A TALENTED model and singer who has not left her home in five years because she suffers terrifying anxiety and panic attacks has launched her own line of merchandise.
Model and YouTube sensation Jemma Pixie Hixon, aged 23, of Malvern, is housebound due to her agoraphobia which means she suffers panic attacks at the thought of open spaces, crowds and small spaces. But she has not let her anxiety disorder stand in her way, launching her own range of merchandise including posters, signed prints, mugs, iPhone and iPad covers featuring glamorous pictures of herself taken in her bedroom.
Miss Hixon, who has been battling the condition since the age of six, says she is making progress, seeking support from Charles Linden, author of The Linden Method, as well as using hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and seeing psychiatrists and various specialists.
She said: "I made some positive steps. For example I managed to take the first steps out of my home (going for some short walks). I was petrified when I took my first steps out of the house and I was anxious but it felt amazing after I had done it. As a result my father bought me a car in order to help me. I have only managed to use it three times to go up and down our street. This may seem very small to onlookers - and it is - but this is a major step forward for me. I am trying to make the car a "safe place" for me. It would be amazing to feel safe in the car again and be able to go out in the car.
"Unfortunately the last few months have been very challenging and I have taken a few steps backward, but I am feeling more positive and determined to conquer my agoraphobia and to begin driving."
Describing her condition she said: "You lose control of your emotions. Your brain keeps saying you are about to die. How would you feel if you knew you were just about to die? I am a logical thinker I know this isn't true when I'm not having a panic attack but the brain is very powerful and it takes over my body, emotions and thoughts.
"I cant explain how terrifying it is, but I'm sure you can imagine if you knew you were about to die you would be terrified."
In the past Miss Hixam would perform at celebrity events, on TV and on stage. However, now she is housebound she can only sing online on sites such as YouTube. After putting her videos on YouTube she now has over 14 million views and 43,000 subscribers on YouTube alone and 34,700 followers on Facebook.
She has appeared on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines around the world and appeared on the BBC, Kerrang, MTV, the BBC World Service, on Daybreak and in Reveal Magazine.
Her merchandise is available to purchase at personalisedmerch.com/jemma-pixie-hixon and will be available to purchase worldwide. For her shop visit to jemmapixiehixon.com and clicking "shop"