Nadiya Hussain
Image caption Hussain has suffered from extreme anxiety and debilitating panic attacks since childhood

TV personality Nadiya Hussain has said her anxiety means there have been times during the coronavirus lockdown when she has “struggled to get out of bed”.

The winner of 2015’s Great British Bake Off said there had been “days where I don’t even want to get dressed”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, the 35-year-old mother of three said she had “good days and bad days”.

“There’s loads of people who feel the same way whether they have mental health issues or not,” she continued.

The British-Bangladeshi baker and writer has spoken openly and often about her lifelong struggle with anxiety.

Last year she made a documentary for the BBC in which she spoke about and sought treatment for her regular panic attacks.

Nadiya: Anxiety and Me will be shown again on BBC One on 6 May at 23:30 BST.

Speaking to presenter Nihal Arthanayake on Wednesday, Hussain said her family have been in isolation for seven weeks because one of her children is asthmatic.

She said 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.”

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Media captionStephen Fry: “Anxiety and stress are almost as virulent as this coronavirus”

Hussain paid tribute to her “wonderful” children – aged 13, 12 and 9 – for sensing her moods and acting accordingly.

“They will know when I’m having a bit of a bad day and they’ll deliberately shove the cat in my face or bring the budgie over.”

Speaking last month on The Andrew Marr Show, Stephen Fry said anxiety and stress were “almost as virulent” as the coronavirus itself.

The author and broadcaster, who is president of mental health charity Mind, advised people to “take a deep breath and allow time to take on a different dimension”.

Deirdre Kehoe from the YoungMinds charity is currently offering advice and support to young people with anxiety through the BBC’s Bitesize learning programme.

She advises limiting one’s exposure to news, setting time limits on social media usage and finding distractions like reading, baking and exercise.


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