A model whois covered in tattoos revealed that she suffered from a breakdown in lockdown and gained 4st – and now she wants to support other women going through the same thing.
Donna Nipper, 39, from London, struggled during the pandemic while juggling work with raising her four children and keeping her mental health in check.
The mum was diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality disorder in 2013 after leaving an abusive relationship.
She used therapy and medication to stay healthy, but was devastated when her marriage collapsed in lockdown.
The mum-of-four explained: “My mental health plummeted.
“I was really struggling. My husband and I had split up due to the stress of lockdown, I was working loads and everything became a lot to deal with.”
So, Donna turned to food for comfort, but didn’t notice she was gaining weight until she tried on a pair of old jeans.
She said: “I’d been living in leggings and jumpers throughout lockdown and hadn’t paid much attention.
“I knew I must have gained a bit because I wasn’t exercising and had been eating rubbish but I didn’t think it would be that much.
“I’ve never been super strict with the scales because I think that’s an unhealthy way to be but when I got on and realised I was tipping 13 stone, I was shocked.
“Before lockdown I’d always been around 9 stone 6lbs so it was quite a surprise to see that figure on there.”
In April, she was admitted to hospital due to her depression and after staying for a while she checked into rehab for exhaustion for five days.
Donna added: “I'm feeling better and I’ve also quit booze, which has made a huge difference.”
But, as a model, Donna’s appearance is what pays her bills and she was worried she would lose followers and income.
However, after spotting other models flaunting their toned figures online she decided to brave Instagram to show other people the truth.
Donna, who posts on Instagram, @donnawildcard, where she has 537,000 followers and OnlyFans earns £25,000 a month.
She eventually shared what she was going through with her followers.
Donna said: “I used a lot of old content so my fans wouldn’t see that I’d put on weight.
“I needed to work but I wasn’t at a point where I could have handled people making nasty or negative comments about how I looked.
“But I’m a normal woman, being a model doesn’t automatically mean my life is perfect or doesn’t come with problems.
“I thought that if I’d had a tough time, then chances are other women might have struggled too.
"I felt I had a responsibility to others.
“I filmed myself getting on the scales and showing how much weight I’d gained.
"It was scary to put myself out there, especially as my whole career is based around my looks.
“Opening up and showing that side of me was overwhelming, I ended up bursting into tears as everything about how I’d been feeling came tumbling out.”
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However, Donna was thrilled when the response to her post was positive.
She commented: “I had women messaging from as far America and Australia thanking me for being open and honest.
“It started a conversation about mental health.
"People were telling me that they’d been struggling in lockdown, how they didn’t feel attractive and how their depression or anxiety had gotten worse.
“It was like a safe space for everyone to discuss the things they’d been bottling up and unable to say.”
Donna has started eating better and going out for walks but refuses to “beat [herself] up about losing weight.”
She added: “Lockdown may have seen me gain nearly four stone and have a breakdown but I’m determined to help other women with their mental health.
“No one should suffer in silence and I hope this means we can all start being there for each other.”
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