Last week I wrote a post that discussed my personal experience of how my anxiety affects my autoimmune disease. News Ltd asked to share (an extended version) on their site, too.

I have written about autoimmune disease – as well as my anxiety – regularly for four years. I write such posts with a lot of care, and mindfulness, and from a place of vulnerability. I’m aware of the vulnerable position others with the same disease are in, because I’m usually in that exact position when I write the posts.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 1.17.46 PM
via This Wild Idea

I write when I feel stuff. I write autoimmune posts when I’m in pain.

I try very hard to not engage in online nastiness nor arguments where the protagonist and/or line is one I don’t respect. I write about this often, too.

But I do feel an obligation to make things clear to readers here on this blog who’ve become confused – or are hurt and defensive – from online blowouts that implicate me.

There was one such blowout over the weekend, which I will now respond to with care and vulnerability.

1. I do not claim to know why (all) women get sick. I was accused of this over the weekend by one blogger writing on Mamamia.com. I posed the question (in my headline): Could female self-hatred be the real cause of autoimmune disease?  I then wrote about my personal experience with this phenomenon.

2. I did not speak out on all illness. My post was about autoimmune disease very specifically. I refer to my take on the theory espoused in the very clear context of Hashimotos, the disease I suffer from.

3. It’s always good to read the original post. I invite anyone inclined to opine on this subject to please read what I actually wrote.

4. News Ltd erroneously went with the headline “Is self-hatred making us sick?”. This was not my headline. This morning I requested it be amended and the team at News very kindly are doing so.

5. Please be aware the mind-body connection with autoimmune is already well-established. It’s not woo-woo speak. Please feel free to do some background reading here and here.

6. Please also be aware that science can’t pinpoint a “cause” for many autoimmune diseases. Anyone with such a disease knows how frustrating and depressing this reality can be. And so all kinds of factors need to be explored. I do this regularly and by way of a wide and open discussion with readers here on this blog. I invite feedback and ideas and sharing. I share other experts’ ideas and theories. All of this assists with my own healing, and that of others. Knowing you’re no Robinson Crusoe is quite the salve. (Check out some of these posts  here and here.) My post last week is part of this ongoing series of inquiry.

7. Context is king…  and it’s always good to read the original post.

8. Self-love does not cure autoimmune disease. I don’t believe in cures. Ergo, throughout my post I put mention of “cures” in “inverted-so-called-tongue-in-cheek-knowing-commas”.  Management and modulation is key to staying sane and (as) well (as you can) with AI. In the post I refer to self-love being a way to heal not cure the damn disease.

9. Did I mention context is king and that it’s really good to read the original post? Hey, knock yourself out and read my backlog of AI posts.

10. Genetics is also a “cause” of my autoimmune disease.  I say as such in most of my AI posts and, indeed, in the News Ltd post. I can’t speak for others…that’s the thing about AI, it’s different for everyone.

11. I have also previously discussed the role of environment, gluten, cosmetic toxins and sugar. I refer to there being a clusterf*ck of factors that can contribute to AI.

12. Pointing out a mind-body connection is not the same as saying something is all in the head. It might be fun and easy to plant such an idea. But simple reasoning can’t sustain it. On a personal note – I really am personally hurt that I’d be accused of something so odious after writing about mental illness and anxiety for so long. I don’t make a song and dance of my utterances, but I expect them to be considered and respected before I’m e-shredded.

13. I’m insulted and frustrated that harmful reasoning has been applied to my writing and to such a personal subject. And that such “reasoning” has led people to become upset.

14.  Please note: Prior to Sunday, my post garnered wholly positive, grateful feedback. People had read the article. It resonated. I also got a lot of direct feedback from other journalists, some wanting to republish the piece as they’d seen the positive response.

15.  Mean, harmful reasoning spawns mean unreasonableness. I avoid this in all aspects of my life. I don’t respect it. I ignore it mostly. And I think it’s incredibly irresponsible and base for journalists and writers to fuel it in humanity. This is not what we need right now.

16. I don’t write these very vulnerable autoimmune posts as click-bait. I don’t troll. I’m deeply committed to this. 

17.  I’m insulted and upset my careful, mindful sharing about my disease has been likened to Mark Latham’s recent attack on mothers with depression.  Although, that said, I really can’t see the reasoned parallel.

18.  Some responsibility is required when dealing with topics such as anxiety and illnesses affected by stress. I say this is an experienced, trained journalist, not as someone who suffers chronically with anxiety and Hashimotos. Flaring up issues unnecessarily, erroneously and/or carelessly when it involves someone who suffers either a mental or a stress-related illness is unethical and irresponsible. I will speak personally on this, too. I spent the weekend managing the e-blowout as best I could. It all took its toll. Thankfully I’ve been exploring this topic for so long that I do have considerable resiliency these days.

19.  As I also quoted last week, “Resiliency always resides in the richest soil”.

I invite you all to feel free to comment below. But implore you to read my original post and to keep your comments mindful and reasonable. Please do speak out, however. I’m at the end of my tether with the baseness of these e-attacks. I’m fed up with what it brings out in everyone – it’s not good. It doesn’t serve humanity. It takes us backwards. For the purposes of making sure you can “always read the original post”, I’ll place a link to what ignited the blowout here.

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Grace

    The barrage of criticism you received was based on an article so far removed from what you actually said. I was frustrated and even upset by what was said, so I can’t imagine how you felt. It is fine to disagree but almost nothing rang true from your original piece and the parts that were accurately copied were taken completely out of context.

    I honestly believe if the piece on Mamamia (I site I usually enjoy) had been written by someone else and about someone else, the author would have used it to write a piece on how women are making women sick through unfounded public criticism.

  • Sam

    Not to sound crazy, but mamamia.com.au seems to have some kind kind of vendetta against you. Several articles now incorrectly ripping into your work. Magazine editing world?

    • Zee

      Yes, 100% agree.

    • Grace

      Worse still is that they allow comments that overstep into cyber bullying. Uninformed people and those with other motives can publish whatever they like but in a year when the site has published a lot on cyber bullying leading to death (including celebrities) I find it quite galling they don’t moderate their commenters.

    • Louise

      I agree. I used to enjoy reading mamamia.com.au, but more often than not, I find myself flicking past their ‘articles’ on my feed. I find them very ‘bitchy’, and certainly not informative.

      Keep up the great work Sarah.

    • disqus_mLm4MA7EQ5

      No. I read both articles for context. I still disagreed with the information and the tone of the post. Reminding people to “read the original post” (with such a patronizing tone) does not change my mind. A difference of opinion and experience does not mean misinformed.

      Sarah’s insulted? So are a lot of people with AI who listen to their minds and bodies and know that, for them, mental distress is an effect, not a cause. So are those who are spending every waking moment on their healing to have it suggested that, well, if they just loved themselves more…We’re working on making ourselves better. If that isn’t self-love, I don’t know what is.

      (P.S. All my AI symptoms seem to come up AFTER I quit sugar. Hmmm.)

      • Sam

        Had you used a name and not included that last statement about quitting sugar, my response would have been that it is excellent you made your own conclusions unlike commenters who did not take the time to read both. I probably would have thought you still missed the point of Sarah’s article (at least how she intended it) but each to their own and people will always take away different things informed by their experiences and opinions.
        However, lack of name and the criticism about sugar (not really related, yet another personal dig) lead me to assume this is straight up unnecessary trolling.

        • disqus_mLm4MA7EQ5

          That’s very telling, the fact that you would disregard my thoughts and my experience just because I personally chose to stick with the handle Disqus assigned to me. Your response only shows me that I shouldn’t feel compelled to share anything about myself, especially if it goes against Sarah’s teachings, lest I be accused of trolling. I have every right in the world to be critical about views on AI and sugar as they relate to my own experience. Speaking up about what matters to you is ALWAYS necessary. Opposition ≠ trolling.

          • Lucy

            Well said!!!

          • cynic728

            Every bit of reading I have done on the subject of better health lists sugar as the #1 issue often followed by dairy and for some, meat; for others grass fed/finished meat is the key to better health along with a variety of vegetables, especially green ones. I find it difficult to believe the cause and effect you conclude in quitting sugar and would suggest you look deeper and consider hormonal shifts that may have taken place at the same time or the die off caused by your stopping sugar which may have overwhelmed your body and brought on temporary AI issues.

        • arthritic chick

          Oh please, so Sarah is allowed her opinion, but someone else’s opinion is trolling? The post that you were responding to wasn’t rude. And maybe quitting sugar DID make her feel worse. We are all different. We respond to different things. ESPECIALLY people with AI diseases.

      • Mia

        All your AI symptoms came up after quitting sugar? What a load of crap.

        Maybe someone so willing to lie and be hateful on a bloody website is harbouring a lot of, ahh negative emotions, which could perhaps affect their health.

