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OCD and phobias charity coming to island

OCD and phobias charity coming to island

Sunday 23 June 2019

OCD and phobias charity coming to island

An OCD and phobia charity is returning to Guernsey - having last operated in the island in the 1990s - thanks to renewed funding.

Triumph Over Phobia (TOP) was set up 30 years ago and has around 10 centres around the UK including a successful branch in Jersey. Lloyd’s Bank Foundation donated the £2,000 needed to reinstate the group.

The charity’s national Director Trilby Breckman said (TOP) is in the formative stages of coming back to the island with the help of volunteers.

“We have one volunteer already but are looking for another. The founder of the group in Jersey, Celia Scott-Warren, was involved in securing funding so that the group to restart in Guernsey,” she said. 

The group works by joining individuals who have experience of OCD and phobias together to talk and go through exposure therapy. 

Both conditions are anxiety related and people may not always realise they are affected by a disorder until their behavior becomes unmanageable. 

 “The most common phobia by a long way is ”Emetophobia” or the fear of being [physically] sick, some people might not even realise this is a diagnosis but it can take over your life. 

“We hear of people who have to check the sell by dates three or four times before they eat anything, even getting up to check the sell-by date on the wrapper in the bin while they are actually eating the food. They can’t eat out in restaurants or be around children for fear of germs which will lead them to vomit,” she said. 

Beckham, David

Pictured: David Beckham famously has OCD.

There have been countless success stories over the years after attending the groups, Ms Breckman said. 

“A lot of people will have had OCD for a long long time. One lady had a fear of traveling, she’d not left her immediate area in Bristol for 40 years, she came to us when she was 70 and she said last week she traveled to a café and went for a cup of tea and a cake something she’s not done since she was in her 30s,” she said. 

The group was founded by Celia Bonham Christie, a wealthy woman whose own experience with fear of flying led her to seek treatment despite her reportedly cynical nature. 

“She had a fear of flying an was supposed to be booked on the QE2 to return home from Canada when it was requisitioned during the Falklands war,” said Ms Breckman. She spoke to somebody who said she just needed to read a book, Fears, Phobias and Rituals by Professor Isaac Marks who was the professor at the London Institute of Psychiatry. 

“She conquered her fear and on her return she said how wonderful that book was, he was running a group at the institute and told her that he was running a group and how effective it was. He suggested she start up a charity to help people with phobias and fears and Triumph Over Phobia was born,” she said. 

The group are still looking for volunteers and expressions of interest for more information call 01225 571740 (office) or 07763 826618 (mobile) or visit the TOP website.



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