Katie Piper bravely took to Instagram on Thursday – World Mental Health Day – to share a shocking photo of her facial injuries following an acid attack in March 2008. The harrowing image was accompanied by a poignant message as Katie reflected on the trauma of the incident and the huge impact it has had on her life. The 35-year-old wrote: "I remember when I didn't want to look at anyone. I remember when I didn't want anyone to look at me. I remember when I was scared of people, scared of men. I remember when I was scared of the world."
Katie continued: "I remember when opening up to people and talking about my trauma and psychological damage just wasn't possible. Today on Mental Health Day, my first meeting of the day is with my therapist. I still go, it still helps and I'm able to talk. Hope On Pain Ends. #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthday @wmhday."
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Her proud friends were quick to praise the mother-of-two, with Stacey Dooley writing "My hero", along with a love heart emoji. Stars including Strictly's Karen Hauer, Emma Barton and AJ Pritchard also left heart icons in the comments section, as did Giovanna Fletcher and Helen Flanagan. Katie's followers also reached out to the star, with one writing: "You are the most amazing and brave woman." A second added, "You're an inspiration", while a third told her: "You're one of the most inspirational people, and your books have really helped me personally."
Katie has undergone 250 operations since she was attacked with acid in 2008, which left her partially blind in one eye and with severe burns for which she still receives treatment. Last year she took to Instagram to reflect on the ten year anniversary of the attack, sharing a selfie with her fans. "10 years ago to the day today, I found it hard to dig deep, believe and trust in when people would say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’," she wrote alongside the photograph, which showed the pretty blonde applying her lipstick in the mirror. She continued: "Now I look in the mirror and see the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, it is now my strength. Scars maybe be permanent but I am who I am today, take back the power and live your best life... Never allow anyone to control or attempt to silence you."