        I’m not disregarding that you may have very serious health issues. But guess what? Getting so tense – it’s not good for your healing.

        Not to get too, ‘WOOWOO’ on you “disqus_mLm4MA7EQ5”. If that is your real name.

        • arthritic chick

          How dare you say that its a load of crap? how would you know? Sarah has a right to her opinion that sugar is bad. This person has a right to their opinion that quitting sugar made them worse. What’s the difference? The anger is coming from you. The thing I am NOT seeing, which is the truly sad thing, is that NO ONE is demonstrating any empathy, sympathy or support for people who are actually VERY SICK. Regardless of the cause!!! Do you not understand that the people who are hurt are the people who suffer from severe lupus, MS, type 1 diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis…and many, many serious, rare, incurable, painful diseases. A bit of compassion people. Compassion for those who are suffering!

          • Rebecca Carr

            I too had a really terrible flare up but I just believe that this is a result of experiencing a withdrawal from the sugar. I think I sort of just had to stay strong during the withdrawal pains because after giving up sugar, I’m now experiencing a lot less pain.

        • disqus_mLm4MA7EQ5

          What on earth are you on, woman?

          • Amber Lee Poole

            now that is very much uncalled for – i totally understand what is going on here as i feel the sugar connection – when i can’t stop eating it I’m in bed the next day unable to function – to step away from these things takes time and we are creatures of a cycle – i was totally understanding of all opinions until you made this very horrible comment to Rebecca!

          • disqus_mLm4MA7EQ5

            You may be mistaken, Amber, in the flow of the comment thread – if you look next to my username in that comment, it was directed at Mia’s rude remarks. I was not addressing Rebecca Carr.

        • Prakash

          That’s rather rude…this person has as much a right to an opinion as does Sarah…the observation she has made about herself is hers and not yours to dismiss. I know some of the most relaxed and happy people and yet they have medical conditions…why? No one really knows!

          • Tiff

            I have a severe sensitivity to sulfites and an autoimune disease (interrelated). I have found that sulfites are in a lot of foods especially glucose and corn syrup and basically anything highly manufactured (ie artificial sweeteners). For me plain old fashioned cane sugar is a safe food but sugar substitutes induce the sulfite sensitivity which worsens my autoimmune disease. I know many others have different food issues invoked by their immune problems. For many giving up sugar means cooking many dishes from first principles which leads to healthier eating (even if the sugar in not the problem). So I believe this gives a plausible mechanism for why sugar may be a poor choice for one person and the opposite for annother.

          • fair point. I only ever advise experimenting with the idea and seeing if it suits. My main message, as you allude to, is to Just Eat Real Food.

    • Melissa

      I have been thinking the same thing!!!!

    • Allison

      I stopped reading Mamamia a few years ago for this reason and just the whole vibe of that website is so bitchy and pathetic.

  • Tarryne

    I often find that peoples knee jerk hysteria says a great deal more about their inability to look beyond the obvious or to consider any other perspective that the one they have chosen to become entrenched in.

    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle

    • Tarryne

      *than. silly fingers.

  • Sim

    You always write generously, with such care for your readers; thank you, Sarah x

  • Sharni Montgomery

    Total respect for you Sarah, and your vulnerability and courage and true to your self-ness. Keep on keeping on X

  • Christine

    Sarah, you come from such a place of openness and vulnerability. You are so brave to do what you do! I have been following your AI journey all these years as my mother has an AI disease. I may only be 23 but am eager to learn as much as possible as I know age doesn’t determine these things. Just wanted to give you a shout out of support. You do so much for so many x

  • Sarah

    Well said Sarah, I felt for you over the weekend. You’re an inspiration and I’d hate for you to stop doing what you do so well xx

  • Pip

    I was horrified at the venom spat at you via Mamamia, Sarah. Appalled. The concept that our emotions can impact our health is anything but new and the attack on your personal blog (key word being personal – you speak from the heart) was wildly out of proportion and utterly unwarranted. I was shocked that this level of bullying was allowed to be published on Mamamia… All you can do is keep speaking your truth and know that your words resonate, uplift and truly help an immeasurable number of people. xx

  • I know you don’t usually respond to stuff like what happened on the weekend but I am glad you did in this instance. I confess to being a little worried when I saw your piece republished on news because, as you say … context is everything xx

  • petal

    Look after yourself Sarah. I was thinking of you over the weekend as I read some of the more hysterical and negative comments underneath those articles. As a fellow delicate soul dealing with Hashimotos and anxiety I know how hard you must be taking it. For the record I think what you wrote was beautiful and well-reasoned. I am a scientist so I’m not easily convinced… but your article suggested some compelling lines of inquiry. Forgive me as I tread reluctantly into Donald Rumsfeld territory here, but as scientists, we even don’t know what we don’t know about the mind-body-gut connection.

  • Carmen

    Hi Sarah, Just wanted to say as one loyal follower I’m still here, still loving your posts Sarah and still identify with all you have ever written (as a hashimoto and Hypo sufferer). What was written on the weekend was purely click bait and unethical rubbish. Integrity vs. rubbish. We all know the true winner. We can’t control other people’s level of integrity unfortunately, we can only be proud of our own. Much love and hope you can step back from everything now. xxx

  • Stacey Buitendijk

    If people don’t like what you’ve got to say why can’t they just click on by, if they haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all! Unfortunately Sarah there are nasties everywhere and being a public figure like yourself and ignoring these people is really all you can do. When you’re a bright light people want to take you down and you can’t fight dark with light. So just keep shining like the beautiful light that you are and these people will be moving along to the next thing or person to spend their poisoned energy on, hopefully, really soon!

  • Jess

    You’re the best Sarah. That mama Mia page is nasty and never seems to say anything nice about anyone. Its all just to get a reaction. It saddens me that some peopl may associate you with mama mias portrayal of you and not even attempt to discover who you are and what you’re about. But in the end it is their loss. Your information has changed my life and that of my friends and family, as well as many others across the globe. You’re amazing, dont forget it!

  • Renae

    Haters gonna hate! Keep up your amazing work Sarah!

  • Bridget

    Sarah, I saw that post on Mamamia.com.au – that site can be just so so hateful and negative – a stark contrast to the honest and gentle approach you use to present your words. Big love to you.

  • karmen

    I go by the theory that if it doesn’t feel right then it’s probably not. I read the article that Mammamia published. It did not at all feel like they were talking about the same Sarah Wilson that I have come to know through your work so automatically dismissed it. One persons skewed view of one article you wrote is just that, one persons skewed view !!

  • Guest

    Seriously, what is Mamamia’s biff with you? It’s ridiculous!

  • marie

    Full support for you Sarah! The mainstream media has never been a good place to read about health – just the latest studies distorted to contradict what last week was promoted. I have experienced a chronic illness, thankfully relatively short term, and I experienced it being aggravated by stress and anxiety. The mind and body are entirely linked and both need to be nourished! The mainstream will catch up one day.

  • Kate Kennedy

    Hi Sarah,

    I read the “e-blowout” on Facebook over the weekend and I refrained from replying to it. People tend to attack you with a pack mentality when you dare to not agree with anything that is written or said. Especially online.

    I have learnt this from trying to give honest feedback on the blogging site, Mamamia, when they feel the need to constantly write negative comments about alternate lifestyle choices like I Quit Sugar and Paleo (especially Pete Evans). Pete got “e-shredded” on the same blog site for daring to say that changing the diets that we have become accustomed to MAY help with some illnesses/disorders/issues that are increasinly ever-present in today’s society. He has held his head high after having been mis-quoted too.

    People are essentially afraid of that which they do not know, so they’re going to write nasty, negative things without having all the facts. It angers me that I have been through the 8WP for IQS and have absolutely loved it. It has changed my life. I do not say that lightly or with any reservation at all.

    The things I learned through the 8WP have taught me that I can enjoy the foods that have constantly been drummed in to my head as being ‘bad’ or ‘unhealthy’. Food shouldn’t be something you fear, it should be something that nourishes and heals you.

    I have often used food, especially sugar, to be a comforter and decided at the start of September to change that. I have received mixed feedback from people in my life, I accept it and move on. How you manage to get “e-shredded” constantly by people and their negativity amazes me. I know on some level it does hurt you, how could it not?

    I guess the point of this post is to let you know that I appreciate all the work you put in to helping the rest of us live a better life. You could keep all of what you have learned to yourself, but you put yourself out there and dare to help others get the results that you have had. I hope that the haters don’t stop you from doing what you clearly love (I have listened to you speak passionately about this and found it inspiring). Keep your head held high.

  • StephW

    I used to read Mamamia pretty regularly. I moved away from it early last year for reasons I didn’t articulate to myself at the time. I saw the post on your story via facebook on the weekend and actually sent it to a friend to say ‘I’ve just realised why I don’t read their site anymore.’

