Big Brother's Laura Carter claims the show "ruined" her life

laura carter, big brother 2016
Big Brother star claims the show "ruined" her lifeGetty Images

Former Big Brother star Laura Carter has claimed that her time on the show "ruined" her life, and was like "being in a living nightmare".

The contestant took part in the 2016 series of the reality show, though has now shared a candid video alleging that the series took a serious toll on her mental health.

In the YouTube video, Laura recalled that one of the themes of the series was "paranoia", with the housemates' tasks making each other paranoid, though they "didn't know that was a theme" while they were in the house.

"It was a real mind f**k," she said. "I had absolutely no idea and neither did anybody else that that was a theme… For me anyway, it was literally like being in a living nightmare."

laura carter on big brother
Channel 5

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Recalling a scarecrow task, Laura said that she was the only one attacked as part of the task, leading her to believe that she was being chosen by the public because they "hated" her.

"It was really degrading, horrible things that they were coming out [with], and it was always me," she explained. "I went into the toilet after and was literally wiping everything off me and I thought: 'That's it. The public hate me, they want to humiliate me'. And I did feel humiliated. I thought this is literally going from bad to worse.

"It was almost like this switch went inside of me and the only way I can describe it is it was like self-destruct mode," Laura added. "I'd been pushed into this corner… I felt like there was no hope for me.

"I'd been made to feel like such a bad person, everybody hated me. It was really how I was feeling, and it was an all-consuming feeling of self-destruct. That's when everything changed."

She continued: "After having therapy and talking about what I did, I've come to realise that it was almost like a mask I'd put up to protect myself, to protect my feelings. It was almost like I was saying: 'OK, I'm going to be as extroverted as I possibly can. You can attack me, you can say anything you want about this extroverted character.' But it was to protect myself. That's the only way I can describe my behaviour. I lost all self-worth. I forgot that my family were watching, my friends were watching."

laura carter
Dave J Hogan - Getty Images

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The reality star later spoke about her time after leaving the show, calling it "the darkest, loneliest time of [her] life," adding: "My life changed but it literally ruined my life. It ruined it."

She also revealed that she suffered from insomnia years after the show ended, notably after her baby Jax was born.

"When Jax was about 18 months old, I started suffering from insomnia. I was having nightmares when I could actually finally fall asleep because of the insomnia. I was having nightmares of being watched. I was having these horrible night terrors.

"I was racked with anxiety, I had anger issues. Even the tiniest thing that people would say to me, I'd blow up. It's like I was this pressure cooker about to blow at any point.

"I just wasn't me," she added, further revealing she was "horrendously thin" as a physical effect of her mental health struggles.

Channel 5 had no comment when contacted by Digital Spy. We have also reached out to production company Endemol Shine.

If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.

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