The REALities Of Anxiety | Crooked Media
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August 19, 2022
The REALities Of Anxiety

In This Episode

Anxiety is among the most common mental health conditions. Over the first 58 days of the COVID-19 pandemic there were an estimated 3.4 million google searches related to anxiety in the United States. The ladies of Imani State of Mind are shedding a light on the realities of living with anxiety.

We would love to hear from you! Please email us at AskDrImani@crooked.com with all your questions and comments!

TRANSCRIPT

 

[AD BREAK] 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Welcome to Imani State of Mind. Before we get started, I think this is a great time to take a deep breath in. And let’s take a deep breath out. We made it to the end of another week and that is worth celebrating. So before we get started, let’s also celebrate my co-host and partner in crime, Meg. Meg, what’s going on with you? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Girl It’s been a busy week because my oldest started preschool, so, you know, I’m trying to keep it together over here. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh. Oh wow.

 

MegScoop Thomas: I’m sad, girl, I’m sad. He’s almost 4, he started preschool. [sigh]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Well, I mean, in a way. I mean, the thing about it is, now that you get, like, a little bit more time to yourself. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: True. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And it is it is kind of weird in terms of like [sigh] because at that age, like, your your son is basically like a tall baby. [laugh] 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That’s a good way to put it. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And, you know, what I’m saying like. Yeah, he’s like a tall baby. And for me, like, I really wasn’t until like yesterday, I was sitting around thinking I was like, oh, my god. Like, my son is like, he, like, almost grown. Like, he got hair on his face. His voice is all deep. So I’m kind of really looking forward to him, like turning in, like turning into, like, becoming like a full fledged adult. So I’m actually really kind of like excited about that um. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: But does it does any of that make you a little bit sad, though? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It used to, but I think yesterday I was like, okay, it’s like, Imani, you fine. Like this is fine. Like this is actually the goal. Like you want to have created like a human being. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: That went on to be like a really awesome adult and he’s awesome. So I’m just like, you know what? Like, I’m almost done. Well, not really, because I’ll always pretty much be a parent, even when he’s, like, 30. Um, but yeah, I was just like, you know what? Like you about, you know, like, get your adult on not fully but you know, start to become to to enter into your adultness. So. So I’m. I mean, I do understand, like your trepidation, but it’s also it’s actually like a really a really cool time. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. I mean, it was like he’s I was going to say it because like when you as you’re saying this, I’m thinking like, okay, like it’s bittersweet because of course, I want him to grow up to be a wonderful man. But at the same time, like, you know, he came home talking about sesponsibilities. Mom, you have sespons– I was like. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh no! 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I’m happy. Like, okay, you kind of know what that means, but you can’t even say the word. How cute. Okay. [laughing]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I know, I know. No, that’s. That’s super cute. Oh I’m trying to think about what words my son would like say and get kind of incorrect, but I like sesponsibilities. I’m a use that. I’m a use that for my all thing. I mean, it’s funny because you mention like, you know, your son’s getting bigger, like you feel like the time is flying by. I definitely feel like this month is flying by. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: For sure. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And I feel like I like I feel like it was June, like literally like three days ago and now it’s August. And now everybody’s talking about everyone’s talking about like, oh, it’s about to be fall like pumpkin spice and and Halloween and all this other stuff. So, um, you know. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Like, already!

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I’m just. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Like uh already. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I know, I know. I’m not even really that into pumpkin spice, but– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Oh, I am girl. I’m one of those people I’m like ooo, pumpkin spice latte season is here. I’m all of that. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh! [laughing] Well, it’s interesting, too, because as the seasons change, you know, our moods can change. And as our moods change, that also means that we can, you know, start to experience some changes in our mental health, our mental wellbeing. We’re going to be talking about anxiety today, um which is something that I am very intimately familiar with. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Mm hmm. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: As far as me and my anxiety. And thank God I haven’t been having any panic attacks recently, um but we’re going to be talking about that today. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. I’m I’m glad that we’re talking about this, Imani, because I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really understand anxiety. Like. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I’m not saying it. I know it’s real. I just don’t. I don’t get it. So I’m glad we’re having this conversation. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh, yeah. No, we we gone get into it. I know it very well. Me and anxiety are super tight. We are kind of drifting apart a little bit, which is okay because that’s what, you know, friends do. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yup, yup. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But, but we but I definitely I can, I can fill you in on everything and anything anxiety. So that being said, we want to remind everybody who is a listener and a fan of the show that if you’re enjoying the podcast, don’t forget to rate and review the show on your favorite podcast apps. So let’s get into the show with Ask Dr. Imani anything. [music break]  It’s time for Ask Dr. Imani anything. I love hearing from you guys. Tell me what’s on your mind. What are you struggling with? We are here to help. Meg, who is our first letter from today? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It is from Jackson. And let me tell you what he writes. He goes, Hey, ladies. I recently started to listen to your show with my girlfriend and her mom. I am not afraid to admit that I love listening to you ladies. Thank you, Jackson, because we love people listening to us. The show on self-care sparked up a conversation with my girlfriend’s mom, and she told me that my girlfriend is bipolar. Her mother asked me not to tell my girlfriend. She told me. She also said she thought I should know sooner than later. I’m actually not upset she’s bipolar. However, I am upset she felt she couldn’t tell me herself. I don’t know anything about the disorder except what I see from Kanye. I plan to do my research, but I would really like to ask my girlfriend a few questions about her disorder. How do I bring up the conversation with my girlfriend without throwing her mom under the bus? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay, Jackson, first of all, hi. And thank you for your letter. This is actually a really good letter because, I mean, here’s the thing, Jackson. First of all, I love the fact that you are really accepting of the fact that your girlfriend has a mental disorder, has bipolar disorder, and that it’s not really like tripping you out. What I would say to you is that I don’t really know how to broach the topic with your girlfriend without saying like, hey, it just so happened that your mom let me know that you have bipolar disorder. [laugh] But I would I would definitely, like, immediately go into a statement like, you know, just so you know, I’m not judging you. Like, it’s totally fine with me. I just want to know what types of things you may experience. What are some things that you know I might need to look out for? So I would I would kind of just honestly, I would kind of just be honest with your girlfriend, like, she’s your girlfriend. Honesty is always the best policy. Communication is key when it comes to relationships. So I would you know, honestly, I wouldn’t say that you’re throwing her mom under the bus, but I would just say I would say that, yes, your mom did tell me. But I’m really interested to learn more about what you experience so that I can support you. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Imani, that’s not going to work. You know why? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Why? Why?

