A woman has revealed what a phobia is face masks that make her ‘panic and hyperventilate’ make it feel like the ‘lockdown is just starting’.
North London young adult novelist Hilary Freeman appeared on This Morning today, where she revealed that she has severe claustrophobia, caused by wearing a face covering and making her ‘dizzy and nauseous’.
The author said that following the news outlets and supermarkets later this month will require face coverings, she fears she will have trouble leaving her home at all, other than a walk outside.
Journalist Hilary Freeman, pictured on This Morning in 2018, says her phobia of face masks, which causes her to ‘panic and hyperventilate’ means to her that the ‘lockdown is just starting’.
North London author Hilary appeared on This Morning today, where she revealed that she has severe claustrophobia caused by wearing a face cover
“Before you could go to the grocery store without a mask,” said Hilary, “I thought life was getting more normal again, with everything open.
“But for me, because I think wearing masks is so terrible, I feel that I really can’t go outside now, except for a walk outside.
“I can’t go to shops or supermarkets or travel anywhere. So for me it feels like the lockdown is just getting started. ‘
Although Hilary has always had claustrophobia, she felt she had her fear of the pandemic under control.
Hilary told hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes (both shown) that wearing a mask makes her ‘awful’
“I knew I was claustrophobic,” she explained, “but it was never a huge problem because I was never in a situation that I had not previously controlled.
“I’m not really bothered by an elevator or anything. It’s more that my face is covered and pinched, and the fact that I can’t choose whether to wear one. ‘
Hilary said she felt “ awful ” when she wore a mask and claimed that she and others with phobias didn’t have time to adjust to the new rules about face coverings.
“I’m panicking,” she said. “I just feel like I can’t breathe, I find myself holding my breath, I start hyperventilating, I get dizzy and feel nauseous, it’s a terrible feeling.
Hilary was later joined by therapists and life coaches Nik and Eva Speakman, who tried to help her deal with her phobia
“If someone said to you, ‘I’m afraid of heights,’ you wouldn’t say ‘Jump off a building.’
“It is said to wear a mask, there is no time to get used to it. There is no time to prepare and if you have a phobia you cannot get over it in one day. ‘
Hilary was later joined by therapists and life coaches Nik and Eva Speakman, who advised her to tackle her claustrophobia on her own before attempting to address her fear of wearing face masks.
Nik said: ‘The best way for Hilary to deal with this is to deal with her claustrophobia and find out when it started, because no one is born with a phobia.
But Hilary, meanwhile, can tell the difference between the phobia and wearing a mask, because wearing a mask isn’t a fear of confined spaces.
“One of the things she could do is go outside and start by taking off and putting on the mask to tell the difference between the two.”
The therapists advised her to address her claustrophobia only before attempting to cope with her fear of wearing face masks
When asked if the advice was helpful, Hilary explained that she feels the ‘feeling’ of wearing a mask is different from that of claustrophobia
When asked if the advice was helpful, Hilary explained that she feels that the ‘feeling’ of wearing a mask is different from that of claustrophobia.
She said, “I’ve tried masks and different masks and some are worse than others, but if you’re claustrophobic in an elevator and you realize that nothing bad will happen in an elevator.
“The feeling of having something tight over your mouth makes you feel warm and uncomfortable. So in that sense it is more difficult to get over it, because there is a real problem that can make you breathe less well. ‘
Nik replied, “Even if you wear the mask around the house and know and reassure yourself that you are in control all the time.
“Plan what you’re going to do when it comes to going outside. Maybe you go to a store and you know you can get in your car and take off the mask. ‘