    I had already read your post and in the first three lines of their opinion piece I was completely turned off. Their reading of it was so clearly not your message that it seemed like a very opportunistic beat up to me.

    I’m not sure if it has to do with the age of their journalists, their advertisers, or their exec team, but I find them very irresponsible in their editorial pieces. When providing commentary on an issue, their comprehension skills seem to be lacking – or worse – they believe their audience doesn’t have any, and the comments section has become … well…. just a bit dirty. I find it to be in direct conflict with their ‘sisterhood’ mantra which they often push through body image stories.

    It feels like their site is lacking editorial leadership perhaps?

    I hope your post above reaches the right people at MM and there is a lesson learned rather than a vendetta continued/strengthened.

    • Kate Kennedy

      I agree! I thought it was a site that celebrated women, not badgered them. But, I’ve found since discovering Sarah’s program, that they have a vendetta against her and pretty much anyone who doesn’t maintain the norm and use propaganda to recruit other people to their cause.

  • Kylie

    Your awesome, keep doing what your doing!! Mamamia was starting to annoy me and this just took the cake. Usually great but lately a few things I have disagreed with!

  • Sare

    Always gracious, poised and reasoned, Sarah. Your vulnerability and honesty in your writing allows us to know you, and your sharing has created an increase in global awareness on important topics. I think you have handled this beautifully, which makes your messages even more impactful. Keep doing the internet, and society, a world of good.

  • Julie Sherlock

    Please don’t let such negativity influence what you write. As a fellow Hashimoto’s sufferer I always find much food for thought in your articles and it has helped me so much in trying to understand and live a creative life with this disease.

  • Hardo

    Maybe to them you are becomming too powerful [and possibly your love for bikes p’s them off] …. keep up the great work Sarah. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/10/06/mamamia-news-ltd-goes-after-mums-and-mia/

  • Your post was vulnerable and inquisitive Sarah. I believe that you were simply opening the lines of enquiry and asking the question ‘what if?’.

    I know for sure that I always feel healthier and happier (and like I have a a handle on my conditions) when I make time to nourish myself by eating lots of fruit and veg, practicing affirmations, meditating and exercising.

    It’s unfortunate that the desire to live a more happy and healthy life incites so much negativity from some of the more negative places on the web. The beautiful thing is that everyone can take steps to live a more healthy and happy life, we each just need to do it in a way that we can personally manage and get on with our own lives and less on tearing others down for their own choices and thoughts.

    Thank you Sarah, for continuing to pave the path to a more positive life for so many people, and trying to bridge what I view as two different worlds more closely together.

  • StephW

    ps. Rather than weighing into the fray on the editorial piece over at MM, I have shared my disappointment and provided feedback on the general direction of the site via their ‘Contact us’ section.

    • Zee

      Great idea, I will do the same.

      • Ms Jane

        Excellent idea!

    • Thank you

  • e

    I thought your original article was spot on. My therapist mentioned this notion to me a few years back…self loathing and those internal voices were mirroring the way that my body was attacking itself in autoimmunity. You are a wonderful writer and I am so grateful that you shared that.

  • Ms Jane

    Sarah I once made a comment about a mamma Mia article extolling the virtues of sugar which was a very thinly veiled attack on you, that maybe mamma Mia had a personal issue with you as I’ve read a few articles like that before. My comment never made it on there. Keep doing what you’re doing. I think you rock x

  • Laura

    Oh Sarah, I want to give you a big hug. As a mother of a toddler, I am constantly ticked off with the goodie gum drops “journalism” that goes on at Mamamia, with their high-browed opinions based on shallow understanding.
    What you are saying is real, honest and raw. I have been struggling with the same kind of thing as you. You do such a beautiful job and your words are a constant source of respite for me. Please continue blazing the trail, I thank you x

  • Laura

    Oh Sarah, I want to give you a big hug. As a mother of a toddler, I am constantly ticked off with the goodie gum drops “journalism” that goes on at Mamamia, with their high-browed opinions based on shallow understanding.
    What you are saying is real, honest and raw. I have been struggling with the same kind of thing as you. You do such a beautiful job and your words are a constant source of respite for me. Please continue blazing the trail, I thank you x

  • Alex Le Fevre

    I don’t always agree with what you write Sarah but I understand it’s your life, your body, your experiments, your opinion and more importantly, your body and mind. And to that reason I continue to read your work and take what I feel sits well with me into my own world (and for that I am truly grateful). Disagreeing with someone certainly doesn’t give anyone the right to twist words and be outright nasty to someone, journalist or not. Stay strong and stay proud, you know the fantastic impact you have on thousands of lives on a daily basis. 🙂

  • I was very sad to this unfold on the weekend. I did know where you were coming from and I think you have a good point. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with all of this.

  • Zee

    I have never commented on a website before today. When I
    read the article on MM this morning I felt compelled to defend you Sarah. I have been a reader (but not a commenter) on your blog for over 5 years. I always find your writing deeply considered and although I don’t have AI and I have not quit sugar, your posts about life, travel and fitting in always strike a chord with me so thank you.

    One of my comments on MM was asking them why they seem to
    hate you so much? Unfortunately My post has been removed. But, I think it is a fair question for the editorial team. It is not the first time they have written articles like this about you. It all seems so strange considering the Mia Freeman, the creator’s, own experience of her words being taken out of context.

    All the best Sarah. I’ve gotten so much light and joy from your words, don’t be silenced.

    • Unfortunately I hear this a lot.

      • Zee

        I’ll have to check out their guidelines. They delete comments critical of their site (I don’t think my comment was in any way out of line) but keep other bile up there. Might have to send another complaint email!

    • Ms Jane

      Yes Zee I’ve questioned them before too and my comments have never made it on there. I’m done with them.

      • Zee

        I might have to be done with them too Jane. Too much judgement over there.

  • Taffy

    Please don’t let this affect what and how your write Sarah. Your posts are thoughtful and inspiring. They have given me comfort when anxiety has taken hold. To not feel alone is a wondrous thing. Continue to use your wonderful gift of connecting with others in a well written, researched and thoughtful manner. Cheers!

  • Jade

    Every now and mamamia put out a post that makes them look ridiculous, tearing apart something that someone did. Whether it’s Samantha Armatage having to come forward to defend her colleague over something the writer deemed offensive and the “victim” didn’t or them putting their own spin on an article that seemed well written and informative.

    That’s the joys of having a site that is designed to make money from advertising space though. Horrid, rude and embarrassing gossip articles = more readers = more money.

  • Mamamia and anyone who questions that stress doesn’t cause disease could benefit from watching the new Australian documentary, The Connection (theconnection.tv), which brings together the science that is proving that our minds are quite capable of creating (and reversing) serious illness. Of course not all illness can be cured in this way, but it’s certainly an avenue worthy of enquiry. Good on you Sarah for alerting the mainstream to that there is another avenue to look into when battling with disease or autoimmunity – that of working out how you can lower your levels of stress and anxiety (which are often largely caused by self-hatred).

    It is no longer unscientific to suggest that our mind can seriously affect our health, I’m baffled that it’s a surprise to anyone that this is the case? Stress and anxiety cause physiological changes in your body and raise your cortisol and adrenaline levels. Constantly elevated levels of these hormones inhibit the ability of the body to repair cells, and of course this causes harm in the body over extended periods of time. Sounds like Mamamia needs to brush up on her research/ journalism skills, this information is easy to find.

  • Oh Sarah. I really feel for you. The criticism was unnecessary. As you say’ if they had read the original and if they knew your work, this would all be mute.

    I loved your piece. It resonated with me. I have come to the same conclusion with my body and my chronic illness. We all need to listen to others stories and hear them as “truth”. Maybe not our “truth”, yet still a “truth”. We need to stop hearing judgement in other peoples choices. Their experiences does not comment upon ours.

    I trust that you are ok. That you are able to go bush and walk and get all the itchiness out.

  • Rachel

    As a therapist Sarah, your article to me stated an obvious connection which I wholeheartedly believe is worth exploring. Look deep enough and there is always something that is unloved and disowned within us all – that is what the process of growth is all about! Why all the fuss? Because what you suggested means that people have to take responsibility for their lives and their health and face up to stuff that most of us prefer to ignore. There are multi-dimensional layers to healing and to discount this truth just shows an unfortunate lack of wisdom and consciousness. I hope this experience propels you towards greater self-love and unwavering acceptance of yourself. Props to you!

    • Rosy

      Right on Rachel 🙂

  • Helen

    Thank you for this Sarah. Sending love xx

  • Rachel

    There is a saying that goes something like this “People display their own insecurities before giving sound advice” …. I admire your vulnerability, your passion and your honesty. Never give up… these trolls are insecure and just getting angry because you are what they want to be like. I Loved the original… it was soooo true of most of us

  • Rick

    Sarah – yet again some great well thought out and passionate words. The first story was dripping in clarity and mindfulness. This one is beyond CLEAR – it is on another level of understanding. Stay classy love and rise above the disingenuous words from camp mia.