 

MegScoop Thomas: Because that could possibly be his like his future mother in law one day. And like that might that might have irreversible damage to their son-in-law mother-in-law relationship. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But how– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She might be like, I’m not telling him nothing else because that made my daughter mad at me because I told him. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But the mom shouldn’t, I don’t think that. But the mom really shouldn’t have like, you know what I’m saying. Like if you going to say that as a mom. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She shouldn’t have. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. I so I’m just kind of like the mom messed up. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She she shouldn’t have, she shouldn’t have said that because that’s her daughter. You know what I’m saying. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: What if her and the dude don’t work out. But that’s what I’m saying. You don’t want to mess them their relationship up because, yes, her mom shouldn’t have said nothing, but she did. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So now that your mother in law told you. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. But what is. So what is he supposed to say? Uh hey girl. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: This is, okay so this is what I would do, okay? I’d be like, oh, my gosh, did you see this stuff about Kanye? Is he bipolar? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mmm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That looks so crazy. If I knew anybody with, I don’t know nothing about, like, being bipolar, but I feel like, like like I would say a statement that’s, like, is, like, is being bipolar crazy? I feel like we should have more resources about this because I don’t think everyone that’s bipolar probably acts like that. Like, I play real stupid. Right? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay, okay. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Just saying a bunch of stuff about being bipolar, like, because, you know, I think bipolar I think that’s okay. You know, it’s just, maybe he just needs help or maybe he just needs some medication or somebody to listen. But I don’t I don’t think it’s bad at all. I don’t think it’s an issue. And and actually, I think if that was the situation with you and I and I was bipolar, like, I would want you to know I would tell you about it. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I would do all those kinds of things to the point where she’d be like, do you know something? Wait, no. Why? What do you mean? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That’s exactly. [laughing]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: That’s a good option, I guess I’m not really good with that. I’m just like, so listen, your mom told me that you was bipolar. [laughter] And here’s the thing. Like, I’m not going to sit here and say whether it whether what she should have done, you know, whether it was good or bad. But like, I’m cool with it. So, like, you know, let’s talk about it. But I’m, but I’m real confrontational. Like, I don’t really care. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But I also understand, I also understand that I need to get outside of myself sometimes. And not everybody is as confrontational as me because I’m like, hey, hold up. What? What did you say? Tell me what you said again. Like, that’s me. So I–

 

MegScoop Thomas: You’re like no. [laugh] And his question is like, how do I do, do I throw my mom under the bus? And Imani’s like–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I’m like, I don’t know. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: No, we’re throwing your mom under the bus. [laughter] And there’s gonna be sadness. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I don’t really see it as throwing her under the bus. I’m like, her mom was. I mean, it’s kind of like, I don’t know, like her mom was kind of was not kind of but her mom was dead ass wrong for telling you that but. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She was. Because think about it. I mean, what if your mom told Peter or something, she was like, mom, you know, you’re not supposed to tell him that.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I mean, she’d be tell him anyway. I think that’s probably why I don’t even trip, because she just be like, so let me tell you, da da da da da, [laughter] I’m like I’m like, all right. Well, I guess we gon talk about it now. So. Here we are. [laughing]. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I love it. I love it. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. So, Jackson, if you want to be honest and truthful, use my method. If you want to lie. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I’m just kidding. If you. [laughter] I’m just playing with you. If you. But if you want to, you know, broach the topic, I guess, in a nicer, more, less confrontational way, then use Meg’s way, I would say, Jackson, if you were a confrontational person like me, just just do what I told you to do if. But if it sound like you more so want to, like, smooth like, you know, you want to, like, slide into it and be like yo so, Kanye be trippin, right? Like, Oh, what’s up with this bipolar disorder? So yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: There you go. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: You should probably go with Megan’s advice, but mine is actually more correct. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. It is. It’s two sides of the same coin. But. But at the end of the day, your girlfriend’s mom was was dead wrong. But–

