Man struck down by bizarre fear of food

A MAN who suffered a major panic attack which has left him with a phobia of food and eating has hit out at mental health services in Sheffield after being told it could be months before he receives specialist help to deal with the issues he is facing.

In the five weeks since Glenn Jakeman suffered the "horrendous" episode he has already lost one and a half stone in weight - and is worried the longer the situation continues, the more he will "waste away".

The 42-year-old said he constantly feels anxious and has only managed to force himself to eat a handful of times since the attacks struck.

Although he has been put on medication by doctors at the Sheffield City GP Clinic in Broad Lane, he claims they are not working.

Instead, he wants some specialist counselling support to help him deal with his issues around food and eating but has been told this is likely to take weeks, if not months, to arrange.

Glenn, from Arbourthorne, said: "The panic attack was the worst thing I have ever known.

"It went on for four hours - it was totally off the scale, the purest fear. I managed to come out of it on my own and I went to the doctor to try and get some support but I still feel like I am on my own. There's no help out there, and I've been told it could take months and months for a referral to go through.

"In the meantime what am I supposed to do? I've already lost a load of weight because I just can't eat. I'm worried that by the time they get around to me there will be nothing left."

Glenn said he had always had a history of mental health problems and depression, but the latest panic attack had been much worse and the consequences far more severe.

He said he felt like he had been "fobbed" off by the mental health services in the city at appointments he has attended.

He said: "The situation in Sheffield concerning mental health services is horrendous. I need help straight away, something to be done now, not weeks down the line."

A spokeswoman for Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, which manages mental health provision in the city, said: "For reasons of patient confidentiality it is not appropriate for us to comment on individual cases. We have not received a direct complaint from Mr Jakeman but are happy to meet with him to discuss any concerns."

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