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'I had a big meltdown... I had lost control and I didn't like who I was anymore' - Joe Marler

By Josh Raisey
Harlequins prop Joe Marler

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Joe Marler was a guest on Good Morning Britain today to discuss his new documentary Big Boys Don’t Cry, which aired on Wednesday.

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The documentary sees Marler travel across the UK exploring ways in which poor mental health can be managed.

The England and Harlequins prop has been very candid in the past about his battle with depression and his mental health struggles, and even urged the British and Irish Lions to add a specialist counsellor to their touring party this year to help players and staff cope with an extended spell in their bubble environment.

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Episode 29 – Lions Legend Jeremy Guscott, Jamie Roberts and Ryan Wilson React and Reminisce ahead of Lions Tour
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Episode 29 – Lions Legend Jeremy Guscott, Jamie Roberts and Ryan Wilson React and Reminisce ahead of Lions Tour

Appearing on Good Morning Britain the day after the documentary aired, Marler shared what inspired the film.

“It dawned on me when I had a big meltdown in the back end of 2018,” the 2017 Lions tourist said.

“And I talk about it briefly in the film and I talk about it more in my book. I had lost control and I didn’t like who I was anymore. It just exploded at home and enough was enough. I had upset my wife, I felt ashamed of who I was and what I was doing so I had to go and get help. Fortunately, I found someone to help me, a psychiatrist, then had the diagnosis of depression and moved forward on medication.

“I opened up to my wife and various close friends and one friend in particular was Gray Hughes, who’s the director of this documentary. He came up with the idea ‘look mate, let’s go and meet loads of different people who deal with their mental health struggles in different ways using different techniques and that will help you grow and help you understand how different people deal with different things and how it works for them. It might not work for you, it might work for you, let’s try it. I’ll use a camera to film it all as well.’

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“So I went ‘oh, okay, so this seems to be a catch-22. You’re suggesting going to get mental health help but you want to film every moment of it.’

“It was Gray’s idea and we’ve been working on it for a little while and I have to say I was a little bit scared, a little bit nervous, about doing it.”

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