 

MegScoop Thomas: She was. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But this is a good way to clean it up. So so hopefully, Jackson, that really that really helped you. Now we have another letter. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. Our next letter comes from a listener by the name of Star. Star says, what up, Dr. Imani? I need your help. I’m worried about my mother. During the pandemic, my mother’s behavior had a drastic shift. She started isolating herself from the rest of the family, and when she would come out, she would tell the same stories over and over or would tell a story completely different than how the story actually happened. She started to become paranoid about everything and claims the rest of the family is ganging up on her all the time. I really want her to go get checked out to make sure she’s okay and doesn’t have any mental disorder we should know about. When I express my concerns, she tells me to mind my business and that nothing is wrong with her. She is much more argumentative now as well, so it’s hard to bring my observations and concerns to her. How do I go about getting her to get evaluated? And from your professional opinion, what are your initial thoughts on her behavior? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: So Star, thank you for your letter. This also is a really good question and it reminds me of a conversation I actually had with a patient yesterday. I have a patient who obviously I’m treating and as some of you know, some of you may not know when it comes to certain mental um mental illnesses, there is a genetic disposition, meaning that certain mental disorders can run in families. So this particular patient that I was speaking with has bipolar disorder. And when I initially started discussing her symptoms with her, she had said to me, Oh my God, this sounds a lot like my mom. So that being said, what also stuck out to me about your letter is that my patient told me that her mother has also been experiencing similar symptoms, like uh isolating herself or self isolation and just as far as like being paranoid, being really anxious. Now I’m looking through your letter. Now, let me just say, Star, this is based upon your letter. I obviously don’t know your mom. I couldn’t really give you, like a definitive diagnosis, but I will kind of tell you the symptoms that kind of stick out to me. So you said that your mother’s behaviors had a drastic shift. So let’s just say that those that could possibly be mood swings. You also say that your mother started isolating herself and that she your mom has been telling the same stories over and over or would tell the story completely different than how the story actually happened. So that might be evidence of some delusions. Also, you say that your mother has become paranoid and claims the family is ganging up on her. And also, one last thing at towards the end, you mentioned that your mother is now more argumentative. So it sounds like your mom has some issues with paranoia, maybe some delusions, some irritability and some mood swings. I would kind of put this in the category of your mom uh possibly experiencing a mood disorder, maybe your mother’s experiencing depression. Your mother could be experiencing, I would say, on the lower end of the scale, generalized anxiety disorder. Your mother could be experiencing anxiety or is experiencing anxiety because of all this paranoid ideation or paranoid thoughts she’s having um about your family ganging up on her. I would kind of put this more so over into either depressive depression with maybe some psychosis or psychotic features involved, or maybe your mother’s having mood swings that could and that could best be described um by bipolar disorder possibly with psychotic features as well. But to answer your question, your true question, Star, you asked, how do I go about getting her evaluated? Honestly, your mother would either have to want to be evaluated so your mother would voluntarily agree to be evaluated or if your mother hopefully not at some point ever becomes a danger to herself, meaning that she is not feeding herself, clothing herself, uh and your mother is unable to, like, provide a plan for her self-care. Like, let’s say she decides that she doesn’t want to live at home, she wants to live on the street, maybe. And that that’s that’s kind of um that’s kind of reaching. But if if for some reason your mother’s home starts to become like get to a state where it’s uninhabitable um and it’s dangerous for her to stay there, that could be uh considered danger to self. That could be considered what’s known as grave disability. So grave disability meaning that your mother is unable to provide a plan for her like for her care as far as where she going to live. And then also if your mother starts to become and this is this is hypothetical, let’s say your mother starts to become so anxious and paranoid that she starts to lash out at other people physically. That would mean that she is a danger to others. One of the things to look out for as far as your mother is if your mother has any thoughts of wanting to harm herself, and that’s known as a danger to self. Um, also, if your mother is unable to provide a plan for her self-care, meaning she’s unable to provide a plan for where she plans on living, if her if the living conditions at her home are poor and they’re dangerous, if your mother’s unable to provide food or clothing to herself, that is known as being gravely disabled. And also if your mother is potentially lashing out at other people and may be like, you know, trying to harm them because she may be paranoid. Those three factors, danger to self, danger to others, or grave disability are all the requirements for um a 72 hour psychiatric hold in California. I don’t know where you reside, Star, but they’re they pretty much um are similar from state to state. If your mother starts to experience any of those issues, then that is grounds for your mother to potentially be placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold, which means that your mother would need to be evaluated within 72 hours in California, at least by a psychiatrist. So to answer your question, Star, it’s either your mother is willing and able to accept that maybe she has mental illness and be evaluated voluntarily. Like she’s like, okay, bet, let’s go to the doctor’s appointment. Or things get so grave and serious that she’s not, and she has to be evaluated on an emergent basis. So I hope that that answers your question. You know, in a lot of these cases, you know, a lot of people can keep it together. So it’s very difficult to have someone involuntarily evaluated. But maybe Star, if you talk to your mother more and more, that she’ll be able to kind of understand your concerns. But I don’t know. Meg, what do you think? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Girl? I don’t have no opinion on this because this sounds very like this is a real. Now, I’m over here listening to your advice, like, oooh, yeah, what are you supposed to do for something like that? Um that makes sense. But I did want to ask you a question about something that Star said about her mom, which was that she said she tells the same stories over and over and then like basically her events of what happened are different. Is that particular trait included in any kind of diagnosis or is that basically like you had, you know, like you’re getting old, you like to tell the same story or? