Nadia Sayers: I was crippled with anxiety and depression

31 Jan 2018 | Camilla Suarez

After winning a national pageant, and becoming the delegate of their countries at one of the international pageants, beauty queens get swamped with work and preparations. They have to keep up appearances and fulfil the duties that they advocated throughout the pageant. The moments that are spent away from their duties as a national pageant winner, they prepare for the international pageant. A beauty queen, while fulfilling all these duties, revealed why she chose her particular issue to advocate.

Something that is assumed to come easily to these beauty queens is confidence. It is assumed that these women must have always felt the best when it comes down to, at least, their looks. However, Nadia Sayers, Miss Intercontinental Ireland 2017, revealed a darker truth. She revealed how, despite being a confident woman now, she once faces issues with herself.

She had once become so crippled with anxiety and depression that she couldn’t drag herself out of bed.

The psychology graduate had to overcome suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety to follow her dreams and is now sharing her story in the hope it encourages others. She wants other women to know there is light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how hard it gets.


Nadia Sayers: I was crippled with anxiety and depression


Nadia explained: “When I talk about it, it helps me, and other girls’ stories inspire me too. That’s what I want to get at — if me talking about it gets one more person saying, ‘I understand that’, or ‘I can relate,’ if I can help one person, that’s enough.

Growing up she felt she wasn’t a ‘traditional’ beauty. She said, “I was pale, had short ginger hair, freckles. I never ever thought I would be in beauty pageants, ever.

But it wasn’t until two years ago, that Nadia hit rock bottom. She recalled, “I couldn’t work. I had to quit my part-time job and had to go back and live with my parents. I couldn’t even get myself out of bed in the morning. I was too scared to go outside because I was too scared I was going to cry or have a panic attack. Not being able to go outside or to see my friends just got me really down, and the further down I got the worse I got. It was a vicious cycle.

It was after her concerned mother pushed her to seek out professional help that things turned around.

Nadia said, “My mum became really worried and kept trying to persuade me to go to someone. Eventually, when I was very low, I went. I was put on medication and a waiting list to speak to someone.

Now Nadia, who works with people with autism and is a mental health advocate, has regained her confidence and is ready to strut her stuff on stage.

She also added, “I’ve been knocked down a few times, I’m not going to lie, and there’s been days I’ve felt down or when I can feel I’m really anxious and there are triggers I can look out for that set me off. But I can manage it better now so it doesn’t affect me that much.

Now that is a story to inspire the world.