Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain reveals her struggle with panic disorder

Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain reveals her struggle with panic disorder

Past research has still not been able to clearly identify a concrete reason for panic attacks. Experts say that frequent episodes of panic attacks can result in the development of a panic disorder, if left untreated. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), panic disorder affects roughly 2.7 percent of the American population. The ADAA also reports that women are two times more likely to be affected by a panic disorder than men.

Recently, Nadiya Hussain, winner of BBC’s The Great British Bake Off in 2015, revealed how she had been living with a chronic form of panic disorder. In an interview with John Bishop for his In Conversation With series, Nadiya compared the disorder with a monster.

Explaining how she struggled to cope with a panic attack, Nadiya said, “My whole life revolves around not falling apart. I describe it as a monster. Some days the monster shouts in my face, no matter where I turn he will keep shouting at me, I can’t get him out of my face. Other days he’s behind me and he’ll tap me on the shoulder a little bit here and there through the day and I can ignore him completely. Other days I can put him in my pocket. He’s always there.”

Overcoming panic disorder

Nadiya realized the need for medical intervention and approached experts to help deal with the problem. However, her fear that the medicines will result in her not being able to feel anything holds her back from seeking necessary help. Nadiya, a mother of three, has been battling to get rid of it for years. Post her success in 2015, she has been taking BBC viewers across Britain on a culinary adventure program in the famous Nadiya’s British Food Adventure.

Experts stress how panic disorder can occur unexpectedly, while also inducing a fear of recurring attack to its victims. Though the symptoms of this disorder surface among adults aged 20 years and above, children can also be its victims. Owing to the stigma surrounding psychological problems coupled with a lack of knowledge about the disorder, many people fail to realize that the signs of the disease are real and can be healed with timely treatment. The common signs of panic disorder are:

  • Rapid heartbeat;
  • Immense sweating;
  • Constant trembling or shaking;
  • Unexplained chest pain;
  • Dizziness or tendency to lose consciousness;
  • Feeling of numbness or tingling sensation in the body;
  • Fear of losing control;
  • Incessant fear of dying.

Physicians explain that most signs of panic disorder are physical, causing victims to believe that they are suffering from a heart attack or cardiovascular disorders. Because of this reason, people with a panic disorder make repetitive visits to a hospital or get admitted in emergency rooms for treatment of physiological ailments. Experts suggest that in addition to medications prescribed for relief from this disorder, victims can avail therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, among others.

Road to recovery

In most cases, no particular reason could be attributed to sudden bouts of panic attacks. If you or a loved one is suffering from panic disorder and would like to consult a mental health expert for panic disorder treatment in California, Sovereign Health can help. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with one of our experts to know about our panic disorder treatment centers in California and other parts of the U.S.

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