Anxiety UK is a user-led mental health charity established in 1970 that provides direct support services (including psychological therapies) to individuals affected by a range of anxiety disorders. We undertake a campaigning and awareness function; representing those with personal experience of anxiety in the UK.
Over the years, the charity has supported researchers with a range of research projects by assisting with the participant recruitment as well as collaborating directly with large research projects focused on improving treatment and services with people experiencing anxiety. We are keen to develop and expand our interest and support for research into anxiety disorders and for the first time this year, are launching a new ‘Anxiety UK Research Fund’ to support initially, small research projects with a view to furthering understanding of anxiety disorders and ultimately, improving outcomes for our client group.
About the Anxiety UK Research Fund
- We are interested in receiving proposals on any aspect of anxiety disorders. Joint applications with service user and/or carer groups are particularly welcomed.
- The size of the fund available is £5,000
- The research project must be completed within a year of receiving funding with progress reports submitted throughout the lifespan of the project, as required, to Anxiety UK.
- Proposals should be submitted via email to: email@example.com by the end of June 2015 on the ‘Anxiety UK Research Fund Expression of Interest template’ which can be downloaded here: AUK Anxiety Research Fund EOI form
For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have various phobias, but I have one that affects me quite a lot: Phonophobia. For those that aren’t sure what it may be, it is a fear of sudden, unexpected loud sounds. Loud and unexpected noises to anybody are startling, but for someone like me, the affects of a loud noise impact me so much more deeply than just making you ‘jump’ and wonder what the noise was – when I hear a sudden noise I instantly fear danger, my life is at risk and I need to flee.
It has a massive impact on my daily life, things even as common as a siren going past triggers my phobia, which then activates my anxiety and panic attacks. What makes it worse is that I live in the area with a hospital, fire service training center and a police station in close proximity.
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My daughter Tabitha (now 11) was what we affectionately call a born worrier. Originally a tiny prem baby she is a sweet earnest and expressive child, usually anxious to please. At 7 she was a great eater with a varied and interested appetite. Then in 2011 she complained of a sore throat after a potato went down the wrong way. Thinking nothing of it at first, we noticed over a period of weeks that she was making a terrible mess of the table at mealtimes – crumbs and tiny bits of food all over the table and floor. Separately I noticed that when sitting next to her (not at mealtimes) she seemed to be swallowing “noisily”. Steadily, and then quite dramatically, her food consumption went dramatically downhill and she started to leave much of her food and lose weight rapidly. We talked to her about it endlessly, got medicine for the continuing sore throat, tried all the usual praise and reward techniques and eventually spoke to the Doctor, Health Visitor and School. Most of whom were a bit unhelpful, suggesting it was a just phase or worse – that it was an attention seeking exercise as my younger child was now growing up and making her presence known. This didn’t seem to add up as, if anything, Tabitha seemed more and more upset about the increased attention she was receiving. Going out of my mind with worry I searched online but all results seemed to focus on other eating disorders and this felt like she was phobic, not about the effects of food, but on the actual act of eating.
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“They’re staring at me. Why are they staring at me?”
“They’re laughing at me. I know it”
“They think I’m crazy”
“They’re going to shout something, call me fat and ugly”
“They’re better than me”
“They hate me and I don’t blame them”
“Why bother saying anything? I’ll only sound stupid anyway”
“They’re talking about me behind my back?”
“They’re only speaking to me because they feel sorry for me”
Do any of the above sound familiar? These are just a few of the intrusive thoughts that will pass through my mind on a daily basis. Thoughts that have contributed to my becoming a social recluse, too scared to interact with those surrounding me. Just five years ago I was an outgoing 19/20 year old, working (well, more skiving) part – time at McDonalds while studying for my degree. I would happily attend work nights out and would have my work friends round mine on a Friday/Saturday night for pre – drinks and an after party following a night in town. Sadly this is no longer the case though, as anxiety and its accompanying thoughts forced me to swap alcohol for fruit juices. Lovely. I was never the most popular person but I was never lonely either. I had friends to go to the cinema and bowling with, friends to go drinking and get tattoos with, and friends to turn to when I needed cheering up. I had rebuilt a life for myself in Manchester following our move here a few months before and I was genuinely happy. As the saying goes ‘things were on the up’, or so I thought.
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What type of phobia do you have?
I have emetophobia, which is a fear of myself and others vomiting.
How does this impact on your daily life?
It impacts my life in many ways. Most days I wake up with anxiety and it remains with me until bed time. I have several panic attacks throughout the day stopping me from what im doing. I find it really hard just to leave the house and will never go anywhere by myself.
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I’m Karen and I have a phobia of toilets. There, I said it, I’m out. For some reason, unknown to me, I think the toilet is going to get me, or the pipes will burst, or that it will flush whilst I’m using it. I know none of that will happen, but it terrifies me every day. It’s the subject of much amusement among friends and family, but to me, it’s not funny, it’s simply terrifying.
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It’s Mental Health Awareness Week this week, and this year Anxiety UK are going to be raising awareness of phobias. Phobias can affect a persons life dramatically, and many people may struggle to talk about their specific phobia, fearing that others may not understand. Every day this week we will be posting a different story on our website, exploring different types of phobias. The key message being that help is available, and that no one should feel embarrassed to talk about their phobia, regardless of what it may be!
This edition features:
- Anxiety, writing and me
- Healthy body, healthy mind; a calming journey to fitness
- The day they moved my bus stop
- NLP – What is it and how can it help my phobia disappear?
- 12 things to know about people living with anxiety
- Art is my escape
- Award-winning Derbyshire photographer showcases his work at exhibition in Ilkeston
- Spring Big Mood Food Rescue
- Ask Dr Chris
- Anxiety and debt
Click here to download your copy now!
We are delighted to announce that we have a number of fundraisers who are taking part in fundraising events organised by Action Challenge. These inspiring events, challenging by nature, are taking place over the next few months and are as follows:
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Anxiety UK has contacted the Department for Transport (DfT) to raise its concerns following the introduction of new legislation this week that risks criminalising people with anxiety disorders.
In response a DfT spokesperson provided the following advice which they were happy for us to share with our members and others with an anxiety condition.
The DfT spokesperson said: “With a limit of 550 microgrammes per litre of blood for diazepam it is unlikely that a person would be above the specified limit on doses of 5-10mg. 8 drugs most associated with medical use, such as diazepam, were set at a level where a road safety risk was most likely to arise as advised by an Expert Panel, see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/driving-under-the-influence-of-drugs–2 . Read More »