Hi. I’m Rob Lippiatt, I am 35 & work for South Western Ambulance Service. I have been married to Helen for almost 5 years. There was no trigger to the start of my illness, it just crept up on me. I started to develop anxieties about simple day-to-day tasks such as leaving the house & started to avoid going out so that I didn’t have to deal with those anxieties. The turning point came when Helen & I went on holiday. Whilst away I realised I was actually able to function quite ‘normally’ away from home & it was then I knew I couldn’t return to the despair I had been suffering. I was finally able to admit I couldn’t fight this awful illness on my own. At this stage none of us knew what help I needed but I did know I couldn't go on as I was! I eventually plucked up the courage to see my GP. In Jan 2013 I was diagnosed with depression & anxiety issues, put on medication by my GP & signed off work. It was a year before I was deemed fit enough by my doctor & employer to return to work! Due to the nature of my anxieties my GP thought I should try Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. There was a long waiting list for NHS help so I looked online for private therapists. I came across Marga who diagnosed that I was suffering from moderate to severe OCD. Initially I saw her weekly, then fortnightly, then monthly. A fundamental part of my therapy was 'exposure' treatment in that you have to meet your fears head on. I haven't been to see Marga for the last year or so as she helped me a lot and taught me coping strategies, which I use to this day. The sessions weren't cheap but I feel that the therapy I received from her was one of the most valuable aspects of my recovery. It is terrible to think that some people are not able to have this opportunity due to financial limitations. I am still on medication and suffer from the occasional anxiety issues, but I now have coping mechanisms in place and the anxiety is short lived.” My full story is on robseverestmarathon.com
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