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Footy Show co-host Erin Molan has spoken about her personal struggle with anxiety.

Australian television presenter and sports commentator Erin Molan has spoken about her struggle with anxiety in a recent interview with Show and Tell. 

Best known for her role as co-host on Channel 9’s The Footy Show, Molan has been vocal about mental health within the Rugby League community. Last year, the NRL lost eight young rugby league players to suicide. A special report entitled “Depression in Rugby League” paved the way for a conversation the sport desperately needed to have.

This segment prompted Molan to talk about her own battle with anxiety, a mental health condition that an estimated two million Australian adults will suffer from in any given year.

The 33-year-old tells host Katie ‘Monty’ Dimond she’s only recently been able to identify what she was experiencing.

Molan has spoken about her battle with anxiety. Image: Show and Tell. 

"TV is an insecure industry and everyone would say that and so that doesn’t help," she explains in the interview.

"There would be times where I was sitting at my desk at work and a boss would walk past and wouldn’t acknowledge me because they were looking down at something. I would immediately think, ‘I’m going to be sacked, that story I did last week wasn’t that strong...' Then I’d jump onto Seek, then think ‘Oh, it’s going to be so embarrassing’

"This is where I use to go, all because a boss was probably looking at a document walking past. It was just ridiculous."

Molan says she is now much better, but every so often she feels the over-thinking and "irrationality" creep back in.

"Maybe once every couple of months, if I’m tired, I’ll get a message from someone and think ‘this means...’ It’s just that rational feeling of the worst possible case scenario," she admits.

At its worst, Molan describes the feeling as "quite debilitating" and "horrendous." She has since learned strategies to cope, and says her partner's support has been invaluable.

"I hear about other people and think that I’m not at the top scale of [anxiety], but I certainly suffer from it," Molan explains.

"It is something that I consciously have to deal with and remind myself, 'you’re being irrational.' It’s a horrible thing. That’s why I’m so passionate about it.

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Andrew Fifita bravely spoke about his struggle with depression on The Footy Show. Image: Channel 9. 

Molan is passionate about normalising experiences like anxiety and depression, and says the segment run by The Footy Show was an attempt at "removing the stigma".

"We had three footballers talking about their issues with it. And I love that because it means that every kid at home feels and is looking up and thinking, ‘You know what? I am not a freak. I am not alone, I am not a loser. I am not a mental nutcase. My heroes, and people who are really cool, suffer from this as well,'" she says.

It was during the filming of the segment that Molan thought "it’s almost hypocritical of me to be pushing other people to talk about it and then to not talk about it myself."

At the conclusion of the piece, Molan - who had never spoken openly about her mental health issues - acknowledged her personal experience with anxiety.

Her hesitation had come from a fear that people would associate her only with mental illness when she is so much more than that. (Post continues after gallery.)

Instead, she wants people to know that although she may be insecure at times, and struggle with anxiety, that doesn't undermine her.

"I am also really impressive in some ways. I am really strong. You can be strong, successful, wonderful, kind, caring and suffer from anxiety...It does not define you," she says.

Molan wants the discussion of mental illness to be as commonplace as any other feature of one's health.

"I cannot wait until I’m interviewing a footballer and say, 'How's your knee that you sprained?' or ... 'How's your depression that you struggled with last week?' I cannot wait until it is normal," she says.

The journalist concludes with a powerful message about the important of mental health awareness.

"The more normal we make it, the less kids will kill themselves because they think that it's freakish."

Brava for being so open with your own experience, Erin.

Featured image: Getty

Watch Erin Molan's full interview on Show and Tell here.

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