Nadiya Hussain Opened Up About "Horrific" Experiences Of Childhood Bullying

“My head was in the loo and they were flushing it repeatedly,” the chef told ITV.

by Vivian Iroanya
Nadiya Hussain Opened Up About "Horrific" Experiences Of Childhood Bullying
Comic Relief/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Trigger warning: This piece contains details about suicidal thoughts, as do some of its outbound links.

The chef, author, and TV presenter, Nadiya Hussain was the latest celebrity to take part in ITV’s docuseries, Life Stories. Great British Bake Off’s Hussain shared details of her life and career up to this point but also revealed heartbreaking stories about being bullied as a child growing up in Luton.

“Before I knew it my head was in the loo and they were flushing it repeatedly and holding me down,” she described of one incident in the emotional interview. Speaking to host Kate Garraway on Feb. 10, Hussain explained how bullying has impacted her life to this day. “It got to a point where I was deliberately not eating or drinking water because I didn't want to use the toilet.”

She goes on to say that “Even to this day, every time I go to the loo, the image of them instantly comes to me and comes into my head."

The mum-of-three vividly recalled thinking at the age of ten that suicide was the best way to cease the relentless bullying at school. "All I knew was that I didn't want to go to school tomorrow, all I knew was that I didn't want to be bullied tomorrow and so I thought, 'Well if I die, I won't get bullied,” she remembered.

Since her Bake Off win in 2015, Hussain has always been publicly vocal about the challenges she’s faced, from online trolling, panic disorders, racism and Islamophobia. As a Muslim woman of colour, Hussian hopes sharing her experiences will help others overcome their own adversities.

Nadiya Hussain on ITV’s Life Stories docuseries with Kate Garraway

Her 2019 BBC documentary ‘Nadiya: Anxiety And Me tapped into helping to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health within racialised communities. Of the lockdown and its impact on her mental health, Hussain told Bustle, “Even though I don’t have the answers, I have allowed myself to believe that it will come to an end. I will eventually see my family, my sisters, my nephews, and my nieces. And that gives me hope.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. You can also call the mental health charity Mind on 0300 123 3393. Here is a list of UK-based organisation offering support, too.