It is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, with the problem said to be even more common in the Latin American/ Caribbean region, highest among Afro-Caribbean women.
While the topic, along with other mental illnesses remain taboo in Caribbean society, former festival queen Krystal Tomlinson recently addressed the matter, revealing that she had a brief brush with anxiety in her early 20s.
According to Tomlinson, she realised that she started feeling anxious shortly after winning the JCDC’s festival queen contest.
Tomlinson said during her reign as festival queen she was tasked with advocating for Vision 2030 as part of her duties which meant meeting with high level technocrats, ministers among other high-ranking professionals.
It was the pressure associated with this experience that the beauty queen said made her feel anxious .
“Anxiety. I remember clearly the feeling of anxiety throughout 2013-2014,” said Tomlinson on Instagram .
“I had just won @jcdcjamaica’s Festival Queen Competition and had the task of advocating for Vision 2030 as part of my duties.Every room I sat in had high level technocrats, Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, MPs, Senators, Principals, NGO reps and Board Directors.I was 23 years old but I refused to be “23 and timid,” she added.
Tomlinson shared that in order to overcome the ordeal, she learned to master public speaking.
According to Tomlinson, public speaking is an art and a science that if employed with the correct technique can help restore one’s confidence and help lessen some of the feelings associated with high pressure situations.
Currently Tomlinson’s virtual course ‘Speak with Courage’, trains professionals in public speaking.