A recovering agoraphobe is worried lockdown will aggravate her condition and leave her mentally trapped in her home after the coronavirus pandemic settles.
Nicola Montague, 29, of Fintry Mains, was formally housebound for five years of her life due to agoraphobia, brought on by cyclic vomiting syndrome she had suffered from between the ages of five and 18.
In the past year she had made huge progress getting back into normal life and even had plans to go to summer school to study embroidery.
But the government enforced lockdown and restrictive conditions on members of the public leaving home has thrown her mental health into turmoil.
Nicola said: “I’m very worried, both about the virus and the agoraphobia.
“Due to my asthma I am in a high-risk category so have to stay inside as much as possible, which is the exact opposite of what I have been working so hard to get to.
“The things that were helping me stay connected to the world, the routine of my groups, book group, craft group, embroiderers’ guild, they all have been cancelled indefinitely.
“I completely understand why, but I worry how I will get back out there once they do open up again.”
Nicola was planning on taking a huge step this year and attending the Embroiderers’ Guild Summer School in Stirling, but there is uncertainty whether it will still go ahead.
She said: “The constant drip, drip, drip of information, rumour and innuendo does not help either.
“I’m in fear about more or less everything – lack of supplies at stores, lack of structure in activities I can attend, worry for my mum’s health and my own, as well as the friends I have made at all of my groups.
“The most I can do is just try and not think about things, turn off the news notifications on my phone, play with my kitten instead.
“It is a very frightening situation.”
Experts have warned the importance of keeping in contact with others during the lockdown and periods of isolation, and many have highlighted the role social media can play in this.
Dr Lisa Orchard, of the British Psychology Society, said: “Research suggests active social media use is better for you than passive use, so consider writing a blog or posting status updates as a way of expressing yourself.
“And it may help to organise virtual meet-ups with friends and family.”