CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses depression and anxiety. If you are struggling or need to talk, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14

Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin has opened up the reason she quit her radio show, saying that she has spent the past several weeks in a mental health unit after her depression and anxiety intensified over the Christmas period.

In a lengthy and candid post to Facebook, Goodwin said she wanted to explain why she has been absent from public life, and also potentially help anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to hers. She started out by saying:

“I’ve had depression and anxiety on and off over many years. On the surface I know I don’t seem to be depressed or anxious. I’ve denied it to myself for a long time, and certainly put a lot of energy into making sure it wasn’t obvious to the people around me.”

She continued:

“I have never been one of those brave people who can lay these things out in the open for others to look at and comment on. I’ve considered it private, even though other people may benefit from knowing that they are not alone. But this time around the happy façade didn’t just slip a little bit, it fell off and smashed. And I find myself thinking, stuff privacy. Let’s talk.”

Several years ago, Julie Goodwin started her breakfast radio show, as well as opening her cookery school Julie’s Place. She said that she tried to stay on top of this “ridiculously full schedule”, but that last year, she “reluctantly” decided to acknowledge that her mental health was suffering.

She gave her notice at her radio show, and expected to wrap things up at Easter, but over December, things worsened:

“The Christmas break came around, usually a time of rest and healing and restocking the energy bank. This year was different. A whole list of things went wrong, and I just didn’t have the resources to deal with any of it. I was physically sick in the guts for weeks, my mouth and nose full of ulcers, my hands wouldn’t stop shaking. Emotionally I was just spent. Anxiety kept coursing through me like electricity. I felt like I was trapped under a wet woollen blanket and every move was a massive effort.”

Her husband recognised she was in a crisis and took her to the emergency room; she was eventually referred to a psychiatrist,who “recommended in-patient care in a mental health unit”, and this is where she has been for more than five weeks, as she continues her recovery.

Julie Goodwin ended her post by saying “if you’re overwhelmed, if you’re struggling, ask for help. Do it before you can no longer hear the logical voices, the clear and good voices. Do it before it’s too hard to see a way forward. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the ones who love you the most.”

Image: Getty Images / Don Arnold