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Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Reveals Battle with Anxiety During Tenure



Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison has disclosed he took medication for anxiety while in office, in a bid to de-stigmatise the treatment of mental health.

He today shared with The Australian newspaper an extract from his upcoming book about how he experienced ‘debilitating and agonising’ anxiety while serving as the country’s leader.

In the book, Morrison says the demands of the prime ministership were taking a heavy toll on his mental health until he sought help.

‘My doctor was amazed I had lasted as long as I had before seeking help,’ Morrison wrote.

‘Without this help, serious depression would have manifested. What impacted me was the combination of pure physical exhaustion with the unrelenting and callous brutality of politics and media attacks.’

As a politician, I know this goes with the territory. That’s not a complaint or even an accusation. It’s just reality. Politicians are not made of stone, yet they’re often treated as though they are, including by each other.

The former Liberal leader says the support of his family, trust in his religious faith and being prescribed medication enabled him to avoid serious depression.

Morrison led the Coalition government from 2018 to 2022. His period in power included spearheading Australia’s response to the global pandemic.

In a social media post today, Morrison says he was detailing his experiences to de-stigmatise what is a normal and regular condition for many people.

‘Sharing my story is intended to encourage others and normalise and de-stigmatise what is very common for many Australians, who deal with this every day.’

Sure it was tough, but my faith, family and the help I reached out for, enabled me to get on with the job.

Former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan told Today this morning people should understand the great pressures politicians can be under.

‘It’s relentless, it’s 24/7. They’re high-pressure jobs and there is a risk to health with that pressure,’ he said.

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyond blue on 1300 22 4636.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

Multicultural Mental Health Australia.

Rachel Adams

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