Things are looking up in the romance stakes for Gareth Noble after his match with the "amazingly beautiful" Ottie Schwartz on Married at First Sight NZ, but the Cromwell groom confesses things once got so bad, he considered taking his own life.
After the break-up of an intense relationship three years ago, the tattooed barber sank into a downward spiral of depression, which saw him drinking heavily and unable to leave his room for weeks on end.
"I was hiding from the world and wondering why I'm actually here," Gareth, 26, admits to Woman's Day.
"I went through all the suicidal stuff quite frequently and I was drinking to mask any emotions. After one big session, I hopped in my car with the thought of crashing it and ending everything."
Fortunately, just as he was about to kill himself, "something clicked" in Gareth's head and he "realised it wasn't the best idea". And shortly afterwards, his concerned father pushed him to see a GP, who diagnosed him with depression and referred him to a mental health nurse.
"From that point on, I had a new lease on life," says the South African-born reality star, who is still on medication.
"I figured out that stress was a trigger for me and I learnt not to worry about all the things in my life that I can't change. I'm more positive now. It's made me more open and a better communicator."
Gareth supports Woman's Day's Half It mental health campaign and agrees that opening up about your problems is the first step to dealing with them.
He advises, "Talk to a friend or family member, even if you don't feel like you want to. Otherwise you'll spiral further down the track."
Gareth confesses he's been open about his depression with his bride Ottie, 32, a Christchurch promotions manager, and hopes his story can help others struggling with their mental health.
He says, "It's something a lot of people deal with and it's not your fault when it happens – it's just a chemical s*storm in your brain. If me talking about it helps one person or saves one life, it'd be amazing."
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