  • I still thinkyou ARE dangerous. You promote unproven quakery and unscuientific remedies

  • David W

    How many people who commented on the hatchet job done by the Mamamia site actually read Sarah’s blog post? The ugly vitriol, personal insults and in some cases physical threats are deplorable. The lack of vetting of the comments section of their site enables trolls to run rampant. However the greatest troll would have to be the post’s author. Cherry picking Sarah’s honest and vulnerable post to dishonestly create negative implications and then associating Sarah to Mark Latham is the basest form of journalism. If they’d bothered to read the post Sarah refers to ‘her’ experience with autoimmune disease and makes an incredibly courageous connection to her feelings of anxiety and self love. Sarah is taking care of her health with nutrition, exercise, introspection and education. She is not a passive autobot servant to the pharmaceutical industry who would have us autoimmune sufferers popping anti inflammatories for the rest of our lives and reaping untold side effect issues on our bodies. I am a fellow autoimmune sufferer of Ankylosing Spondylitis and reached similar conclusions to Sarah. We all need to look at ourselves in the mirror and accept the connection between physical and emotional pain. Mamamia has waged a concerted and prolonged attack on Sarah Wilson over the past 2 years. I am lead to believe Mummamia’s attacks are due to a perceived threat that Sarah’s intelligence, success, journalistic ability and level of vulnerability to look at herself in the mirror and then lay her self out raw to the public poses to a jealous company like Mamamia. Sarah is not a populist like most of the writers for Mamamia who pray on prejudice and vilification of views that question common health norms. As far as I can see Mamamia is run by a haggle of private school bullies who employ the same tactics they used in the playground on the wider blogosphere. The whole organisation should be ashamed of the way it attacks and ridicules women who are achieving positive change in the community.

  • Angelique

    Mamamia put nothing of great care or work into the world, they just sit in the wings and push opinions out of other peoples work all in the name of click bait and sensationalism. You on the other hand are doing the complete opposite. You’ve responded with great care and dignity. Bravo Sarah. Massive respect.

    For the record I’m pretty sure 97% of those who were offended or took your piece the wrong way didn’t actually read your piece. Sheep following a flock.

  • Emily

    I haven’t visited Mamamia in probably a year, ever since I became conscious that it wasn’t possible for me to read anything there and not feel ‘got at’ even in some small way. I won’t give them clicks to go and see their take on what you wrote Sarah, as you well know their style is to manufacture drama, play their audience, and I’d go so far as to say they do a good job stoking the kind of female insecurity that de-energises so many of us, let alone whether we have AI.
    I don’t always agree with you Sarah, but as you always acknowledge your own subjectivity, I feel privileged to hear your thoughts and experience, never dictated to. You have integrity and are a positive influence on your reader’s lives. Good on you for sticking up for yourself here, which you have done ably.

  • Glenda

    Good work, keep it up, also check out Byron Katy work….great tool for such moments

  • Sarah I loved what you wrote. It was gracious, considered, vulnerable and unique. I say this as someone who doesn’t suffer from a chronic illness, but appreciated your words all the same.

  • Keep speaking your truth and killing cruelty with compassion, Sarah- we all have your back.

  • Vicki Taylor

    Sarah, your original post was (as you say) thoughtfully and mindfully written, as was your response here. It’s clear you come from a space of caring and really wanting others to improve their health as you have. I’m really sorry you’re having to deal with this! You’re responsible for so much positive change in people’s lives I really hope this doesn’t make you want to step back from it. All the best from a fellow IIN-er. 🙂

  • Rachel

    Sarah, please don’t let others change how you write and how you promote health. I for one know that you have researched widely and everything that you have said is nothing new. You were just writing from your own personal health journey, as you have always done. Some readers over the last week have not seen or heard your writing before and just attacked. I just wanted to say ‘thank you.’ ‘Thank you for reinforcing what I have found in my own health journey. Of course, not everything in what you promote supports what I need for my own body but that’s what everyone needs to do, find what works best for them and their journey.

  • K-Lo

    I have 2 ai conditions, an under active pituitary gland resulting in no natural cortisol and an underactive thyroid. I have a benign pituitary tumor and believe it, and stress from a lifetime of chronic illnesses resulted in the” no cortisol” situation.The only treatment is replacement steroids otherwise you will die, because despite cortisol getting a bad wrap you need it to survive. None the less I find as sarah says, self love and caring is important, when managing chronic disease in daily living.

  • Francesca

    Thanks for this follow up. I too read the news.com.au article after reading the sensationalized story on Mamamia. I was also quite disturbed and upset by some of the negative and unreasonable comments based on this writer’s ill informed, what I can only describe as a ‘beat up’.

    I was so upset that I felt compelled to write a blog post of my own: http://truthjoybeauty.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/guess-what-our-minds-and-bodies-are-connected/

    As I mentioned elsewhere, if one good thing comes out of this episode is that more people are now aware of the connection between our mental and physical health.

  • Briony Goldsmith

    Well said Sarah, it’s hard when you have a perspective that is different from the majority and is not always shared in the main stream media, people will attack what scares them and they don’t understand. Also the perspective that one may actually have some responsibility for their current health, is confronting for many, and doesn’t allow them to be a victim, which out rages their egos. You made it very clear that emotions as well as genetics as well as life style creates the perfect storm that is disease, I think people want to make you into a villain and into something you are clearly not, so they have a place to vent their own frustrations . Keep doing what you are doing and protect yourself as I’m sure you are from the negativity . 🙂

  • Kim

    Well said Sarah. You have kept your dignity intact while Mammamia continues to deride and degrade those who hold differing views to them. There are plenty of us who love your work and stand by you. I can’t say the same for the Mammamia journos who seem to be awfully immature.

  • Kirsty

    Good on you Sarah. Mamamia use to be good (i’m talking a few years ago) but these days it’s as good as a trashy magazine. Attention grabbing headlines. Trading in on other publications traffic. Embarrassingly so.

    Let people have their e-blowouts and get flustered by “woo-woo” stuff. Watch the shit fly past you and hit the wall.

    The people you serve here, adore you.

    Personally, I love you for your vulnerability and publishing what you find to be true. Please keep doing it.

    Kirsty x

  • Lynda

    Thinking of you Sarah and ditto to ”keep being the message” X

  • KJ

    Sarah, I’ve been an regular reader of your blog for four years and find many of your comments really resonate with me. So many of your posts challenge and encourage me to embrace a more healthy lifestyle (body, food, exercise, environment etc.), help me better understand some of my emotions/reactions, show me how I make have a positive impact in my world. A heart-felt thank you; please continue with your honest, thought-provoking posts, and advocacy on things that matter – you are making a real difference in so many people’s lives!

  • Great response. I can’t imagine how it feels to be so unfairly attacked and misunderstood.

  • Kim

    I took the cue from one of the other commenters here and sent an email direct to Mammamia voicing my disappointment with their attack on you and also Pete Evans.

  • SarahWilsonisodious

    “I really am personally hurt that I’d be accused of something so odious”. You, Sarah, ARE odious. The most unpleasant tosser I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across. I’m commenting on this blog, (although I hate to add my ‘click’ to it) as no one had the guts to respond to my complaint emailed directly.

    • ilana

      Of course it would be much better if there were less well intentioned people in the world who share their personal experiences in places where only people who WANT to HAVE to read them and instead there were more people like you with the ‘guts’ to post anonymous comments online on the owners page coupled with the ability to disagree with someone so articulately and eloquently. Try not being so angry darling xx

  • Urban Fringe

    Hi Sarah,
    I read your original post and nodded along in silent agreement. Although I didn’t agree with every aspect of your piece, I thought you were bringing up a really interestingly topic and looking at the very real relationship between anxiety and self-esteem and AI symptoms in women. I then read the (overwhelmingly positive) comments on your site and didn’t feel the need to add my own, as I felt as though so many had already articulated my feelings on this subject. When I saw the article on Mamamia, I was quite upset and wrote a comment that conflating your message with that of Mark Latham’s was highly dangerous and inaccurate. Latham’s message was one of unbridled misogyny, and yours was one pointing to the importance of self-love in women (especially those who nurture others to the detriment of their own health). My comment was not published, and I feel as though the ensuing discussion on Mamamia completely disregarded the essence of what you said. Please keep writing on this subject, there are so many people who have benefited from your message your continuing experimentation with diet, health and well-being and your willingness to be ‘vulnerable’ and share your experience of your AI disease.

