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Let's talk

Anxiety is the new depression. Sarah Wilson talks about her battle with control

In The Weekly’s latest edition of Let’s Talk, Sarah Wilson and Laura Wells discuss stress, anxiety and the affect it has had on their lives.

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In our most recent edition of Let’s Talk, presenter and author of I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson, reveals she came close to taking her own life.

Speaking to The Weekly editor-in-chief, Helen McCabe, on the subject of stress and anxiety, Sarah confided that it got to a point in her life, after her battles with mental illness, where she “couldn’t see the point of continuing”.

“My anxiety brought me to a point where I couldn’t quite see the existential point of continuing,” she said, “I couldn’t see a way out”.

Revealing these dark times in the intimate interview, Wilson added that it was the combination of stress, anxiety, her Thyroid disease, and loneliness which drove her to the edge.

“I was essentially very alone,” she says, “People get on with their lives, you know? I didn’t have family nearby, I didn’t have husband, children, […] I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

However, speaking now, she says she isn’t so affected by it.

“It’s really only been in the last couple of years, I’ve found some peace with it.”

Broaching the topic of stress and anxiety in Australian women, Sarah notes that depression and anxiety are, in her eyes, linked.

“I think they’re linked,” she says, “Depression was the discourse for a good 20, 30 years, [...] but for a lot of people, it is, in fact, anxiety.”

Helen adds a sobering statistic, “18% of Australian women are suffering from anxiety.”

To which Sarah agrees, “I can completely believe it.”

“It’s the new depression, to be crude.”

To Sarah’s right sits plus size model, Laura Wells, who – like Sarah – suffers from Hashimoto’s [Disease] as a result of her stress.

Speaking about her experience with stress, she notes that, especially in models, stress and anxiety are linked intrinsically with body image. Talking about the modelling industry, Wells says that ‘straight sized’ models are pressured into altering their bodies to extreme lengths, and this often leads to stress.

Wells reveals that she’s seen model agents instruct their models that they are only allowed to have “one cracker, and a couple of glasses of water a day, in the lead up to fashion week”.

“It’s completely unhealthy. Not only for their bodies,” she clarifies, “but, mentally, as well.”

This edition of Let's Talk is the first in a series that will be released once a week. The Weekly prides itself on being current, and discussing matters that matter to women, now. If you have a story about an issue you think affects women, send us an email on openline@bauer-media.com.au.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline 13 11 14.

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