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Dave Hughes has bravely spoken about his mental health battle.

Comedian Dave Hughes has revealed his battle with mental illness in his twenties which led him to believe he might be suffering schizophrenia.

A brave Dave Hughes has revealed how his mother helped him come to terms with mental illness as a young man, and has urged others in the same situation to seek help.

Speaking last night on the ABC’s Q&A, Hughes revealed he quit drinking and smoking cannabis at age 22 after suffering from depression.

He said he went to his mother when he was 21, and was having episodes at night that concerned him.

Dave Hughes on Q&A.

“I was drinking heavily and smoking marijuana and I went to my mother,” he said.

“I said, ‘Mum I think I have schizophrenia.'”

Hughes said his mother is a nurse and she took him to a doctor. There, the doctor advised him to stop smoking marijuana and to stop drinking.

“It took me courage to say to my Mum ‘I think I have an issue here’ and we went to the doctor together and I felt so much better just having told people about it and the road to recovery started then.”

Now Hughes doesn’t drink.

“I don’t drink at all. I think the toughest man at the pub is surrounded by a group of drinkers and says, ‘no, I’ll be right’,” he said.

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Alongside Hughes, fellow panelist  Andrew Robb, the Minister for Trade and Investment, spoke too about his 43-year battle with depression. Rodd said he denied his illness all that time until he finally came to terms with it a few years ago. He said at times he drove to work with a pen in his mouth.

“Someone told me that if you smile or laugh you release these endorphins… so for 10 years I drove to work with a pen in my mouth because someone told me that if your face is sort of configured as if you were smiling, your brain thinks you are and it releases endorphins.”

Former Speaker of the House Anna Burke said we need to discuss these issues more openly.

“It’s an epidemic and we don’t talk about it,” she said of Australia’s suicide rate.

More than 1,000 Australians take their lives each year, and around 65,000 attempt to kill themselves.

Should you need help it is out there.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800

Beyond Blue: 1800 22 46 36

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