Horsham woman reveals how running helped her combat anxiety and depression

A Horsham woman has revealed how running has helped her combat anxiety and depression.
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Freelance groom for horses Acacia Neville was suffering up to five panic attacks a day and struggling to even leave the house.

She said at the time it was like was ‘taken over by a black cloud.’

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Acacia had severe anxiety and depression, she lost who she was, pushed her family away and cut contact with friends.

Acacia NevilleAcacia Neville
Acacia Neville

After taking time off sick from her job as a waitress and feeling more and more depressed, Acacia took hold of her life.

She said: “Depression turned to suicidal thoughts and it was at that point that I turned things around.

“I’d hit rock bottom and had nowhere else to go but up. I decided to leave my job and take some time out to myself and focus on me.

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“With lots of the right support and medication I’ve got through which is honestly something I never thought would be possible.”

Acacia found comfort in running, and used it as a tool to help combat her illness.

She added: “I decided to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon as I needed something to focus on.

“I saw it as a challenge to get stuck into and keep me busy. Alongside this, I really wanted to promote mental health issues, so I chose Mind as my charity.”

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Running the London Landmarks Half Marathon gave Acacia a purpose. On days when she couldn’t bear to leave the house, she would focus on the fact that she had to go for a run.

She said: “It would be my task for the day! I’m not a runner and have never run. I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds and now I’m slowly building up. I have a long way to go yet, but I’m excited for the challenge.”

London Landmarks Half Marathon is unlike any other race in the UK.

Runners will pass iconic landmarks including Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, the Gherkin, the Shard and the Tower of London.

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The route will also unearth hidden cultural gems such as Guy Fawkes’ house, Britain’s smallest police station, St Mary-Le-Bow Church and London’s oldest shop.

To find out more about London Landmarks Half Marathon event, which takes place on 29 March 2020, visit www.llhm.co.uk