Anxiety, stress and motherhood — how Ali Fairbairn managed as things 'started shutting down' -


Professor Jayashri Kulkarni of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre said the mental health issues women experience remain largely hidden.

Read the full article from ABC clicking on the link provided.  

Key points:

  • More than a third of all Australian women have experienced anxiety
  • Anxiety is the most pressing health topic among women aged 18-35
  • Experts want better understanding of how biology and social context affect women's mental health

"I can feel it starting," Ali Fairbairn said, pressing her palm to her chest.

The mother of two is trying to leave the house.

Edward, 6, needs to get to karate. Susanna, 4, disappeared as soon as her mum asked her to get her shoes on.

Now both children are in the entrance-way of her house making loud, repetitive noises.

It is the kind of situation Ms Fairbairn tries to avoid.

Since the very early days following Edward's birth, she has experienced crippling anxiety.

At times, it has stopped her from leaving home for several weeks, if not months.

It makes managing her children, particularly at their most difficult times, extra-challenging.

It also affects her physically. She feels clammy, goes hot and cold, her heart races and she experiences a buzz, like drinking a strong coffee.

 "It's like going to Westfield at Christmas time," she said.


 MAPrc Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Level 4, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004

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