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Student who suffered from crippling anxiety wins place at Oxford University


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A teenager who battled years of chronic mental health problems that left her virtually housebound has conquered her demons to win a place at Oxford University.

Straight-A student Lotte Gleeson, from Pendle in Lancashire, spent months dealing with anxiety that made studying and socialising difficult.

But after enrolling at Nelson and Colne College, the 18-year-old said she was able to develop coping techniques, which have seen her pass her final exams with flying colours.

Oxford University
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

She said: “At its worst, I couldn’t leave the house. Looking back it is incredible how in control (the anxiety) was. It was kind of difficult dealing with that and trying to maintain A* performance."

“Looking back, I realised I was really anxious. I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. Sometimes it was social issues, getting very anxious about doing particular things; I didn’t go to PE for some reason for many years.

“But then I went to college and it really helped me. I was treated with more respect, I felt like more of a person rather than someone who was able to get good grades.”

Lotte Gleeson – I know the solution to the trolley problem… | Facebook

Lotte will head to Oxford next month to study physics after getting A* in maths, further maths and chemistry, and an A in physics.

And she is determined to spread the message that mental health problems should not hold students back.

She said: “At school I didn’t think I had the ability to be able to go to university at all, let alone Oxbridge. I come from a deprived area of Lancashire and I want to show the young people in my community that hard work and dedication does pay off.

“I also want to make it clear to other people that it (a mental health issue) does not have to hold you back. You can get better.”

An inspiring message from an inspiring individual.

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