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Paul’s Movember mission

08 Dec 2016

Paul’s Movember mission Image

A renowned local face and personality in the Southbank community, La Camera’s Paul Scidone last month went above and beyond for men’s health as part of Movember.

Donning an impressive moustache, Paul last month embarked on a mission to raise awareness by fundraising and hosting a “Classy Moustache Party” at La Camera, which raised more than $800 for the Movember Foundation.

However, Movember means a lot more to Paul than simply growing a moustache. Raising awareness for men’s health is a cause very close to his heart.  

For a large part of his life Paul has been living with bipolar disorder, yet he was only diagnosed with the condition in 2013.

According to the Black Dog Institute for Mental Health, while bipolar disorder is often purely associated with manic and hypomanic episodes or “mood swings”, another major side effect is depression.

On average it can take 10 years for one to be diagnosed and in Paul’s case he said that for more than 20 years he had been living with bipolar without fully understanding his condition.

“The main feeling for me when I discovered that I had bipolar was just relief because finally I had discovered what I had,” he said.

“Bipolar is not recognised as much as depression but depression is part of it. Whenever you hear a story of bipolar no one ever says that they’re depressed. Everyone thinks Robin Williams died from depression but he had bipolar.”

While Paul has been an integral part of the family business at La Camera for much of his life, his main passion previously was tennis coaching, which he did for 20 years.

He said that between tennis coaching, managing the restaurant and trying to deal with his symptoms, his anxiety used to swell up to the point where he often didn’t want to get out of bed.

However, having finally reached a stage in his life where he understood and accepted his condition he said he now wanted to use his experience to help others going through similar mental health issues.  

“For me when I first came out talking about it that was my release,” he said. “My best mates and my family were also feeling it so I had to because otherwise you don’t get better.”

“My thing is if you’re unsure go and seek advice. Go to a GP first and see what they recommend. Early diagnosis is key because the longer it is those thought processes build up in your head it’s harder to get out.”

For anyone experiencing mental health issues support services are available through Beyond Blue (beyondblue.org.au).

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