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know, you what is what is that a part of? Like, what diagnosis is that a part of it? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It could be a bunch of different things. I mean, sometimes people like sometimes when people get uh very psychotic, it’s hard for them to think clearly. Um so her thoughts may be uh what’s called disorganized, and that may have to do with that. I don’t know Star’s mom or how old she is. You know, maybe her mom is exhibiting potentially some symptoms of dementia, I don’t know. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Or, you know, telling a story completely differently than how the story actually occurred could be evidence of a delusion like her mom has a belief that this is how the story went when there were other people there to corroborate the story. And they were like, that is not what happened. That particular part of this letter could fit under various diagnoses. So it’s not necessarily isolated to like a mood disorder or depression or, you know, bipolar disorder. Yeah, but that’s a good question. Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you, Jackson, and thank you, Star, for submitting your questions. I hope we were able to help you guys. Today’s questions really got me thinking about how I want this show to continue to be the conversation starter surrounding mental health in the Black community. As we continue our stories on our REALities, I want to talk about the realities of anxiety. It seems like everyone is anxious more than ever nowadays, so let’s figure out how to manage it together right after the break. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Welcome back. I want to dive right into the topic of anxiety today. Over the first 58 days of the COVID 19 pandemic. There were an estimated 3.4 million Google searches, 3.4 million Google searches related to anxiety in the United States. That is a huge number. And that’s why I said it twice. Anxiety is among the most common mental health condition. Yes, Black people fear mental health stigma. And again, like you mentioned before, with postpartum depression and grief, they avoid treatment. So, look, I have been anxious pretty much my entire life. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: What does that mean when you say anxious? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like so anxious could like a lot of people a lot of people know what anxiety is. But as far as like, you know, as a mental health professional, I will ask people, you know, do you ever feel really nervous? Do you ever feel like the walls are closing in on you or like you feel a sense of impending doom? Is it hard for you to breathe sometimes and it just kind of comes out of nowhere. Those are kind of the questions that I ask patients. I have said, you know, a long time, for a long time that I’ve had anxiety. I didn’t really know that I had anxiety until I was an adult. But I really remember like I distinctly remember being a little kid and freaking out if I lost something. And I now know it’s because my mother and my father, my biological father, they were together. And then one day my dad was just gone. And me losing like a pencil or like a shoe or a sock would send me into this frenzy because it basically was was a reminder that my dad had just up and, like, left, and I and I didn’t know where he was. So for me, my anxiety really started at that point and then it just kind of got worse. I would come up with really strange, like, like, like coping mechanisms. Like I got to get straight A’s cause if I get straight A’s and everything’s perfect, then I’m perfect. And then, you know, I shouldn’t have to worry about anything, even, like, right now. Like, my boyfriend was driving my car. I mean, I was in the car like, a couple of days ago, and I was like I was like, you know, you don’t have to do 35 like this. You can actually go up to 40. And I was I was anxious that he was going too slow. Like, just I mean, girl, just. Just. I mean, dumb shit. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Like what? Like, what feeling did you get? Like. Like because he was going too slow? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like, I just. It’s like a feel– it’s like a feeling of, like. Like I got to do something. Like I. Like I like I want to jump. Like I just wanted to be like. Okay. Like, if I weren’t, I want to take over. Like, I want to take charge. Like you doing this wrong. Let me do it. If I do. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: But see okay– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: If I do it, it’ll be better. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. So I’m glad you said because I think that’s why I have a hard time understanding it. Because to me, like just listening to you say that, it sounds like you’re impatient, right? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It sounds like you’re impatient because you just like to go fast. You like to get to where you’re going. You’re a New Yorker. Let’s go. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I wouldn’t think that that’s anxiety. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: To a degree. Like it’s like it’s [sigh] that may not be okay and that may not be the best example, but I think so. A couple months ago, I don’t know if I shared this on the podcast, but this is right before I started back taking Prozac. And I had this like I was just having a really bad weekend me and my boyfriend went to Vegas. It was a mess. I should have probably thought about my anxiety getting worse when we went because I really don’t like crowds like like that many people around me. Um, it just makes me really uncomfortable. Like, it just makes me it sometimes it makes me like I like I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin. And that’s something I hear patients tell me too. Like I just want to crawl out of my skin. Like I just like I just. Like it’s just, it’s like a feeling that you just want everything to just stop and you want as much space as possible, because it’s just difficult to think it is difficult to think or breathe or just function like it’s just a really it’s a very uncomfortable feeling. Some people get hot, um some people get dizzy. I’ve definitely experienced both. But anxiety is something that is natural. I mean, everyone experiences anxiety. It’s definitely connected with our fight or flight response. That has to do with our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Basically, anxiety is our brains way of telling us that we need to be alert and we need to be aware of our surroundings and we may even need to like run away. But the problem, though, is that when you experience a traumatic event and you’re not in a situation where you’re in harm’s way or you’re in danger, but your brain believes that you are. And so you end up basically, like, freaking out, like having. Like sometimes some people have panic attacks um and I definitely have where you’re just like, Oh my God. Like, you just it’s basically like, imagine if if a lion was chasing you, but it’s but there’s no lion and you’re not running. [laugh]

