rake.

Pinjarra's Dr Brett Dellar is sharing his own story to help other men battling mental illness like depression. Photo: Justin Rake.

"We as men repress these feelings and this sadness, because we need to be seen as if everything is fine," he said.

"I would show up to work and be as bubbly as I could for my patients and my staff, I'd be shaking everyone's hand asking how their day is going.

"It wasn't until I got home and sat on the couch that I would just crumble inside because I couldn't wear that mask anymore.

"Bottling it up can kill you."

Dr Dellar's battle with depression stems back some time.

He had already been suffering from the illness for years before an incident during his time as a police officer left him with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

But his endeavour to overcome it began with a simple method: sharing his story, and seeking the help he needed.

It's those simple steps that have inspired the drive behind his upcoming MoMENtum workshop, the first of its kind in Western Australia.

Inspired by his own trip to a similar retreat in Queensland and determined to use his own experience to help others battling their inner demons, Dr Dellar will be holding the workshop over two-and-a-half days in Myalup next month.

"This will be about men talking about their own story, and confronting it," he said.

"I turned to a similar workshop in Queensland and honestly, it helped me take the first step toward the rest of my life.

"That's the stage I want to help other men get to. Everyone's situation is different but in terms of that helpless feeling, I know what that is, I lived with it for years.

"I just want to make sure people get the help they need."

Dr Dellar's MoMENtum workshop will be held in Myalup from February 14-15.

For more information on the sessions or to find out more about his mental health initiatives, email brett@drbrettdellar.com or visit his Facebook page.