Meadowhall security guard ‘shouted’ at woman suffering panic attack as she tried to leave
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While browsing the shops, the government worker became anxious as the centre got busier and the number of people not social distancing in different stores or wearing a face mask increased.
Kat, who suffers from social anxiety, decided to try and find an exit in order to get some fresh air and attempted to follow the one-way system signs Meadowhall have erected to ensure social distancing.
The 28-year-old felt like she experiencing having a panic attack and walked towards the Oasis food court to leave the shopping centre through the doors next to Wetherspoons.
When Kat reached the exit which allegedly had no signs telling people not to use the doors as an exit, she said a security guard shouted at her to not leave through the doors, in front of huge queues of people.
The 28-year-old did not explicitly tell their security guard that she was an experiencing an anxiety attack while trying to find an exit.
But she claimed the worker did not give her any directions to help her leave the shopping centre despite asking for them.
Kat said: "I was trying my best to follow the rules and get myself out of a situation where I felt really uncomfortable.
"I just don't like being shouted at in front of a load of people which doesn't help the whole anxiety side of things.
"I felt really awful and there was no one coming in or out of this exit anyway, it wasn't like I was going near anyone.
"Firstly I was already panicking because I already wanted to get out so it added on top to that anxiety, thinking I don't know if I'm going to get out, I don't know if I'm going to get through this.
"It does make you scared because you don't know if there's an emergency how you're going to get out if you can't find an exit.”
The 28-year-old who has been working from home since March and avoiding public spaces because her mum is vulnerable due to health conditions, claims she won’t be returning to the shopping centre for the foreseeable future.
Kat added: "I just don't think it is viable for me to go there until I know there are measures in place where I can find exits.”
A spokesperson for Meadowhall said: “We are asking customers to support one another by adhering to the steps we have taken to ensure everyone’s safety.
"These include following our one way systems and wearing a face covering.
"We have new signage to help guide everyone, and our security team are on hand to help.
“We are sorry to hear this customer was disappointed by her experience and our customer services team are keen to discuss this with her.”