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And that and that that’s anxiety. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. You can fix that with medication or that’s something like you have to talk through to see where it came from? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Uh Both. You can definitely like anxiety can definitely be lessened with medication. Um, anxiety can definitely be lessened with uh talk therapy or psychotherapy. With some people, if they combine both, they will get an even like greater or cumulative response. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. So I take medication. I have had therapy in the past, but I just I mean, right. Personally, I feel good on my medication for anxiety, I take Prozac and it really, really helps, really, really, really helps me. I also like I was actually talking to um my boyfriend Peter the other day. He we we were just talking about like racial disparities and like racial inequities. And he got like really upset. And I was telling him I was like, listen, like, it’s we as Black folks deal with so much trauma when it comes to racism. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And it’s no surprise that when we get like, I mean, Black folks, when we get to hit like 35, 40, a lot of us are starting to experience like high blood pressure. Some of some times high blood pressure can be familial. Like sometimes in your family, you may just have like, you know, a family history of having high cholesterol, which means that your sometimes your arteries can get clogged with cholesterol, which means those arteries narrow, which means that more blood needs to be pumped, which means that your your blood pressure can go up, which means that your anxiety can go up. Like, it’s kind of like like I said, like, if a lion is chasing you and you’re running and then let’s say all of a sudden you stop, but like you still think the lion’s chasing you and you still feel like you need to run that, that’s really how anxiety feels like. But for a lot of Black folks, we just deal with so much racial trauma over the course of our lifetimes and we deal with microaggressions and sometimes macroaggressions on a daily basis that we’re in a constant state of of like who do I have to fight? Like, what’s about to happen, like that type of thing. So it’s um. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: You know, we, we really get an unfair share of, of just being predisposed to being anxious, whether it runs in our families or not. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And then getting the label of, like, angry Black woman. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, well, right. And so I tell people, I’m like, listen, um I have a right to be angry. You would be angrier. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right, yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: If like you. I mean, I told somebody white one day a while ago. I was like, if you woke up one day and had to deal with all the shit I have to deal with on a daily basis. Like you were– like case in point um whatsername. Carolyn Donham Bryant? That old white woman, she’s 88, she blind and has cancer. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But but the the folks in Mississippi decided to not execute the arrest warrant. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Like that to me is crazy for Emmett Till. Like, are you kidding me? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: This is still a warrant. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It’s still an active warrant, which means you do have to serve it. So why would you be like, uh, she’s blind, she’s got cancer guys, Emmett Till’s death was a long time ago. We’ll just let this one slide. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Like what? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Exactly. I mean, there is. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: What? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: When we’re dealing with racial trauma, when we’re we’re dealing with the type of racial trauma that obviously was physical trauma that led to the death of Emmett Till, but also the racial trauma that we’ve all experienced since he was killed in the fifties. And we have to deal with that like we have to tell our kids that, like that’s traumatic for our kids. We got to walk around with that. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Something that um one of the I think this person was a pastor or like a religious leader in the community said that after the grand jury decided not to execute the arrest warrant for this this old white woman who lied on Emmett Till, he had said, you know, it’s it’s unfortunate, but it’s expected. And that’s that really hit home to me like it’s expected, like we have been wanting. I mean, we deserve equity. We deserve just to be treated as human beings. But time after time, it’s like we we know what we should be getting, but then we also know the reality of what we’re probably not going to get. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. And that that is enough to bring anxiety. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right? Right. Exactly. Even with my son, like I can probably count one day this year where he was like, I’m going to go walking by myself outside like down the street because he’s just like, yo, like I’m safe in my house. Like, I’m not trying to walk around here with, like, you know, locks, being Black, you know, in a, in a mostly white neighborhood and, you know, go to the store. And, you know, worry about like, oh, somebody gonna to try to run up on me in like, you know, am I going to come back home, so that, you know, and granted, I have anxiety. Um he has a little bit of anxiety, but it’s not as bad as mine in any way. But I mean, that’s why I was saying, even if you don’t have even if someone doesn’t have a genetic predisposition to being anxious, just being Black. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Is going to bring with it anxiety. And so it’s, it’s a mess. I mean, not not to even mention like, like I remember when Summer Walker, I think this was like last year, or the year before she was like, Yo, I don’t want to um, the singer Summer Walker. She was like, you know, I have social anxiety. I’m not really, you know, that great with being around people and being on stage and people mocked her. Like people really, like, you know. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Said a lot of terrible things to her, like, oh, well you a singer so you should just sing and and it’s like, well, damn, like, I mean she can sing, but that doesn’t mean. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She’s still a person.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right? Like that. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right, first. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. Like that doesn’t mean that she can’t be anxious sometimes. Like, I was like, damn y’all are cold blooded. [laugh]

