Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses, impacting more than 40 million Americans, or one in every five people in the United States. An estimated 45 percent of people with one mental health condition tend to meet the criteria for two or more disorders, such as depression. In this episode, Dana is joined by Tracy Weems, Jessica Gimeno and clinical therapist Adam Ratner with Grow Wellness Group to discuss the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder and break down the stigma of mental illness.
“Many people live in fear of the stigma and the judgment around anxiety and depression, and that is no way to live” said Dana. “Everyone needs support from time to time to manage and process life events, especially those that are unexpected. You owe it to yourself and those you love to get the support that you need to fully walk in your purpose and live your best life.”
Feeling sad or upset from time to time is normal, but it may be something more when that feeling lasts for several days or even weeks and proves to make life more difficult. Signs may include lack of motivation, feeling helpless, expecting a bad situation to keep going for the rest of one’s life, isolation, decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, and suicidal thoughts.
“When I was a freshman in college, I lost a friend of mine who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, to a suicide” said Gimeno, who discusses living with depression herself. “We had a lot of the same symptoms and I saw the campus mental health center which is where they diagnosed me.”
Anxiety often appears before a big event or an important decision, but chronic anxiety can be incredibly debilitating, leading to irrational thoughts and actions that interfere with everyday life. Signs of anxiety disorder may include feeling nervous or restless, sweating, trembling, increased heart rate, difficulty concentrating, breathing heavily, and having a sense of impending danger or panic.
“When I was 14, I lost my brother suddenly to cerebral brain hemorrhage,” said Weems. “And the lack of being able to cope with that loss threw me into a world of anxiety I wasn’t aware of.”
Dana Davenport is a Naperville resident who is passionate about life. Originally from the northern suburbs of Chicago, she is now a Naperville resident and a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Chicago Law School. An attorney and mother, Dana divorced in 2015, unleashing a new lease on life. She has a live radio show on intellectualradio.com on Wednesdays at 9pm and is excited to bring that show to television audiences on Naperville Community Television each month.
Previously, Dana has appeared on “He Said She Said” with Wanda Bee, “The Drive at 5” with Roman, and “Jaw Jackin” with Bob and T.C., and she was a relationship advisor on the “Gift of Gab Show” with Gabby Smith.