Radio host Sharyn Casey has revealed having her son Tyson motivated her to "fight back" against anxiety and depression, sharing her journey in hopes it will inspire others to seek help if they need it.
The Edge Afternoons announcer opened up about how talking to a professional about her mental health "changed her life", telling her 78,000 Instagram followers "it's not weak to speak" and urging anyone who is struggling to "keep on fighting".
Casey shared her story to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, calling her decision to reach out for help "the best thing she's ever done".
"Having a safe space to vent about anything I want, work through what triggers me and process past trauma has changed my life," she wrote.
"But it also encouraged me to talk more to my husband who is my absolute rock, always. He always tries to understand, can recognise when my anxiety or depression flares up and helps me navigate it."
The Dancing With The Stars NZ host revealed her anxiety "took a massive turn" during one of the COVID-19 lockdowns, causing daily panic attacks.
"I was crying all the time and I just couldn't shake it," she said.
"I sat down with my psychologist and came up with a survival plan which my work was also very supportive of and I also started to see a psychiatrist to go on medication; the combo of all of this has changed my life."
"It's not weak to speak, it's so hard to ask for help but like most things in life communication is key," Casey continued, adding that she was "so proud" of herself and "grateful" to her husband Bryce Casey and others around her for helping her "get back on the road".
"I wish I'd learnt this when I was a lot younger," Casey wrote. "There are definitely times in my life where I didn't understand what was happening to me and could've been more supportive to people close to me struggling because I simply didn't understand how to."
"The more we talk, the more we can help each other," she concluded.
"You've bloody got this, so don't give up, keep on fighting."
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584