Julie Goodwin.
Julie Goodwin.

‘Crisis’ behind Goodwin’s disappearance

Former MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin has opened up in a letter to listeners of her radio show today, explaining her recent absence from the airwaves was because she's spent the past five weeks in a mental health unit.

In a detailed note to listeners of Star 104.5's 'Rabbit and Julie Goodwin' morning radio show, Goodwin acknowledged that she'd been missing in action for much of this year - and explained that she's also "disappeared" from many of her personal commitments.

"Disappearing like this has created difficulty for a lot of people. I have essentially disappeared from my scheduled life, failed to meet my obligations, and I owe an explanation," she wrote.

Goodwin explained that she's lived with depression and anxiety "on and off over many years" - problems she initially tried to deny.

 

Julie Goodwin has been a household name since winning MasterChef in 2009.
Julie Goodwin has been a household name since winning MasterChef in 2009.

 

Goodwin said that, around six months ago, the dual pressures of running her own cooking school and working in breakfast radio became too much.

"I reluctantly decided to acknowledge that my mental health wasn't great and I finally allowed myself to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and put on medication," she said, revealing that she gave notice to Star that she would finish up her radio commitments by this Easter.

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But during this Christmas break, Goodwin says she experienced a bout of depression so severe "I felt like I was trapped under a wet woollen blanket and every move was a massive effort … Anxiety kept coursing through me like electricity. Eventually all of this became so much that I just had nothing left."

"My beautiful husband Mick, the person who loves me most, recognised the crisis I was in and took me to the emergency room. I was referred to what's known as the acute care team, who referred me to a psychiatrist, who recommended inpatient care in a mental health unit.

And that's where I am, and have been for more than five weeks now."

 

Goodwin (L) and Poh Ling Yeow on the first season of MasterChef.
Goodwin (L) and Poh Ling Yeow on the first season of MasterChef.

Goodwin described the situation as an "enormous shock," but one that has taught her a valuable lesson: "Treat yourself the way you would treat someone you love. Don't work more than you would allow your partner or child to work. Don't speak to yourself with harsh words you'd never use towards your friends or colleagues. Be as kind to yourself as you try to be to others.

"And 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."

Goodwin has been applauded for her candour by fans on social media.

"What powerful, amazing words. Words that took more strength than most will ever know to write," said one.

"Look after yourself Julie and hopefully we will see your face and listen to your voice on some medium in the near future," wrote another.

Mum-of-three Goodwin, who shot to fame on the first season of MasterChef in 2009, has since become one of Australia's best-loved celebrity chefs, releasing multiple cookbooks, a Christmas album and appearing in Ten's reality series I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here. In 2018, she pleaded guilty to drink driving, copping a $600 fine and a six-month suspension of her licence.

In Goodwin's most recent Instagram post, dated January 21, she announced she would be "taking a brief leave of absence" from her cooking school to "prioritise her health."

 



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