BARNABY Joyce's daughters could be facing severe stress and anxiety disorders not just from last night's interview but the prolonged period of trauma they've faced.
Human development expert, Associate Professor Michael Nagel said he could not imagine what the former Deputy Prime Minister's daughters Odette, Caroline, Julia, Bridgette were going through after their father's tell-all interview on Sunday Night.
Many on social media also echoed these concerns, saying the real people to feel sorry for are the sisters and their mum Natalie.
While some were worried about the potential impact the interview could one day have on Sebastian, Dr Nagel said he was not as concerned as he was for the girls.
The University of the Sunshine Coast academic said the human brain was not built for prolonged periods of stress.
"I can only imagine that interview would have been very painful, if they saw it, heard about it or see it replayed in the news," Dr Nagel said.
"Any time anyone goes through a marriage breakup it's very difficult for anyone involved.
"Seeing your family's trials and tribulations played out on a national scale, for those involved, I would be concerned about them."
The former Deputy Prime Minister said he and Ms Campion "didn't stumble into this like we were kids" and hadn't set out to hurt anyone with their affair.
While the interview was touted by Seven as a "brutally honest" look at the political scandal, Mr Joyce remained cagey when asked to comment on his estranged wife Natalie Joyce and four daughters.
#SundayNight "It was all worth it"-Vicki Campion.I feel Natalie and her 4 daughters may disagree but what do they matter. Here is her husband and their father playing father and partner of the year when he was never even around for them.This interview - a slap in the face to them— Andrea Bolton (@Andrea_Bolton_1) June 3, 2018
$150K is not worth what this #SundayNight interview will no doubt do to Joyce’s wife and daughters, or son when he’s older ... This is a pointless and poor attempt at a PR exercise that is answering every question the general of public had no interest in knowing about.— Danielle Binks (@danielle_binks) June 3, 2018
"That's completely private," Mr Joyce said, conceding he had been "living a lie" towards the end of his marriage.
"Nah, I'm not gonna go into that," he said when asked if the love had gone from his marriage.
"These are really decent people and I'm not going to humiliate anybody by saying yes or saying no. That's completely private."
Dr Nagel said the environment Mr Joyce's daughters had been exposed to was "toxic".
"The stress mechanism that's in our brains is designed for short-term purposes only and when we go into a solid use or solid response that very same stress response could be elevated," he said.
"The longer it gets played out, the longer they deal with it, the longer they could have mental health issues that could include sleep and anxiety disorders, all range of things.
"They've been going through this for quite some time now. They're seeing their father who, in spite of everything that's gone on, they still love and that would create a great deal of stress."
Dr Nagel said as with anybody in stressful situations, counselling was always recommended.
Ms Campion acknowledged that a confrontation had occurred between her and Mrs Joyce in Tamworth but said she "can't repeat the words on television".
Mrs Joyce had become suspicious that Mr Joyce was having an affair with Ms Campion and rumours had been circulating around Parliament House.
Earlier this year it was revealed Mrs Joyce reportedly "tore strips off" Ms Campion and "called her a homewrecker" in a public confrontation.
Last night social media users were quick to come to the defence of Mr Joyce's family.
"Despite the network's best attempts to frame Barnaby and Vikki in a softer light, the only people I have sympathy for here are the ex-wife, the four daughters and the poor kid who did not ask to be born into this hot mess," said one Twitter user.
Another wrote: "Vikki, I don't think you've been through as much as Natalie Joyce and her daughters have been through."
Dr Nagel said he did not believe there would be any lasting impact on Sebastian.
He said by the time the baby was old enough to understand what happened, the story would have long blown over and it looked as though he would grow up in a loving and nurtured environment.
"I don't think it was ever a question of Sebastian as a person but how do we move forward from this and there was an attitude shift," he said.