I’m a Celebrity: Maria Thattil reveals anxiety disorder diagnosis


Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil reveals anxiety disorder diagnosis: ‘It turns into black smoke choking me’

Maria Thattil has shared her ongoing battle with generalised anxiety disorder.

The former Miss Universe Australia, 28, opened up about her diagnosis in a column for 9Honey, revealing her symptoms can be so extreme sometimes that she can’t see or breathe.

She explained in her piece that she’d been diagnosed with anxiety in 2013.

Maria Thattil has shared her ongoing battle with generalised anxiety disorder

Maria Thattil has shared her ongoing battle with generalised anxiety disorder 

‘Moments where, like a mist, anxiety clouds my vision and as I breathe it in, my lungs contract,’ she said of her experience of anxiety.

‘It turns into black smoke choking me and suddenly, I can’t breathe and I can’t see.’

The I’m a Celebrity star also said she has ‘flare-ups and bouts of worry’ as well as ‘difficulty concentrating, restlessness, fatigue, irritability and sleep issues’.

‘As I get older and pursue more, do more and be more in line with my aspirations, I’m happy, driven and inspired. And yet, I have moments where I lose myself,’ she added.

Maria, a mental health advocate, shared her experience to help ‘normalise the conversation and empower others to be patient with themselves to get the help they need’.

'It turns into black smoke choking me and suddenly, I can't breathe and I can't see,' the Miss Universe Australia winner explained

‘It turns into black smoke choking me and suddenly, I can’t breathe and I can’t see,’ the Miss Universe Australia winner explained

The former I'm A Celebrity star also said she still has 'flare ups and bouts of worry,' as well as 'difficulty concentrating, restlessness, fatigue, irritability and sleep issues'

The former I’m A Celebrity star also said she still has ‘flare ups and bouts of worry,’ as well as ‘difficulty concentrating, restlessness, fatigue, irritability and sleep issues’

‘All our experiences are valid and there are resources to help,’ she said. 

This isn’t the first time Maria has spoken about mental health. In March, she revealed to her Instagram followers that she’d started seeing her psychologist again. 

‘I’ve been open about how my anxiety has been flaring up lately as I navigate a lot of professional change whilst also working through the human things we experience in our personal lives,’ she wrote at the time.

Maria has been open about her mental health in the past and recently revealed she had started seeing her psychologist again

Maria has been open about her mental health in the past and recently revealed she had started seeing her psychologist again

‘I love sharing what I’m grateful for here and the abundance I’m creating. But it would be remiss to neglect that with all the peaks, there are troughs.

‘Anxiety isn’t a new condition to me, I developed anxious tendencies in childhood which I’ve learned to manage as an adult but it can sometimes spiral. Couple that with challenges in your personal life and the experience is compounded.’

She concluded: ‘Please know I am really okay. Just as I get physical check-ups regularly, I promised myself last year that I would start seeing a psychologist to ensure that I am managing my mental health in the same way.

Last week, she spoke to fans about her horrifying ordeal with sleep paralysis

Last week, she spoke to fans about her horrifying ordeal with sleep paralysis

‘If you too are struggling with mental health challenges, let this post be a reminder that you and I are connected in this universal human experience.’

Last week, Maria spoke of her ordeal with sleep paralysis: the temporary inability to move or speak that typically happens just as you are falling asleep or waking up.

It can cause individuals to feel a sense of suffocation, pressure on their body or even hallucinations.

‘So I’ve been having sleep paralysis lately,’ Maria said in a video on Instagram.  ‘I wish this was not a thing that I was saying because I hate it.’

‘Last night, it wasn’t scary. I was just in bed, woke up, and it felt like someone had gotten into bed with me and put their arms around me.’

The reality TV star then asked her fans for advice on how to prevent sleep paralysis from recurring.

‘If any of you suggest Ghostbusters, [you’re] immediately blocked,’ she added.

If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

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