Nadiya Hussain: I had panic attacks throughout Bake Off

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY DECEMBER 3 File photo dated 07/12/16 of celebrity baker Nadiya Hussain wo has attacked critics who s
EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY DECEMBER 3 File photo dated 07/12/16 of celebrity baker Nadiya Hussain wo has attacked critics who say she is "jumping on the mental health bandwagon" by talking about her battle with a panic disorder.

Nadiya Hussain has spoken of her struggle with anxiety, saying she had panic attacks throughout the Great British Bake Off.

The 34-year-old won the show in 2015 but said she suffered panic attacks “every few days” during filming.

She told Nihal Arthanayake on BBC Radio 5 Live: “Every few days. It was very frequent.

“It was out of control.

“It was there and the truth is, as many panic attacks I was having during Bake Off (filming), I was having the same amount at home, alone in my house.”

The TV chef said none of the production staff or other contestants knew she was suffering from anxiety.

“I’ve spent most of my adult life being afraid because my anxiety has been part of my life for such a long time,” she said.

“It got to a point in my life where I started to believe that that was just my personality.

“I was just the person who was always unhappy, always not pleased, always anxious, always not quite fully involved. And I just felt that was part of my personality.”

Hussain said she never thought she would win Bake Off.

“I certainly didn’t think I’d get on and when I did every week was a battle for me, every week I was having panic attacks, every week I was struggling, but I had my husband at home for support so I was very lucky in that sense,” she said.

Discussing how it has affected her husband, Hussain said: “It was hard for him because I didn’t actually tell him that I had panic disorder when we got married so he kind of a found out eventually and was, ‘Mmmm, right.’

“And he did what every good husband does and he researched it on the internet. He said, ‘OK I get it – and I said, it is slightly more complicated!”

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