  • Min Gillespie

    Hi Sarah – I have the same condition as you. I completely related to what you wrote in your post and was absolutely dumbfounded by the reaction I saw over the weekend. I couldn’t understand it. At no point did you say that all women with auto-immune disorders could cure themselves by loving themselves more. People don’t take the time to read things through properly and understand the context! I get so frustrated by that! I do find with myself that being a perfectionist, being self-critical, not practicing enough self-care, having such high expectations on myself CAN make me sicker. Knowing my weaknesses, monitoring my well-being and being aware when the balance is tipping in the wrong direction is critical to my state of health. It is not the only factor but it is a very big factor. SO your post make complete sense to me. I’m so sorry you had so much negativity thrown at you over the weekend. I hate seeing that. Min xo

  • Christiane Northrup has written beautifully about the link between emotions and endometriosis, which I have. I found it to be the most insightful and helpful thing I ever read about the condition. Then much later in my recovery, I read your piece and it reminded me again – although I’m now living symptom free, I have to watch those emotional conflicts that could trip me up again. So thank you x

  • Sister

    Sarah, I was so horrified by the sharpness of the article and the comments especially (although the tone of the article did encourage the comments). I actually wrote a very mild comment on the article suggesting the headline may have been tinged with trollishness itself, as well as a couple of other points. I think the headline was changed slightly after that but my comment was not published. I am glad your forum is a respectful place on the whole. I have felt increasingly uncomfortable with the headlines and comments on mamamia even though I have previously loved reading the site.

    I was saddened after reading the mamamia article to think that this might stop you creating such thought provoking and interesting articles. I really enjoyed learning about this concept. You have a unique voice and place. I can’t tell you how many tips I have picked up here that have made my life gentler and better. Please keep writing if you can.

    My husband is glad that I am writing a comment rather than bending his ear about it anymore, although he agrees with me.

  • mw

    Not sure you can win this one Stretch but my hat goes off to you for putting it out there. People are Strange !

  • Cherie

    Ooh Sarah, keep on keeping on.

  • Nothing but the greatest respect for you Sarah, for behaving with so much grace in what must be a terribly frustrating and hurtful position to be in. Please don’t give up. You, your words and your mission are a beacon in this overinflated online world.

  • ayesha

    Water off a duck’s back, Sarah. Mamamia’s self-righteous tone does nothing to conceal its lightweight journalism. Very clear vendetta against you, no doubt harking back to Cosmo days with Mia Freedman.

  • Michelle

    I read as much of your writing as possible and find you a positive and inspirational person I am proud to say my daughter and I go to the shops after school and pick out fresh vegetables and meats to cook that night and use both your recipes and Jamie Olivers. For the last week my whole house has been eating clean healthy food and we are 90% sugar free. Without your posts I don’t think I could get through the days as quitting sugar is easier said than done. Keep up all your wonderful writing I need it as well as many other women 🙂

  • ilana

    Sarah you have obviously been deeply hurt by this. Unfortunately, its 2 sides of the same coin – its not possible to get your words out to the millions of people that will benefit without the ones in who’s interest it is in to criticise you. The only way to avoid it would be to stop being vulnerable, courageous and exploratory and keep yourself small. I don’t imagine for a second this is an option for you. I love all your stuff and it has helped me with my own auto immune issues. You’ll never make unreasonable people reasonable although we all like to try. You’re not addressing those people anyway, your talking to the ones who want to listen.

    This is my favourite speech i think you’ll enjoy 🙂

    The man in the arena

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

  • James

    Forget self hatred…I hope, for the sake of the MamaMia writer, heaping bile on others doesn’t make you sick.

  • Lily

    Sarah Wilson your original post said this:

    “Self-hatred causes autoimmune disease, which, boiled down, is the body attacking itself.”

    * So how to heal? With self-love. ”

    There is no way to misinterpret this. It wasn’t written as your personal opinion about your personal disease, it states autoimmune disease is caused by self hatred, as fact. And you can cure it with self love. Which is just not true. It is offensive. And its very different to stress exacerbating disease, or the mind body connection, which everybody knows and accepts.
    Also, there are hundreds of autoimmune diseases. Not just Hashimotos. Most are far more serious and less treatable than Hashimotos. Your current post recants to a degree, or is better thought out at least. I applaud you for correcting your original post…but I don’t think you see it that way. You’re still defending what you said. So DO you still believe that all autoimmune disease is caused by self loathing? You can quite happily postulate that yours was, if that’s what you believe. But intentionally or not, you hurt people, who are already hurting very deeply. Not all diseases can be cured. No amount of positive thinking or self love can cure some diseases, lovely an idea as that may be. But just think, if you had a terribly painful, degenerative disease, and no treatment helped. And then someone says to you that all you have to do is love yourself more, and you’ll be fine. Really stop and think about how that would feel. Because most of us have had that said to us in some version or another. And that is essentially what you wrote – on steroids. Of course people who don’t suffer with these diseases don’t understand the fuss. They are not sick! No one has a vendetta against you. And you are not the victim here.

  • Amandarose

    I think they were harsh and took you out if context. I read your article online and just new mamamia would be ripping into you ASAP.
    I don’t one hundred percent agree with you but I do belief anxiety causes/worsens many illnesses.

  • Prakash

    Sarah, I’m pleased that you have come back with your view on what you wrote. I feel for you about the backlash you have received from your article…but I’m not surprised because of the angle of the reprint of it. The thing is that there is a lot of research done on autoimmune diseases which gives us evidence about them. But those who suffer from them don’t take it kindly when it’s suggested that it may be because they don’t like themselves or that it was self inflicted (which is how your article comes across). I know you have written the article from your own perspective…but it’s a blog and it’s meant to give your readers an insight to a problem that they have in common with you. There is no way that a person feeling crap about themselves would have nasty autoimmune diseases because of it and the notion of it is crazy. Yes if you had said that because of your autoimmune diseases you were feeling crap or that it was having an effect on your mental status then I and many others would agree with you. I wish you well.

  • If you are a perfectionist or a people pleaser or work long hours for your employer for the sake of recognition, or if you allow fear to hold you back or if you are hard on yourself for being too fat or too thin believe you are not pretty enough or blame yourself for failed relationships or stay when you should go or have an addiction to shopping or food or gambling or drinking or if you can’t walk away from your devices, etc, etc, etc…You are exhibiting some form of low self esteem.. Women can be especially hard on themselves, men on the other hand can internalise their stress and carry on as if all is fine when it’s not fine… Our mind and our body are intrinsically connected and to dismiss it all as ‘woo woo’ is to the peril of their own health..

  • Finn

    Oh Sarah, you have so many supporters and fans/friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do. Thank you for standing up, for making some noise on my and other AI sufferers behalf. The article isn’t even worth referring to apart from to say that it is appallingly written, very poor journalism and completely untrue. You are a true leader and an inspiration.

  • My Peace Of Food

    Happy thoughts, happy thoughts…I have nothing but gratitude and encouragement for you, Sarah. Keep your chin up. I’m sure you’ve looked into this before, but I feel I wouldn’t be doing my duty without mentioning Carrie Vitt at Deliciously Organic…she has Hashimotos as well and has transformed since cutting out all grains entirely. Like I said…I’m sure you’ve tried it, but 🙂 just hope you’re well!

  • Dr O.

    I was one of the people who complained on social media about these articles. I also made a complaint to the Press Council. This was not an “unreasoned e-blowout”. I am scientist, I have Hashimoto’s, and I read both articles twice before raising my serious concerns. My complaints were not a personal attack on Sarah, nor were they questioning her journey or the things that she has found work for her. They were, however, questioning the evidence behind her claim that (and I’m quoting directly from the article) “self-hatred causes autoimmune disease” and querying whether, by publishing the articles, News.com.au were breaching the Press Council Standards of Accuracy and Avoidance Of Harm.

  • Simone

    Not only do they snipe at you, they tend not to allow comments disagreeing and/or pointing out their sniping. Twice I posted on their article asking why the constant Sarah-bashing, and my comments have not appeared. It’s like I held up a mirror into which they were not happy to peer! TBH, I haven’t been following your work, but I do think MM are a coven of mean girls at times, particularly when it comes to you, or anybody who sings a song they don’t like!

  • I don’t normally worry much about comments others make on blogs I follow, but the comments your post received stuck with me… Sarah you were on my mind (hence my arrival here)! It was unnecessary and something I really didn’t expect from mamamia who up until now, I considered to be a ‘sister’ site. Clearly those supporting you are your followers and understand you, those who didn’t are not and from there it ended up reminding us all of the bad times we experienced in the school playground. Surely we’ve all grown up since then.
    I don’t normally ask that others think for a second what it might be like to live with some kind of pain, I wouldn’t want that for anyone, but in times like these I do ask for consideration for a mind with a chronic issue. It explores areas and thoughts ‘free minds’ never get close to, (nor should they and I’m happy for them to remain in the bliss of ignorance). There is something to learn from expanded minds and those living with a little hardship…

  • Sanja

    Sarah.

    Concentrate on those who care about you and others in your situation. Detractors should not belittle others. Full stop.

