Speaking as somebody who has been there, done it and worn the T-shirt, I can confirm that phobias and anxiety are very personal issues which many of us find difficult to talk about with others. If you are talking with somebody who has experienced a similar situation it can still be embarrassing but if talking to somebody who has never experienced the fear, it can seem a waste of time. We know from feedback from visitors to the website that the ability to talk anonymously about their phobias and anxiety helps their situation immensely. Nobody will judge you While more people are now appreciative of mental health issues and how they can impact an individual’s life, too many people still judge those with phobias, anxiety and other mental health issues. We started this forum so that individuals could help each other, chat through issues and offer practical advice where applicable in an environment where there is no fear of being judged. Society often places those with mental health issues at the bottom of the pile without even being aware of what they have gone through. Somebody who has battled back from debilitating phobias, anxiety and other mental health issues is stronger than the average person, don’t forget that! They should not be seen as a weak individual but instead they should be embraced and celebrated. Speak with honesty Sometimes when talking to family and close friends about phobias and anxiety many sufferers feel the need to tone down their comments and not tell the detailed truth. As with anything, the devil is in the detail and unless a third-party is aware of exactly what you feel and what you have gone through how can they be expected to appreciate your issues? The forum gives you the opportunity to put on record a note of your challenges, issues you have faced and detail which only other sufferers will appreciate. The ability to speak with like-minded people is something which is often ignored but where mental health and general health issues are involved this can be for many a life changer. Understanding a sufferer While it is wrong to paint a sufferer as somebody that needs help 24 hours a day seven days a week there are times when it is good to talk through problems and challenges. Many people forget that friends and family of sufferers often want to help but they don’t fully understand the situation and the way in which individuals think. Can you imagine how useful it would be to read comments from those who’ve been there, done it and come out of the other side? Friends and family of sufferers receive even less assistance than those actually suffering from phobias, anxiety and other connected health issues. So while this forum focuses upon phobias and anxiety issues and is primarily for those who are suffering, or have suffered, it is also here for those watching friends and family go through a difficult period in their life.