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah, she was saying how, like, you know, she was like, not me, but I can understand why people will want to commit suicide. Here I am telling you that I have social anxiety. Like, it gives me like I feel a certain way when I’m around people, so I can’t do this show today or whatever. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She’s like I understand why people will want to commit suicide because of y’alls bullying. And that’s so sad and it’s also like I said, like, I think it comes from people don’t understand that it’s a real thing. That’s why I asked you those questions like, what does it feel like? What, what? How is like what is anxiety? Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Because that I can understand why like people don’t, people think that it’s something that’s just in your head. It’s not real. It’s imagined. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Like, like what happened with her. She’s like, it’s real. Guys, this is what’s happening to me. I’m trying to explain it to you. I’m trying to tell you. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So yeah 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And then people like go– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It’s very unfortunate. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: That yeah, she’s like, I’m trying to explain to you and then people are like, oh, are you? Maybe you should go sing a song. Like damn. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right, right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like you know what. Then I’m not going to sing no more. I’d be like, You know, I’m not going to sing no songs. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I’m a only– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Sing to people who support me and all y’all who don’t can can get a bag of dicks. I mean. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Thank you. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I’m not saying that that’s what she said, but that’s what I was. [laugh] That’s what I would say. Um, you know you had mentioned as far as like Black women and, you know, this kind of unfortunate, pervasive belief that we are always okay and we’ve actually perpetuated that, fortunately. And that’s, you know. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: That’s for a lot of reasons. I mean, when you live in a society that is dominated by white supremacy and just whiteness, and when I say whiteness, I mean, you know, everything inclusive of making someone believe that making someone believe in the stereotypes that that white people have historically placed upon us, like, oh, we I’m a Black person, I’m a Black woman. Like, I can handle anything. And honestly, we’d learned in COVID that not only can we not handle everything, sometimes we don’t need to handle anything. Okay? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Exactly. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And that goes for anybody. And that’s why I went on Naomi. Naomi Osaka came out and she was like, listen, like I got bad anxiety, like real talk. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like I’m real good at tennis, but I got bad anxiety and I need to take a break. And I was like, girl, yes, yes. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. Thank you. Do you. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Do you. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Take your break. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like thank you. And, yeah, I mean, I think people were a little more open to that. But initially it was like, oh, okay. So you just gonna walk away from tennis right now? She was like, well, I’m not walking away from it completely. I just need to make sure that I’m okay so I can ultimately perform and do the things that I love. Because when you have anxiety. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: You don’t have the motivation to really. Do like. It’s hard it’s hard for you to muster up the strength, let’s say, and the motivation to do the things that even you like to do because you’re just so. Like, anxiety can really make you feel like you’re stuck. Like you can’t move. Like, I want to do this, but I’m just physically not comfortable moving from this spot because. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Like like like you just you feel like you’re in a constant state of freefall and it’s really uncomfortable. But, yeah, I just, you know, we were talking a little bit about Carolyn Donham Bryant earlier. And, you know, it’s just just speaking about Naomi Osaka and, you know, Black women and, you know, we we have it all. We can do all this. But when it comes to white women, it’s like, you know, it’s like this white, you know, white woman on a pedestal. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Type of theory, like, oh, well, she, you know, like, oh, well, she got her feelings hurt, so she can’t deal with anything today. Versus like, we get our feelings hurt on a daily basis. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Thank you. [laughter]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Even like even we get our feelings hurt reading about other people who are Black, who have suffered– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Injustices and inequities. And we’re supposed to deal with it. But yeah, okay, whatever. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Cause that’s what I’m saying. If you if you, if you flip that whole situation and Emmett Till was the Catherine whatever named Donham her. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Lets say she died.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Carolyn, Carolyn Donham Bryant.

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. Let’s say she died. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: A horrific death in the fifties. And the search warrant was found for Emmett Till, who was 87 years old, blind with cancer. What you think they going to do with Emmett?

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Please. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: At 80? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Please. Listen, I said last week, I was like, okay, so y’all need to execute that that arrest warrant because the in back. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay, in June two months ago in Germany, this man, he was a Nazi general and he is a, girl, he is 101. You know, not only did they did they find him, arrest him, they put his ass on trial. He is in jail for five years. He’s 101. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: [?], thats what it is. You’ve got to live your life. So guess what? This how you’re going close it out. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And thats exactly what should happen with her. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Exactly right. But here we are in this country and whatever I’m just. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And you know, as you’re talking about this, like I’m getting I I’m starting to understand, like, because I’m trying to make the connection. Like, do I have anxiety? What am I anxious about? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And definitely, you know, being Black in America, I have a Black son. And I remember the other day he’s, you know, three, almost four. He had this little, like, little like play knife in his hand. And he was like, Mommy, I’m a shoot you. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh! 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And I like I said, uh uh no. First of all, you don’t talk to me like that, number one. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know, you go to school with your little friends. And that’s why you think it’s okay to say that. But it gave me a like you know, you can’t say that because if you go somewhere and you say that out loud, you are a Black boy. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know, and then we went to the store and he wanted to get this gun. And I was like, absolutely not. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah no. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Like you, you know? And I was like. Like, it just. This feeling just flooded over me, like, oh, my gosh, no. Like, now I have to have the conversation. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: At three years old. Four years old. Why? He can see his friend in our majority white neighborhood with a gun. Like a play gun. But he can’t have one. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, exactly. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know, and that just like that feeling is just. Ugh.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. But also, I mean, I would just say, like, don’t give kids guns to play with. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. Right, for sure. [laughter]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like–