    Go team Sarah

  • LLL

    I don’t think anyone should take anything on Mamamia seriously at all, as sadly they themselves are prone to clickbateitis, and for me in particular their posts are not gentle, in regards to parenting or life!! PS I too have Hashimotos… stay strong.

  • Daniel L

    That article from MM was so mean and shallow that I had to write to them lengthy response, although I was really short with time yesterday 🙂 For some reason they never published my post and I wonder why ? Maybe because I was just genuine and open about their malicious criticism of Sarah and her work… Also, I used their ‘Contact us’ section too, so my feedback reached them anyway …

    Sarah, stay strong and keep up with your great work!
    All the best !

    • Simone

      I also posted two replies calling them to task on the needless spite, and neither were published. I was articulate and non-abusive, but they just don’t like it when someone disagrees with them.

  • Wow! You really copped a beating didn’t you?

    A person’s emotional health has everything to do with their physical health – but it’s not like you were single minded on the point in any of your posts. Like you said there are many factors at play and you have to approach chronic illness from all angles.

    Everybody has their own view of the world and unfortunately the message you communicated was misunderstood by a few (and again that’s just MY personal opinion, based on what I read).

    I certainly didn’t feel the takeaway message was ‘it’s all in your head’. I think the person or persons who did get that message were reading your post through their own emotional filters. And you can’t control that.

    All you can do is speak your truth.

  • Anne

    Sarah, I love your work.

  • Simone

    Like another commenter here, I’ve emailed MM to point out how pathetic the sniping at Sarah is, because they haven’t the she-balls to publish dissenting opinions. Don’t worry, guys, I was respectful, even if they can’t be.

    • Daniel L

      I was articulate and respectful too, but they still ignored my feedback… That just confirms our points .

      Silence speaks louder than any words 🙂

      • SImone

        Yes, it’s so aggravating. Like I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I haven’t followed Sarah, but I do get over MM’s superior alpha-girl attitude, and idiotic clickbait, oh, and EVERYTHING, I guess! 🙂

  • H V M

    Hi Sarah, thank you for offering this POV for readrs to understand what you are really saying and presenting. For me you presented facts based on your lived experience. It was not a judgement – just a question. I really felt there was a lot of truth in it. Could it be that so many are uncomfortable with your article because we don’t want to take responsibility? I know I never used to.

  • melissa

    I like the article and I’m sorry that you removed it. From what I can recall It described my life, my perfectionist attitudes and my self criticism. I do believe the anguish that I put myself through on a regular basis at least exacerbates my condition and at worst has led to its development. I cannot say for sure, as no one can, but putting excessive and unrealistic pressure on yourself definitely leads to feeling worse (especially with AI disease). I am trying to be more mindful about upsetting myself unnecessarily and allowing others to lead me in that direction.

  • Sophie

    As soon as I saw their article (before I saw yours) I knew it didn’t sound right. For example, their comment that you were making outlandish comments just to get a response. I’ve been reading your blog long enough to know you don’t do that. So I did go to your original article and I felt quite angry at how Amy Stockwell had over-simplified and basically changed what you had written to encourage outrage. But unfortunately many of their readers won’t know that, and just interpreted incorrectly – like for example commenters thinking that you were saying that a 5 year old who develops diabetes is responsible for it because of self-hatred. How ridiculous. Since when is a 5 year old a woman anyway?

    And Mamamia is always going on about body image etc. so they should recognise that there is obviously a lot of self-hatred in women, otherwise why would the media be able to treat women in the way they do- as objects to be retouched and modified and discarded when no longer youthful.

    Anyway, just so you know you have plenty of supporters out there too.

  • Simone

    Guys, check out the Mamamia thread on the GOMI page. Just google GOMI mamamia. Toward the end of the read there are some comments about their hatchet job on Sarah. Throughout the few months I’ve been following GOMI there have been occasional comments about the stitch-ups and bitching about Sarah. So don’t worry, there are some rational people out in Cyberspace still!

  • Nikki

    The original post was careful, mindful and important. Thank you for being brave enough to write it.

  • Oh I love you. I’m sorry you had to explain all this.
    When I first started exploring why I have AI the first thing that popped up was to explore the reasoning behind why the body attacks itself. It makes complete sense to look at self – care as with any dis-ease + as you were perfectly eloquent in saying. I’m always checking in to see if I’m attacking myself through judgment or negative body image because it’s of course going to contribute to stress which is a major trigger for my own flare ups.
    Keep doing your thing, you are a huge inspiration for AI sufferers and humans in general. Love xo

  • Zoe

    Hi Sarah,
    I read both posts. My main concern with articles like these, are that women who are truly ill and in a vulnerable and desperate state will read them and blame themselves for their illness. You explained that you were posing a question and that this is your experience only, however you must understand that when people are in that state of vulnerability and desperation, they won’t necessarily see that. I can say this because I’ve experienced this myself. The article is just totally unhelpful. I would much prefer to see helpful articles discussing ways to reduce stress. As you stated, you are a journalist (not a doctor/psychologist) and a very popular one at that. Please consider your role very seriously.

  • Still annoyed

    The difference between “affect” and “cause” are huge and you, as a writer should be well aware of this. Yes, our mental state “affects” how we deal with our autoimmune diseases but they did not “cause” them in the first place. Your intention may have been honest but your words were not well thought out. “I did not speak out on all illness” – no but there are over 80 autoimmune diseases which you lumped into “autoimmune disease” singular. Please do not assume that we are all ignorant enough to pass comment on an article which we have not read. You need to make a greater effort to ensure that you are speaking about ONE autoimmune disease with which you have been diagnosed and not use expressions such as “women”.

  • Claudia B

    Sweet Sarah, you are our power lady, don’t worry, don’t give page views to confusion, keep strong. Please, please, please, don’t let them get to you. We read you, for years, we get you, we know you, we understand you. Just write, do things your way and trust!

  • Neil1959

    Hi Sarah, first off well done for saying it as it is and I agree with many who have commented here that there will be those who will always twist a story to get noticed or sell papers. It has happened to me. Sarah, I just want to encourage you..for many years I suffered with a range of severe Chronic illnesses and I have spent the past 5 years researching, documenting and trialling different conventional and alternative modalities. This month I was given the green light from my doctor. All my blood readings, cholesterol, glucose, kidney and liver readings are now back in normal/healthy range. Having not read all your articles I am sure you have spared no expense and read and tried so many different things. I understand the views on diseases being passed through DNA but I also have read about nucleic repair. I do not want to be another person saying to you try this or try that. With your permission I am happy to send you information on what I did. Thank you again for posting your story. Many out there stand with you, applaud you and wish you well in your journey.

    • Neil1959

      Most importantly, I have worked very hard to remove all Stress and Anxiety out of my life. It has had wonderful effects. It also helped me digest and absorb more of the nutrients my body needed. I made sure I laughed more, didn’t focus on my illness as much as I used to, relaxed more, believed in good things more, didn’t blame others for my lot in life and spoke well of my neighbours..not easy let me tell you 😉 All I can say is that my results are my testimony. Also forgot to mention that IBS has gone after 10 years. Have a great day.

  • Thanks so much for these two articles Sarah. You know you’ve hit on a deep seam of the real stuff when you’ve elicited such are strong reaction in people. As a naturopath and health coach, I’m loathed to suggest someone has ’caused’ their disease but anxiety and stress triggers an identifiable biochemical pathway that can trigger/worsen most chronic conditions. From decades of experience, I’ve observed a staggering amount of women at war with themselves. It’s not their ‘fault’, it’s incredibly challenging to not be impacted by the contradictory social messages we get thrust upon us every day. It’s so ingrained many of us aren’t even aware that it’s abnormal to be forever counting kilojoules, feeling inadequate about our appearance or modifying our behaviour to not stand out in a crowd or seem to go against the status quo. This is all potentially damaging on so many levels. I believe that the patient often innately knows the cause of what ails them, or at least what can trigger a flare. From food to emotions, to toxic relationships – they can all play a role. Congratulations on you discovering your buried monster. There’s so much power in naming your foe and befriending her.

  • NeilSweeny

    Hi Sarah, Your post has given me courage to share my story and help others. Please feel free to visit Disqus ‘Living With Illness’.

  • Hi Sarah, I understand where you are coming from: without self-love, how can we find the intention to do the stuff we need to do to heal?

    The piece written by the Mean Girls over a Mamamia was sensationalistic, taken out of context and full of shit–to say the least. I stopped reading their crap ages ago. I find them the most judgemental of women and think they perpetuate a culture where women are encouraged to be bitchy to one another. THAT post they wrote just confirmed this.

