James Lock encourages fans to talk to someone as he discusses mental health importance

James Lock has encouraged fans to "talk to someone" if they are struggling with their mental health as he opened up about his past bouts of depression and anxiety.

The TOWIE star, 35, has explained why supporting men's health with Movember is so important to him and a charity that is so "close to his heart".

Speaking exclusively to OK!, James admitted that men tend to be "quite closed books" when it comes to discussing their mental health and that it is important to talk to someone outside your friendship group when struggling.

James said: "I think everyone at some point in their life goes through mental health, I think a lot more people should seek therapy. In this country, it's almost a frowned upon thing but in America, everyone's got a therapist.

"It's good to talk to someone, as well as your friends and family, it's good to talk to someone outside of your friendship zone.

"For me, Movember, especially when I have suffered with bouts of depression or anxiety, it gives you a sense of belonging. You're not on your own and there's more people going through what you're going through.

"It sort of lightens the load and makes you feel like you're not 'abnormal'. Sometimes you feel like you're alienating yourself and you've got a massive problem, but when you realise a lot more people go through the same problems, it makes you feel like you fit in, gives you a sense of belonging."

James went on to discuss how men typically tend to be "closed books" when it comes to mental health and Movember helps to create a "talking point" for people by growing a moustache.

He said: "I think everyone, especially men, are quite closed books. I think with Movember, which is quite clever, with growing the moustache… it creates a talking point.

"People ask: 'Why have you grown a moustache?' It automatically engages you in conversation, which leads you to talking about your problems. It becomes a very easy thing to talk about as it just opens a door, it's like an ice breaker by just having a moustache."

Talking about things that help him when struggling with his own mental health, James admitted that the gym makes him "happier" and people often think he only exercises for an "aesthetics purpose".

He said: "I think for me, when I feel down, I go to the gym. So keeping fit, don't get me wrong, everyone thinks it's an aesthetics thing but of course that's an added bonus, it's more when you work out it does make you feel happier and you feel happier in yourself.

"When you're feeling stressed, anxious or whatever sort of problems, when I go to the gym, I feel a lot better about myself. For me and some of my friends, my dad, especially my dad. He's quite similar to me, he's gone through bouts of depression.

"He actually retired and stopped working, he actually got depressed because he didn't have that routine. I know it sounds mad, most people looking forward to retiring, but when they actually retire. They actually think, 'What do I do now?'

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"They start to get depressed and think they're useless or have nothing to do. Since then, I've got him to the gym, even just going to the gym, I know it's something so minor but it does have a massive impact on your mental health and your fitness. It keeps you fit and mentally fit as well, it's ticking two boxes!"

Speaking about how important Movember is to him and raising awareness of men's mental health, James added: "I just love the fact they support anyone that is going through mental health. I know the charity obviously supports a range of stuff and all kinds of different problems.

"For me, it's all about the mental health because I've experienced it in my own life. Not only personally but with family and friends. I just think it's a really good charity and a charity which is close to my heart. It's something I really believe in."

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