TV Anna’s DNA clue on anxiety
BEHIND the smiles on screen, presenter Anna Williamson thought she was going mad.
At 25 she landed a dream job on a children’s TV show but was crippled by anxiety, with panic attacks and insomnia.
But after a simple mouth swab test she now knows her mental health issues are part of who she is – written in her DNA.
Anna, 36, said: “I now know from the test that I’m susceptible to stress. It’s the proof, the stamp on the paper saying, ‘Yes, this is who you are.’
“I think we can take comfort in clarification and so I know it’s not just me being bad at coping with things. This is telling me it’s who I am genetically.”
counselling. But things got worse when she had her first child, Vincenzo, two years ago. A difficult birth left her with posttraumatic stress disorder, leading to a postnatal breakdown.
But with the help of her DNA test, Anna knows this could be down to her genes and issues with her sleeping pattern.
Something in her DNA means she does not get proper deep sleep. So the sleep deprivation that new mums deal with could have driven her to the edge.
Anna now says if she has more children with husband Alex Di Pasquale she will need to be more aware of her sleep.
She said: “The test has offered me a huge degree of confidence and comfort. With mental health being so tricky to understand because we can’t see it, it’s almost like with this test, this is the visible thing we can see.”
It also revealed that Anna, who has written a book about her issues, Breaking Mad, is wired to want to exercise.