    Please know that your readers love you and understand where you are coming from, that’s why we keep coming back, buy and promote your books. We believe in you xo

  • Sharon

    Sarah anybody who criticises your work publicly, sincerely lacks integrity. To disagree with an idea is one thing, but to publicly defame a person is just horrid. I love your work for the original thought that goes into it, I love the lifestyle you model and I love your honesty and also your modesty.

    It is unfortunate for the haters that they can’t find something original to write about themselves, instead choosing to attack others.

    I can absolutely understand your frustration and your need to defend your writing, and equally agree that e-attacks or bullying of any kind do not serve humanity. If only more people were guided in life to have strong morals and ethics like you do, the world would be a greater place. I’m sorry you have had to write the article above, but like 99.9% of people who have commented here, I am 100% behind you.

  • Michalia

    I felt horrified for you when I saw that article. Defending yourself is a hard call: I’d usually avoid engaging with such ridiculousness, as I’m sure you would. Obviously you felt the message might be harmful to others too and that you had to contest it. People can be very threatened by anyone who suggests that they might be, in part, responsible for their own health, or that they might be able to affect positive change in their own lives when dealing with chronic illness. I eat similarly to you and the first thing I discovered is that telling people with chronic conditions of their own what helped you is not always well received. People have differing resistance levels to your/our approach. When something works and someone manages to get themselves well it’s sometimes read as betrayal. Be assured that you make a difference to those of us who want to educate themselves, and don’t worry about the haters. x

  • Vasiliki Didaskalou

    I personally never have any issues with the way you write or the content of what you write … the only reason I subscribe to IQS is because I look up to your strength and your ability to research in a constructive and transparent manner (yes, and vulnerable too) … it is a shame that their are idiots in this world who insult well-meaning people based on their own inability to “comprehend”.

    Haters always gonna be haters.
    Nuff nuffs always gonna be nuff nuffs …

    Personally, my own research has similar conclusions. It is not just about sleep, nutritional intake or toxicity but stress (linked to our mind)

    Mind Input = stress = Cortisol = Adrenal fatigue = Symptoms = Affect on other body processes/organs starting with Thyroid links to metabolism and weight = insulin resistance = and the chemical chain reactions keep going.

    But Im still researching

  • I would just like to say that I tried to add a positive comment to that article when it appeared on news limited (?), but they screen the comments apparently and mine did not make it through. I wonder if they posted those negative comments and none of the positive ones to create a story?

  • Maree

    Hi Sarah,
    I was horrified when I read some of the comments left on your blog last week. I could not believe that people would be so disrespectful and rude.
    Those comments just made me wonder about some people’s anger issues. One word for them, THERAPY!

  • Unjay Markiewicz

    You know who you are. It doesn’t matter who *they* think you are.
    I think you’re simply ripping! Xx

  • ashley b

    It is sad that people jump straight to anger and harmful criticism when they don’t understand, or agree, when presented with views differing from their own. The piece was informative, in context and rings very true for me. I was upset for you reading the harmful comments posted by others.

    • Vasiliki Didaskalou

      Perhaps it is upbringing. My mum taught me that I am not always right or I may not always agree with another persons point of view but she never taught me that I had the “right”: to be arrogant as a response to the difference 🙂

      Wish they taught manners at the Life Academy that these so called experts hold their “life” degrees from.

  • live&letlive

    Sarah ignore all the criticism and keep up the fantastic work!! I may not agree with everything you say on your blog but the AI post contained a lot of wisdom (I have AI issues and have done a lot of research over the years). As for mamamia……some of the stuff on there is seriously offensive to women. Life is too short people!

  • Shannon

    The Mamamia post made me angry. I’m a long time reader and supporter Sarah and love what you share and how you share it. You are making a positive difference to so many people. You have inspired many of my own writings and musings. Much love

  • LMR

    I think that there are a lot of people who are not ready to hear the theory on self hatred. This is reflective of where people are at in their journey’s.

    Take faith from the storm that this has caused that you are touching on truth.

  • nickyhacky

    As someone in a traditional ‘health professional’ role I am drilled to believe that science and evidence based practice is king. Having said that I don’t fully subscribe to this line of thought. I find it refreshing that you ask questions from your personal experiences. An inquiring mind is what will push medicine forward. I pray all people (particularly the media and the traditional medical professions) stay open to questioning such as yours. Go Sarah!

  • Narelle Wallace

    Sarah, there are so many who appreciate your honesty and sharing. I have AI disease also, thyroid and lupus….unless the mammamia writer has any experience of these things then frankly she should keep her ideas to herself. I am really beginning to dislike that site for their over opinionated stance on many things health that they clearly have no experience with. I just hope this debacle has not scared you off continuing to do what you do….

  • Renata

    Stretching your heart to reach the hundreds of millions of people on the Web is always to be applauded. There will always be mindless yobs who create a mess for you and snicker as you try to clean up their mess. One day, don’t even clean up their mess. Let them fester in it.
    The mind-body connection is ancient and indisputable … just watch Biology of Belief on YouTube to see scientific advances support this ancient knowledge. Additionally, the gut-mind-body connection is now being supported by science. Having an unbalanced gut = unbalanced health = messy mind and vice versa. Plenty of illness is now being treated through the gut and viola, the body heals, the mind relaxes and the heart smiles again.
    Thank you Sarah for being a brave adventurous trailblazing modern woman.

  • Michelle Joy Lawrence

    Sarah sending you lots of virtual hugs and you’ve handled all the insanity with dignity and humility. Its not about you, its about them. Keep up the great and difficult work of being beautifully human 🙂

  • Alison

    An observation that I have made while reading some of the comments,is that the most defensive people- who have nothing objective to say but who only find the negative points about Sarah’s article are the ones who claim to suffer the worst AI symptoms. This in itself proves to me that there is a body-mind and attitude connection to the severity of the symptoms. If you really are mature about this disease and claim to have all the experience with suffering the symptoms,why are you so emotionally charged about Sarah’s article when in reality anybody can tell that her INTENTIONS are GOOD? If you claim to disagree because you know it all with such certainty that you are upset with her article ,then why not just be indifferent and state what you think without hating or “trolling” as its been called? A mature individual who is getting REAL about healing and being cured,would not be offended to the extent that has been displayed over this article. Such a person would have their opinion,state it without the nasty comments and shake off the rest. However, now I agree with Sarah more than ever because if you haters have such nasty self-talk and dialogue with yourself, I personally understand why your symptoms would be so bad and frankly, I would not like to be in your company because my symptoms would also flare. This is my opinion. Sarah I think that you are doing a fab job and I would love to have a tea with you – if I were in Australia!

  • Alison

    Oh, and Sarah, a little bit of encouragement for you – THE TALLEST TREES CATCH THE MOST WIND.

  • Sofia

    ❤️ Im new to your blog but feel with/for you. I suffer from Ulcers Colite and the advice from doctors are up the wall – I’ve seen 5 now and what only makes me stronger and more determined to prove them wrong but most people in my surroundings thinks I’m nuts and should just listen to the doctor and accept it.

    I’ll prove them all wrong one day!

  • NeilSweeny

    Hi Sarah,

    Hope you don’t mind me sharing again, but when I was doing some research about the effects of stress and anger on my own immune system I found a lot of helpful research supporting this argument. Here is a link for your readers to the US National Library of Medicine. There are some good articles here. I am sure you know these links.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18190880

  • Donna

    You are awesome Sarah. It takes courage and hard work to do what you do. You could keep it all to yourself but you choose to share it with the public who benefit enormously from your it. I love how those who are unable to tolerate your point of view or unable to provide a balanced reasoning to why they dont support your viewpoint but choose to instead lash out at the stronger folk who are only stronger because they choose NOT to play the blame and shame game. Keep doing what you are doing with the same love and courage and dont give those who are not ready to live with gratitude free rent in your head, heart or blogs. Maybe they should find a site that suits them better rather than waste time on a site that gets their back up.

  • Sherrie

    Hi Sarah I really like reading blogs/articles and find that they are quite thought provoking. Keep up the great work.

  • angel

    I didn’t get the ‘self hating’ thing from your post at all. Sally Brampton, in her brilliant book about depression (Shoot the Damn Dog) mentions that some people think that depression is caused by ‘a rejection of the self’ (this is fully and logically explained in the book) and what I drew from your post was that self-rejection could play a role, which chimed with what I myself have already vaguely concluded about my own AI illnesses.
    Seems to me the Mamamia blog is making a few enormous leaps to arrive at the most negative, reducive interpretation of your initial post.
    Don’t let it stop you posting and well done on a brave response!

  • Lisa

    It is very common to get these strong reactions from people when you imply that their illness might be related to their lifestyle choices, including what they choose to think about themselves and the disease. It’s like they think you are telling them that it’s their fault that they are sick. But if we never realize this connection we will never heal. And it is powerful to know you can heal, even though you might not be “cured”. If you don’t believe that you had anything to do with you getting sick, how can you believe that you can heal it? For me that is giving away the power. We need to hear this, because we need to heal. And you are helping with that, I’m sorry you are challenged with such resistance, but I think it shows how very important the message is. Thank you for being brave.