 

MegScoop Thomas: But like a Nerf even like a Nerf gun. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It looked, it was like black. So even though it’s a Nerf gun, I don’t care. It’s a black gun. Clearly, somebody could, a police officer could see you wer– walking down the street with that to go play Nerf gun war with your friends. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And then think, you know what I’m saying? So it just it makes me so sad that, like, that’s the reality of where we live. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It is, yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And in this day and age. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It is my, my dad gave my son um a play gun. And when I like, it was like left on my doorstep or something like that. And when I got it and I looked at it and I was like, hold up, I was like, what the fuck is this? And I had this. So I told my dad, I was like, okay. He was like, Oh, but it’s a toy gun. I said, Yeah, but it only had this little orange like thin strip at the end at the tip of it. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: But back in the day, I remember like, play guns looked like guns. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: They were all black. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: They were all black. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And from a from from afar. Not even from afar. From my close up, it was like, oh, what? Like, what what you playing with? But I did, I had to sit my son down and by that point I think he was seven or eight and I was like, you ain’t playing with no gun number one. I mean, Nerf guns are like, you know, they’re orange and purple and– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: You know, they don’t look really like they look more so like super soakers, at least from what I remember. Um. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But this particular gun, ya I had to sit him down. I was like, I’m throwing this away. Like, I’m throwing this out. Like, I don’t I personally don’t want another kid to play with this. But also, I’m like, you can’t even be in the front yard with this, not with that little orange strip like people gonna, like we all live in a white neighborhood. These people are going to be like, oh, my God, there’s a Black kid running, running around this this yard with a gun. So, yeah, I had to I had to dead that. Um, but you know, as I sit here and drink my coffee, [laugh] I’m realizing that I probably shouldn’t be drinking as much coffee as I had as I did today, because there are there are some factors that um all of us can take to to basically decrease our anxiety. So unlike me, you should quit drinking caffeinated beverages. And I don’t want really. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It makes it worse– oh wait just because the jumpiness? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, yeah. Because caffeine is a stimulant. And um if you I mean, it’s not a hard way to kind of think of this, but like anything that’s a stimulant. So like even if you think about, you know, illicit drugs like cocaine, meth, speed, um Adderall, some people abuse Adderall, but like really you shouldn’t. But Adderall is a prescription medication. Um. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It’s a stimulant. Like Adderall is literally like amphetamine is in the name of Adderall, of the, you know, like the actual, like, generic version. So anything that’s a stimulant can can worsen anxiety. One of the ways that I have always found to keep my anxiety at bay and this was even before I knew I had anxiety, I just really, really liked being active and like being on sports teams and working out is just to be physically active. Like being physically active helps my mood, it helps my anxiety. It just it just it helps to kind of keep the chemicals in your brain that bring about like, relaxation. It helps to keep those at a higher level. So, um so make sure you’re physically active if you know, if you suspect you have anxiety or, you know, you definitely have anxiety. Make sure, now this is important. This is something I ask my patients every time I see them. I’m like, Yo, how do you sleep? How are you sleeping? What time do you get in bed? What time do you fall asleep? Do you wake up in the middle of the night? What time do you wake up in the morning? Because if you if you’re anxious, chances are you’re going to have a hard time sleeping that night. And if you don’t sleep that night, chances are you’re going to be anxious the next day. And it’s going to keep. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Mmm. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like, go, like, feeding into each other. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Um so sleep is really important. I used to never have a TV in my bedroom. I do now. But I can fall asleep like I can fall asleep right now. Really. [laughter] If I wanted to. But make sure that. Make sure all y’all out there make sure your you are getting proper sleep. And for some people thats six hours but honestly like get more like seven or eight hours of sleep. And just make sure that you’re not like eating badly. Like eat like eat healthy food. Like. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Listen, I got back on my healthy eating kick because girl, the pandemic, I was eating all kinds of dumb shit. Um. But I started eating– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I’m still eating it. Lord, help me. Jesus. [laughter]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: There is. Listen, there is this kale salad at whole foods and the like when Whole Foods used to have the buffet, they probably still have it now. But I know COVID, so. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: They do girl. They do. I saw it.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: This kale salad at Whole Foods. It is so easy. Oh, my God. It is is so good. And I’ve been eating that for days. I mean. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That’s good. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like smashing on the salad. So make sure that you eat healthy foods. Make sure you eat real food. Because and I say that because I mentioned stimulants, sugar can be a stimulant, especially if it’s a– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –simple sugar and you don’t want to crash. And when you crash, you feel down. When you feel down, you can feel kind of like, oh, what’s happening? And that can kind of bring about anxiety. So and then at the end of the day, like, if you really, really are like, Yo, I cannot manage this on my own, go find help. Like, go like– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –at the very least journal. Start with journaling, but also try to make an appointment to see a therapist and or see a psychiatrist. Um at the very least, um I know that family practitioners or primary care doctors can also start you um on a medication for anxiety. So, you know, just just do what you can. But if it gets too great, um seek out help. And like. