The heartbroken mum of Sydney model Annalise Braakensiek has opened up on her daughter’s obsessive quest for perfection and the toll it took on her mental health before her death.
The 46-year-old’s seemingly glamorous life was splashed across her social media accounts in the form of selfies at Bondi Beach and poolside photo shoots in Barcelona.
While each photo drew thousands of likes, shares and comments, there was one person who refused to buy into the perceived lifestyle of decadence.
“I never looked at her Instagram. I never looked at her Facebook, because it upset me,” Annalise’s mother, Vera, told Sunday Night.
“It wasn’t true – she’d put a post on Instagram, [and] she’d ring me and say, ‘I can’t breathe. I’m so depressed.’”
Fellow model and actor Ayesha Rose said Annalise constantly worked out and put a huge amount of pressure on herself to maintain her image.
Two months after Annalise was found dead in her Potts Point apartment, Vera lifted the lid on the “addictive lifestyle” her daughter was immersed in.
“I’d ring her every day and often she wouldn’t answer the phone and wouldn’t send a message. I nearly went nuts there for quite a while, and it’s the hardest thing in the world
She said to escape the depression, Annalise began to flirt with drugs – a quick fix readily available among the wealthy Eastern Suburbs set.
“I didn’t really understand the environment there, I didn’t understand the partying and nonsense,” Vera added.
“A friend of hers suicided not long ago… she said, ‘that’s my fifth friend’.”
When the news came in that no parent ever wants to hear, Vera could only scream and cry as her “entire life force” left her body.
Annalise’s death was originally reported as a suicide, but those closest to her aren’t so sure.
“I don’t believe Annalise wanted to die,” Vera added.
“I believe that she went out New Year’s Eve and she partied and partied, and she made a fatal mistake in what she ingested, that’s what I think.”
Ms Rose echoed that sentiment, saying she doesn’t believe Annalise’s death “had anything to do with her depression”.
“I think it was just an accident,” she said.