  • Ruthie

    The number one reason I don’t write a blog and am very careful about what I share on social media is because of all those out there just ready to pick apart whatever you say. My experience is there is a lot of people who can and will use everything you do or say against you.

    I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing as you do Sarah. I am so glad I stumbled across your blog early in my AI journey (at least the after diagnosis journey). I think a statement used about autism can also be used for those with AI. “If you know one person with AI, you know one person with AI” no two cases are the same, all our bodies are different.

    Learning how to deal with negative thoughts and self hatred has been and still is a big part of my ongoing journey with AI, ME/CFS & MCS. Learning how to meditate has helped immensely and I find positive affirmations help me a lot too. They say it helps to get rid of toxic people in your life to help heal, but sometimes you find the most toxic person that you spend time with is yourself and the rampant thoughts in your own mind. I’m currently learning about energy healing as well. When you are in this situation you try everything!

    Sometimes you get so involved in your learning and excited about the changes that are happening for you, no matter how small, that you forget that others think you are crazy or woo woo. I think we all need to remember that just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t make them wrong.

    Thank you again Sarah for your honest, open & vulnerable sharing. I really appreciate you.

  • Corina

    Sarah, I thought your article was mindful, truthful, and incredibly rich to read (as is the norm for your writings). I forwarded it to a mate of mine because mind-body connection as well as the spiritual symbolism behind physical illnesses are topics her and I regularly delve into. I want to thank you for digging deeper, it has enriched my life and I know I’m not the only one. I’m sorry there are those out there who choose to judge and criticize in an aggressive manner, I hope they never stop you from writing your truth. And I don’t believe they ever could! So, kudos to you! Blessings!

  • arianek

    What a strange response to that article (which I just read a few minutes ago, as I work through my RSS reader)… talk about blowing things out of proportion…

    Sarah (or anyone who wants to know more about this) have you heard of the book “The Last Best Cure” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa? I’m reading it right now, and it’s an absolutely wonderful book about the mind body connection, and how stress and especially early childhood stress shapes our physiology. The author’s previous book was specifically about autoimmune disease, as it’s something she suffers from herself. She’s also a medical journalist/writer, and her writing is extremely scientifically sound and detailed – it really does explain a lot of the mystery underneath all of this. Can’t recommend it enough!

  • K.

    I stopped reading mamamia.com after they attacked you about your views on sugar a year or so ago. Maybe it’s longer now. I unfollowed them on FB, Instagram and Twitter and I never recommend people read them.
    What I thought was going to be a blog that would write articles on different issues to that of the usual magazine drivel in a less sensationalist and baseless manner has turned out to be just a tacky, trashy online magazine and to me seems hypocritical to its initial intention. This is really disappointing because I used to really like and respect Mia Freedman.
    I greatly respect and appreciate the integrity and honesty from which you write and connect far more to that. Please keep doing what you’re doing. I value your posts a great deal.

  • Nadine

    Hi Sarah, I used to visit the mamamia site many years ago, but in the end I decided to stop because of the horrid, nasty judginess of a site that is ostensibly about female empowerment. It’s a toxic environment and it saddens me that it’s so popular . .

  • Anna Franklin

    Great response to the situation, Sarah. I remember when the ‘Don’t Quit Sugar’ book came out and I came across it on Facebook. I and lots of other people calmly referred to people to your site and what you do and don’t say on that subject. Calm, clear response is a great approach plus making it clear that sloppy journalism is not good enough. Hope you’re well.

  • Megan

    Hi Sarah 🙂

    I didn’t read mammamia – I unsubscribed from it months ago as it was mostly negative rubbish. However, it seems as though you’re the current target so I wanted to send a message of support.

    I have hashimotos as well and whilst I don’t seem to suffer as much as you do I have had a bit of trouble with it lately. It’s so helpful and reassuring to be able to come to your site and read up on so many of the things that tend to crop up with this type of condition. I think it’s really generous of you to share all of your knowledge and your experiences and, as per many of the commenters below, I want you to know that I really appreciate it xx

  • melinda

    sarah i think your post a week ago was spot on. self love and self nurturing is about connecting and making the right choices for yourself. it is about an investment in yourself at what ever stage in life or disease you are in or at. we are all in it and all need to make choices on how we live. this does not go against western medicine. melinda

  • Lauren

    All completely fair Sarah. I’ve been a subscriber to Mamamia since it’s inception. The opinion piece sparked my first ever contribution – in your defence. And as an aside, I loved your post, it was really helpful to me, as is most if the other info you share. Thank you. Hang in there, there are more lovers than haters!

  • Ria

    Hi Sarah and fellow blog readers,

    I would like to start by saying a big thank-you to all of you. I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s (autoimmune disease) earlier this year and have found such comfort in reading all of your blog articles and comments (and not just the autoimmune related ones). I find it refreshing how respectful and supportive everyone is of one another – even if they do not share the same opinions.

    Sarah, I agree with your belief that stress can trigger medical conditions. Have you heard of the term ‘epigenetics?’ I was introduced to this term through my university studies. Is it a coincidence that I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease the same year I decided to multitask and go back to university whilst working fulltime at the age of 30?

    Anyway, there is strong scientific evidence that stress (among other things) experienced by ancestors could actually be the cause of descendants medical conditions. Stress can alter cellular makeup and lead to gene mutations etc. These alterations and mutations can be passed on to descendants. So although the person themselves does not actually get sick, their child, grandchild or even great-grandchild can get sick.

    For example, many years ago a man experienced famine. His grandson died many years later from Diabetes. Another example, women who experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during or as a result of the 9/11 attacks went on to give birth to children who exhibited increased distress responses.

    Sarah, keep doing what you are doing because you inspire so many of us. Continue to speak your own truth.

    Ria
    🙂

    • Ria

      PS: I should add that you may be born with the altered cellular makeup or mutated gene and not necessarily get sick. Sometimes it takes an environmental factor (such as stress) to trigger the medical condition. And sometimes it may not be triggered at all.

      So, to use my own experience as an example, I may have been born with the altered cellular makeup or mutated gene but my Sjogren’s was only triggered recently as a result of stress.

  • Marie

    I read the original post twice, and again before writing my comment. I feel that it was worded very poorly. The words “you”, “you’re”,
    “yourself” etc are used way too much and I feel that the article is
    not entirely about Sarah’s auto immune disease (or even mostly about herself).

    She could of talked about herself, and said something like “Anyone feel the same?” “Anything sounding familiar?” Or asked people to comment if they wanted to share their experiences. But she did not.

    Originally, I assumed that it was supposed to be more specific, about herself, but also to help other people in similar situations, but (to me) it really did not appear that way. And after reading how other people felt on facebook, they appeared to feel the same. They appeared to think that it was a more general post, and it seems that’s why a lot of people became upset. I don’t think they can be
    blamed, it’s not their fault she worded her article to sound as though she was referring to all. What some people said in response is totally rude and not needed at all, but I still feel they had a right to be upset. People can’t be blamed for misinterpreting something, if it isn’t how it should be.

    I appreciate that she has taken the time to write this second post, to try to make the first post more clearer. And that is a big thing. Most people defend their posts and articles to the end, even if it is proven, with evidence and links, that they were wrong. But she says that the first post was about herself, and not meant to be about other people.

    So why did she use “you” “you’re” and “yourself”? Quote from this post “…..my personal experience of how my anxiety affects my autoimmune disease”. My, my, my. So why didn’t she use words such as ‘my’, ‘myself’, ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘mine’, instead of using words that specifically mean ‘others’?

    I think I would of found it to be an alright article if it was worded better. Don’t think too much into that statement, I am NOT a writer, or editor or anything close. But I do read, and I read articles, I also had to study English at school so I know the meaning of the words “you”, “yourself” etc and found this to be very poor if she meant it to be about herself.

  • Amber Lee Poole

    i have an ai and i totally get every single word you have put up here… i am helping my system by keeping alkaline but we are all different and then i have days like today where the pain on my right side is nicely niggling at me even after pain killers etc 🙁 my life now is so much better than it ever has been and it has even been said to me that my body goes into inflammation “out of habit” not out of illness… interesting thing to ponder?!?!?!?!? anyway, love and understanding is what is always needed not blame and attack – thank you for being you and as women i feel we should allow each to be their own and help when we can xoxoxo i also want to add that a lot of reactions to this are because some of us are in pain and we become very reactive when feeling this way xo

  • Anne

    Hey. If you read the Mayoclinics description of Hashimotos disease, they seem to think it is easily cured. The hysteria Arild food these days, and against school medicine, makes people choose difficult and uneccesary solutions. And by the way, AI isn’t ONE disease. It’s a collective term for many diseases that affect the immune system.