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    Depression from grief. Stock Photo by Tribune News Service.

Anxiety disorders among women often goes unnoticed

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In 1984, 14-year-old Jaime Floyd sat in her mom’s Chevrolet Blazer during a family shopping trip for the sale on Chicago cutlery.

While she sat impatiently, something happened that would change her life forever.

With her curly brown hair and chiseled face, Floyd took her little brother’s play gun and began to shoot darts at the passing cars. One car though, didn’t glide past her like the others.

Robert L. Davis was a notable pastor in their community and “an upstanding man.”

He happened to be Floyd’s best friend. The Davis family was the only black family on Floyd’s street.

This would become a problem because she found out this day, that he was also a pedophile, even though they were the respectable family that lived just three doors down.

Davis drove that car that didn’t just drive pass from this day. He stopped, reversed, and parked right in front of the blue Blazer, blocking it.

He then, hopped out of his 1987 Chevrolet pick-up truck, wearing a baseball cap, blue jeans, and collared shirt with the top buttons undone.

He unzipped his blue jeans and pulled out his p—-, dangling it in front of Floyd. He proceeded to walk towards her.

This incident is exactly when her symptoms of severe anxiety disorders began. She even developed stomach ulcers from the distress and trauma this situation caused her and her family.

The drama went on for a span of 8 years, through middle school at 14-years-old, to college at 22 years old.

According to Anxiety.org, a health information website, anxiety is a reaction to danger, stress, and unfamiliar situations, or environments of the body and mind.

“Symptoms can include feeling jittery or on edge because they feel like something bad may happen or the upcoming situation may be of a negative consequence towards them,” Angelyn Fanlo, N.C. Central University Alcohol and Other Drug Specialist in the Counseling Department.

According to Fanlo, NCCU Student Health and Counseling Services offers possible treatments including medication management, individual therapy, and behavioral therapy to work on managing the symptoms.

Floyd’s therapist pointed out that a traumatic experience may be the cause of her severe anxiety, which forced her to think back to Davis.

“After this incident everything changed for me. I was always anxious because of Mr. Davis,” said Floyd as she walked around her home in Durham, NC.

According to the nonprofit, Christensen Institute, anxiety disorders can stem from many different things throughout someone’s life like genetics, environmental factors, medical condition, behavioral choices, and demographics.

Floyd thinks that genetics also played a big part in Floyd’s struggle with anxiety.

“My mother was totally OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and suffered from depression and anxiety, but was never diagnosed with anything,” she said.

Floyd said that her therapist thinks it’s a good chance that although her father was a calm man, her mother’s disorder and out of the ordinary behavior may have contributed to her own struggle with mental illnesses.

“Afterwards, I was always jittery and jumpy. I was always looking over my shoulders because once the police got involved, Mr. Davis would act crazy,” said Floyd.

Legal affairs weren’t the only thing the Floyd and Davis families disputed about. After running into the store where her parents were, Floyd immediately told her parents about the inappropriate encounter with Davis.

According to Floyd, the police came out to her neighborhood to investigate and went to Davis’ house to take him in for questioning since Davis’ car matched Floyd’s descriptions.

Floyd walked out of the house in the same outfit, with the two buttons undone, that she had told the police Davis was wearing.

Davis was arrested for public indecency, sex offender, and child endangerment charges. Davis was unable to be released on bail.

“He one time ran my mother off the road before one of our court dates. I would always worry about my family’s safety, and that is what made me the jumpy Jaime I am today,” she said.

The case was prolonged up until Floyd’s college days partially because of a typo in some of the documentation.

“I told the cops that his truck was a 1987 Chevrolet but for some reason, the woman wrote down 1989 and it was put into the system incorrectly,” said Floyd in an angry manner. “It screwed everything up.”

Eight years later, Floyd said that Davis was convicted with a misdemeanor and had already finished the sentencing time before trial for the offense. He walked away with 12 months of probation.

The harassing stopped.

“Before the incident, I was naturally anxious, assuming because of the genetic handout from my mother,” Floyd said. “But afterwards, it was terrible. I have never been the same.”

A bad day for Floyd today looks like 19 years sobriety struggles and trying not to let herself slip into her OCD and anxious ways.

“I have bad days and I still attend therapy. I work through my issues by noticing them, and simply stopping it in its tracks,” said Floyd. “I don’t allow myself to have my keys in the same place everyday because it feeds into my OCD. I also relax more and focus on myself so I won’t have a panic attack.”

From symptoms to treatments, anxiety disorders within the community of women are a topic we should discuss more. Mothers, professionals, and trauma victims struggle with mental health issues that are often swept under the rug.

If you, or anyone you know are struggling from any mental health issues please contact your local counseling center.

If you are a college student, check your health center for options. At NCCU, the counseling center is open Monday through Friday 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. and is located on the second floor of the Student Health Building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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