The UK’s leading user-led anxiety charity, Anxiety UK, has reported the prospect of lifting or easing of COVID-19 restrictions had led to an increase in their anxiety for almost 67% of the 745 Anxiety UK members who took the survey.
The third survey in a series of surveys of its members over the last seven weeks, indicates there may be a rise in the levels of people living with anxiety as the lockdown restrictions on travel, work and leisure are eased.
Asked specifically what raised their anxiety levels, fear of contracting the virus was the most common worry with 57% of respondents citing it as their biggest concern.
Using public transport (49.3%), going out in public spaces (47.5%), going shopping (45.9%), returning to work or education (45.8%) and attending large, social events (45.6%) were the next five most feared activities given by respondents.
Additionally, 54.4% reported that they had become used to being at home and worried about how they will cope with getting back to their pre-restrictions routine.
Commenting on the survey results, Anxiety UK CEO Nicky Lidbetter said: “After being inside for a long time, it is naturally going to feel strange and challenging for people to start to return to their pre-pandemic routine. This is to be expected and is perfectly normal, however for those with pre-existing anxiety disorders, the easing of lockdown may well exacerbate anxiety, and it is essential therefore that additional support is made available for this group of people”.
About Anxiety UK
Anxiety UK, established in 1970, is a registered charity that offers support and information services to anyone affected by anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression.
Services include: national helpline, text, live chat and email support service – 03444 775 774, nationwide 1:1 therapy service offering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), clinical hypnotherapy, counselling, Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and acupuncture, training and consultancy services, Employee Assistance Programmes and access to the popular mindfulness app, Headspace.
New services that have been developed specifically in response to COVID-19 include:
- Expert-led support webinars on subject such as ‘dealing with uncertainty’
- Peer-led, online anxiety support groups
- Therapist-led anxiety management groups
- Access to the eTherapy packages – Beating the Blues and Living Life to the Full
- Extended national helpline servie