Disabled woman speaks of rising anxiety as lockdown lifts

Emma Blackmore says she is increasingly anxious as lockdown restrictions lift
Emma Blackmore says social distancing is a problem. Credit: Emma Blackmore

Emma Blackmore says she doesn't want to hide away - she used to love being out and about with her wife Natalie.

Emma Blackmore with her wife Natalie Credit: Emma Blackmore

Emma was born with congenital rubella syndrome. It means she has problems with her sight and hearing, has epilepsy and suffers from anxiety. She says during lockdown she felt lonely and isolated.

Emma Blackmore says: "When everyone was zooming, it was hard for me because it was with the epilepsy, hearing and eyesight, it is sensory overload and can bring on seizures.

Emma says as restrictions lift it is as though her brain is arguing with itself. She really wants to go out, but then she asks if she is ready for this?

Emma Blackmore says social distancing is especially hard when you have sight and hearing problems Credit: Emma Blackmore

But Emma who lives in Mangotsfield in Bristol, says since lockdown has begun to ease - going out has made her anxiety far worse. She recently went on a trip to Bath but had to leave after ten minutes because of the crows.

But Emma is not alone. The charity Sense which helps people living with complex disabilities says half the people they've spoken to are also suffering anxiety.

Chief Executive Richard Kramer says: "I think it's about showing a bit of patience and understanding. Some people may not be able to wear a mask, or we could all make greater space in the streets if we see someone struggling.

Emma Blackmore looks forward to going out with her wife Natalie again when she feels ready Credit: Emma Blackmore

Emma says she is determined to "live life to the full" again when she feels ready. She hopes by speaking out her needs and the needs of others, will not be forgotten.

Read more: