• Nadiya Hussain has opened up about anxiety and is pictured here at the Women of the Year Awards 2015. (AAP, PA Wire)Source: AAP, PA Wire
The Great British Bake Off winner opens up about the panic attacks she’s had since she was seven years old after a racist incident at school.
Sarah Norton

21 Jun 2016 - 2:35 PM  UPDATED 21 Jun 2016 - 2:35 PM

British-Bangladeshi baker Nadiya Hussain has spoken about what it’s like to experience panic attacks and live with anxiety.

The Great British Bake Off winner opened up to TV program Loose Women about a racist experience she had at school when she was seven years old. She believes the incident is what triggered her anxiety.

“I used to get bullied quite a lot for my skin, because I had dark skin, and these boys, they held me up against [the chalkboard] – and the chalk would all fall at the bottom – so they held me up against this chalkboard and they got the chalk dust and smothered it on my face,” she said on Loose Women.

The 31-year-old says she is learning to deal with her anxiety, but that chalkboard moment surfaces during her pangs of panic.

“I remember that moment being stood there and thinking ‘everybody’s looking at me, everybody’s watching me, I don’t know what to do,’ and every time I have the [panic attack] feeling it reminds me of that moment,” she says.

Hussain was very honest during her interview and believes anxiety is a condition that society needs to acknowledge more.

“It’s one of those things that is misunderstood. People think, oh it’ll go away it’ll be fine, but actually it’s a real problem,” she says.

The British baker says she didn’t know she had anxiety until her late teens when she started to realise that it wasn’t normal to collapse or turn blue from worry and anxiety.

Hussain says dealing with it is about challenging herself because, for her, challenges help.

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