Why Bindi Irwin’s social media hiatus isn’t a surprise

At 22, the wildlife warrior has been through more than most.
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After making several shock claims about her grandfather Bob Irwin, Bindi Irwin surprised fans on Monday evening when she announced she’d be stepping back from social media to prioritise her family and her mental health.

WATCH BELOW: Bindi Irwin cries after dancing about Steve Irwin on Dancing With The Stars

“I’m taking a break from social media and most of my work in the public eye for a month to be with my beautiful daughter and my wonderful family,” the daughter of Terri and the late Steve Irwin captioned a black and white photo of herself and baby daughter Grace on Instagram, after thanking fans for their support.

“I feel tremendously grateful to share our life and conservation work with you but I need some time to focus on the happiness that is my family (both human and animal).”

Though the break comes after Bindi made claims she suffered “psychological abuse” from her paternal grandfather, the decision to step away from the spotlight has been a long time coming as the 22-year-old has already dealt with some significantly dark and challenging times in her life.

“I feel tremendously grateful to share our life and conservation work with you but I need some time to focus on the happiness that is my family (both human and animal).” (Credit: Instagram)

From the moment she entered the world, Bindi has been in the public eye and it’s safe to say she and her brother Robert didn’t have a typical childhood.

When Bindi was born in July 1998, The Crocodile Hunter had been on screens for two years and by the time she was two-years-old, Bindi was a regular star on Steve’s show The Crocodile Hunter Diaries, and the 2002 film The Wiggles: Wiggly Safari.

But in 2006 tragedy struck when Steve was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb and killed whilst filming the documentary, Ocean’s Deadliest.

Bindi was only eight-years-old when her dad Steve passed away. (Credit: Getty)

Not only did the then-eight-year-old attend her father’s memorial service at Australia Zoo that was watched around the world by millions, but Bindi also delivered a eulogy that she’d written herself.

“I have the best Daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day. When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it’s our turn to help Daddy,” she said at the time.

Studies show that children who lose a parent are more likely to develop mental health issues including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Combine that with having your grief televised on every channel and printed in every newspaper, and it’s hard to imagine what Bindi, as well as Terri and Robert, went through and continue to go through.

WATCH BELOW: Bindi Irwin speaks about dad Steve Irwin at his funeral in 2006. Post continues after video…

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In the wake of her father’s death, however, Bindi showed no signs of slowing down.

Just two months afterwards, she released her debut album Bindi Kid Fitness with Steve Irwin and The Crocmen and went on to complete further projects including more albums and her shows, Bindi’s Bootcamp and Bindi the Jungle Girl.

She also made it big in the US on talk shows including the Late Show with David Letterman and The Ellen DeGeneres Show and in 2015, when she was 17-years-old, won the 21st season of Dancing With The Stars.

It’s not just her professional life that’s gone into overdrive over the years.

Bindi was 21 when she became a wife to her childhood sweetheart Chandler Powell and, just a year later, a mum to Grace Warrior Irwin Powell – a lot for someone in their early twenties to take on.

Bindi (pictured with husband Chandler Powell) became a mum at the tender age of 22. (Credit: Instagram)

Her highly-curated Instagram feed featuring adorable animals, joyful family photos and sweet memories of Steve may look picture-perfect, but Bindi has endured a lot from unimaginable grief through to the pressures of being a young mum.

For the first time, she’s taking a step back and taking a moment to pause and, for that, this wildlife warrior should be celebrated.

In Bindi’s own words: “Mental health deserves more understanding and support instead of being dismissed or patronised. You are absolutely worthy of love and kindness.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 24 at any time of the day, seven days a week for anonymous support and guidance.

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