Nadiya Hussain has bravely told how she was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. The Great British Bake Off winner said she was sexually assaulted by a relative at the age of five.
Her ordeal left her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic attacks for decades, and she also considered suicide.
She told The Mail on Sunday: No doubt that would have played a role in my PTSD, my panic disorder. It must have done, because it’s a memory that has stayed with me for ever.
Nadiya said she learned about sex in a biology class and threw up in a sink in the science lab when she realised what had happened to her as a child.
She added: “I’ve only told my sisters recently and, growing up, I had a close friend at school who I told. It turned out a very similar thing had happened to her.
“It’s important to talk about it because it probably happens much more than we care to talk about.
“If that happened to my children, I don’t even want to say what I would do… I have no words.”
Her trauma even led her to consider taking her own life, which she saw as a “bus ticket” out of her torment.
One night she tried to overdose on tablets but was interrupted when her mother announced she was pregnant with her younger brother.
Nadiya previously revealed she had her first panic attack at 11 when school bullies flushed her head down the toilet .
As an adult she was diagnosed with a panic disorder, and her triggers can be as simple as a bathroom door opening, and Nadiya still gets flashbacks when she goes to the toilet.
Speaking on Loose Women, she said: “Every time I go to the toilet, and I’m 34-years-old, I cannot take that image out of my head. That image is always in my head. I’ve tried for years to get rid of it but I can’t.
That was when I first had a panic attack – when my head was flushed down the toilet.