Former minister Kiri Allan has taken to Instagram, sharing details of her time away from politics and a diagnosis of ADHD and PTSD.
Allan never returned to parliament after the car crash in late July. She had previously taken time off work for her mental health and personal reasons, returning to Wellington for just a few days before the incident that ended her political career.
In a post on Instagram, Allan said she had experienced all of the stages of grief over the past month. “Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and now, acceptance,” she wrote. “I’ve been wrapped up in love by those that love me genuinely, whānau and friends and I can’t express my gratitude to those that held my hand in some of the darkest times.”
Allan said she had previously been diagnosed with depression and anxiety but has since been told she has ADHD, PTSD and dysregulated emotions. “It was a slightly painful experience realising I’d been misdiagnosed and mis-medicated for years,” Allan wrote. “Now I’m getting the right support for that, but it’s a new journey of learning a complete different way of operating.”
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Thanking her former boss Jacinda Ardern, Allan said the ex-PM was one of the “most incredible leaders” she had ever worked with. “[I] love you mate, and am forever grateful for the opportunities you gave me personally, but mostly for the way you led in some of our darkest hours,” said Allan.
On her mental health, Allan said she had been struggling for a long time and this year felt like “a rolling maul of yuck”, including the cyclone, “stuff unravelling in the media” and the end of a personal relationship. She compared the election campaign to 2005, saying it has “felt nasty” and “non policy-based”.
“I’ve always believed everything happens for a reason,” said Allan. “All I know is that I was deeply unhappy for a long while (for tonnes of reasons), and my close people knew I felt like I couldn’t keep going anymore, because I’m an all [or] nothing person, and that has plenty of consequences.”