Nadiya Hussain has revealed her anxiety has reached ‘new heights’ amid the coronvirus lockdown.
The star, 35, who won The Great British Bake Off in 2015, opened up on her mental health while isolating at home and admitted that her anxiety is ‘the worst I’ve felt in a really long time.’
Nadiya Hussain told how she’s ‘really struggling’ amid the government’s advice that Britons should only leave their homes unless absolutely necessary in the bid to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. +6
Struggling: Nadiya Hussain has revealed her anxiety has reached ‘new heights’ amid the coronvirus lockdown (pictured July 2019)
Speaking to The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon on the podcast Mad World, Nadiya said: ‘When I think about myself when I’m really anxious and when I know that I’m really struggling, I do exactly what the Government’s asked us to do now, which is self-isolate, stay at home, not have any physical contact, social distancing.
‘I stay at home, stay in bed, don’t talk to people. It’s only me in a room, usually in the dark. So I can only imagine the people out there who have mental health issues who are struggling right now.
‘They’re being asked to do what they would do when they’re really struggling. It’s really, really tough. This is probably the worst I’ve felt in a really long time.’
The author went on to say that the last few weeks in lockdown has made her reflect on just how much anxiety has an impact on her, adding that it’s taken ‘many months and years’ of her life. +6
Tough: The star, 35, who won The Great British Bake Off in 2015, opened up on her mental health while isolating at home and admitted that her anxiety is ‘the worst I’ve felt in a really long time’Nadiya Hussain opens up on her PTSD after being bullied at school
However, Nadiya revealed that her husband Abdal and three children have been keeping her distracted in lockdown, with the family keeping themselves occupied with their many animals and vegetable patch.
She added that when the pandemic is finally over, she plans to ‘stop ignoring’ the life she has before her.
She said of lockdown: ‘It has reminded me “you are alive”, which is a great place to be right now and I should be really happy about that.’+6
Open: It’s really, really tough. This is probably the worst I’ve felt in a really long time’
Nadiya added: ‘I’m so productive sometimes I don’t even stop and listen to myself breathe. It’s important to stop and allow yourself to remember that you are alive and this is the body that keeps you going.
‘It’s really allowed me to stop and think about where I am.’
In May last year, Nadiya bravely opened up about her battle with anxiety, revealing how as a child she felt she had to count her family members on her fingers before going to sleep, or else they would die.
The chef filmed Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT sessions) with a therapist for BBC documentary ‘Anxiety and Me’, and explained that violent and severe bullying she suffered as a teenager, alongside seeing her youngest brother and sister in-and-out of hospital left her with the constant fear she’s going to die.+6
Honest: The author went on to say that the last few weeks in lockdown has made her reflect on just how much anxiety has an impact on her, adding that it’s taken ‘many months and years’ of her life
She revealed she’s been scared of opening up about her panic attacks, in case it could lead to her young children being taken away.
She revealed: ‘One of the things that stopped me from ever seeing a professional was the thought that someone would say you’re crazy, tie me up, stick me in a white van and take my children away.’
The baking star opened up to her sisters on the programme, who were shocked by the extent of her anxiety.
When she explained to her siblings on the show that she felt she had to repeat each of their names before she went to sleep one of her sisters exclaimed: ‘Oh my goodness, that’s a lot of pressure.’
She explained that she used to count out the family names on her fingers, and that it became a habit.+6
Help: In May last year, Nadiya bravely opened up about her battle with anxiety the BBC documentary Anxiety and MeNadiya talks about the bedtime ritual her anxiety forced upon her
After several therapy sessions, Nadiya was able to identify that her first panic attack occurred while she was suffering violent bullying as a teenager.
She explained that the bullying started in primary school, where people would pick on her for ‘being dark’.
But by far the most triggering memory for Nadiya involved one moment in the final year of school, when school bullies pushed her head into a toilet bowl.
Before the BBC programme, Nadiya had never had a diagnosis. But after seeing a specialist GP, she was told she had high levels of anxiety and was possibly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the school incident. +6
Truth: The Bake Off star revealed to three of her sisters that she used to recite their names at night before going to sleep to ensure they didn’t die
If you have been affected by this story, you can call Mind on 0300 123 3393 or visit www.mind.org.uk/