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Home and Away

EXCLUSIVE: Home & Away's Sophie Dillman gets vulnerable about endometriosis and how Patrick O'Connor supports her everyday

The actress has spent most of her life dealing with the chronic illness.

By Brigid Auchettl
On screen as Ziggy, Home And Away's Sophie Dillman is sassy, confident – and a little bit of a rebel.
But the actress admits that in her personal life it isn't always so, revealing she has spent most her life battling crippling pain.
"Ziggy is really confident – I sometimes wish I had a bit more of that in me," Sophie tells Woman's Day from her Sydney home.
The 29-year-old has spent most of her life battling endometriosis, which is caused when tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the womb, causing pain and often infertility.
Sophie openly shares her health battle to help others feel less alone. (Image: Instagram)
"I do remember a couple of times waking up in the morning and fainting and vomiting from the pain in high school," says Sophie, who has undergone three surgeries to remove tissue growths since she was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 21.
"I felt crazy for so long, having so much pain and not knowing what it was."
Juggling a busy work and social life while dealing with pain and bloating, Sophie has found ways to cope through exercise, diet, medication and getting plenty of sleep.
Sophie and Patrick live together in Sydney and both star on Home And Away. (Image: Instagram)
On her worst days, the Mazda ambassador is grateful to have the support of her online community, family, friends and her partner, Home And Away co-star Patrick O'Connor.
"Patrick is an incredibly supportive partner – he listens to me, and he's so patient with me," Sophie says with a grin. "Everyone at work is so supportive as well. I'm very lucky.
"My sister suffers really badly from endometriosis as well. We talk a lot about our pain and our situation, and what we're trying and what's not worked."
The actress is still living life to the full. (Image: Instagram)
Her biggest tip for others facing the challenges of endometriosis is to listen to your body and be open and honest about what you're going through.
"Hiding it doesn't help anyone... it's OK to actually ask for help," says Sophie, who shares her own story as an ambassador for Endometriosis Australia. She's grateful that speaking about her experience makes others feel less alone.
"There's a lot of validation in online support groups. A problem shared is a problem halved – you feel less alone in your journey," says Sophie. "I don't want anyone to ever feel as alone as I did."
For info about Endometriosis, visit endometriosisaustralia.org.

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