Nadiya Hussain health: ‘I feel like I’m going to die’ – Bake Off star’s condition
The One Show: Nadiya Hussain gets emotional over fan messages
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The mum-of-three has explained that she has always used baking as a way to de-stress. On her journey to become a social worker – another dream that she successfully pursued – Nadiya would constantly bake, she even admits that she “baked her way through [her] degree”. For 20 years the baker has suffered with a panic disorder, which she says her husband “saw the worst of”. But sadly for the star it was the lockdown, due to Coronavirus, that worsened her condition.
Talking about her condition on her website Nadiya says: “For over 20 years I suffered with panic disorder and he was the one who saw the worst of it, the lowest of the low. He was the one who propped me up every time I willed myself to fail.
“So I entered Bake Off because he was right. I had lost myself in the madness that is life. I was everything, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother but I still was nowhere near finding me.”
Appearing on bake off was a huge moment for Nadiya – and her anxiety- where she achieved multiple “firsts” in a short period of time.
Explaining this Nadiya continues: “Packed and ready to film my first episode it became a day of many firsts for me. First time in a taxi alone, first time on a train alone, first time on the underground alone, first time without my husband to help, first time without my kids.
“My anxiety mounted, I perspired through the missed trains, the sweaty pits and the quiet tears.”
Every week that the star survived on the show, she noticed that she was becoming stronger and “less reliant on a paper bag medication”.
Nadiya’s inspiring journey continues, as she still struggles with her panic disorder. And when Coronavirus hit the UK followed by a national lockdown, Nadiya’s anxiety crept back.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live she said there had been “days where I don’t even want to get dressed.
“There’s loads of people who feel the same way whether they have mental health issues or not.”
She continued to say it was important to be “kind to ourselves” and not feel one has to be “productive all the time”.
“I’m so used to constantly doing things, I’m scared I’m not productive enough or doing enough,” she admitted.
“If I brush my teeth and put a fresh set of clothes on, that’s okay – that can be a goal I’ve met.
“I haven’t conquered my panic, but I never will. What I have done is fight it every day. With a left hook here and a jab there I have accomplished so much more than I ever imagined.”
As an advocate for mental health Nadiya took part in her own BBC documentary where she discussed her condition in more detail.
With the cameras following her, Nadiya described how she used structured routines and activities to help distract her from her constant feelings of worry.
“A panic attack makes me feel like I’m going to die – imagine your whole life thinking you are going to die every single day,” Nadiya admitted.
According to Nadiya’s documentary, around five million people in the UK are currently diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. These individuals frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.
Anxiety disorders range from agoraphobia – a type of anxiety which makes you fear and often avoid places that make you feel trapped to generalised anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder.
According to The Mayo Clinic common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.
For Nadiya, and many people who have an anxiety disorder, an effective form of treatment is therapy – cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in particular. CBT helped Nadiya connect the symptoms of her panic attacks to how she felt at that moment when she genuinely felt her life was in danger.
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