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like I did, um like Meg did, like all of us did, well not all of us, but the majority of us. Okay. Some of us. [laugh] Uh but seek out help and you’ll definitely be better for it. I know that I am. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah and it’s, it’s not weak I think sometimes. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Especially in the Black community it’s like, oh, if you got to get help, that’s like you’re like weak. Especially for men. I’m sure they think, like. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Getting help is weak. But the truth is, too, you’re going to have to, like, dig deep. Like, what is this anxiety? Where does it stem from in my life? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Sometimes you got to go back and dig up hurts like that’s not for the weak. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. No, it’s not. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know what I mean, like only strong people do that. So I just think it’s important to say that this is not a weak thing to get help. It’s, it’s for strong people who want to do better in life and want their quality of life to be better, which makes you a strong, amazing person. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yes. You know what Meg. Good. Yes, that’s that’s an excellent point. Yes. And I used to I don’t know if I necessarily told myself that I was weak, but I was just like, well in a way, like you’ll be aight. Like just go– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right, right right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –go run three miles or go you know watch a show or go to sleep or and I was doing everything to avoid doing the work. But when it comes– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –to stuff like this, you got to do the work. And for the for the amount of work that the amount of work that I put in pales in comparison to how much time I spent running away from my problem. So you just got to put in the work. I promise you, the work is not going to be as great as you trying to avoid it, honestly. So that being said, I’m like whooo. [sigh]  Like, I feel a little anxious right now. [laughter] But, but, but, but I’m glad we got to talk about anxiety. You know, I hope that you guys have a better understanding about what it is and why it’s useful sometimes. But other times, the majority of times, it’s not really that useful as far as like what we encounter on a daily basis. So that being said, that’s all the time we have for our deep dive conversation today on anxiety. Meg, thank you always for being my copilot. I want to switch gears– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: No prob. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Now and get to my favorite segment of the show. Yeah, I want to switch gears and get to my favorite segment of the show. Pop Culture Diagnosis. [music break] Pop Culture Diagnosis is a segment where we take a person or a character from a TV show or movie and assess their mental state. So I love Pop Culture Diagnosis. Like, I’ve been doing this my whole life, even before I became a psychiatrist, like I was always, I used to read a lot and I always liked to, you know, you read like a book in English class in high school, and then you’d have to like do essay questions. I used to love doing that because I’m just weird and a nerd, but I used to love getting into, like, the character’s motivations. So I Pop Culture Diagnose whether y’all want me to or not. So I just want to say that. Um this week’s diagnosis was given to us by one of our dope listeners, Sherry, and she wants us to chat about Carlton from the show Bel Air, Meg can you give listeners a quick synopsis of Bel-Air before we break down Carlton’s character? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. Okay. So Bel-Air is the reboot of the classic nineties sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which honestly is probably one of my most favorite series. So much so that back in the day I started a group on Facebook that was like fans of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Girl. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Girl it was on, and my job was like in college. So I wasn’t little right. I wasn’t young. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: But it was. And I think it might have only been like like it got up to, I think like 100 people. And I was like, Ooooh, yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: No, that’s a lot. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I don’t know what happened with that. I don’t know what happened with the group girl, I don’t know why I stopped being in it, but I did start a group on Facebook. So if it’s there and y’all are in the group, hey, hope y’all having a great time. I’m not there anymore looking at it. But um but I love that show. And so it was great that uh that this show, that Peacock brought it back. In the show, if you remember, the old Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a comedy sitcom. But the new one, uh Bel-Air, the reboot, is more of like a drama. And it’s it’s got a different feel of, like, real issues that have happened with them. Like, you remember the one episode with Will in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where his dad. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Girl. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Like he was talking about his dad. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Listen. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes, that’s like the– [laugh] 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: When Ben Vereen came on.

 

MegScoop Thomas: Everybody. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Ben Vereen was his dad. Girl. I cried. I was like I was like. He was like, why don’t he want me and to– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: To Uncle Phil and I was like, Oh, my God, I was like Will I feel that shit. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That was such a. Yeah. And that was like so different for that show because every that show was just always funny and light. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So when they had that topic on, I was like, Oh, this is real. And this is what a lot of Black kids who are watching this show, this is exactly what they going through. Well, this reboot is kind of the same thing, that same feeling of like real issues. You’ve got you know, you’ve got Ashley dealing with like social media and what it means to be a Black girl on social media. Then you’ve got Will, you know, a kid from the projects moving out here with his family, he dealt with some like gun violence stuff. Then you’ve got, you know, actually dealing with being a member of the LGBTQ committee in a black family, you know, young. And then, of course, you’ve got uh Carlton, who in the original version, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He’s like like the goofy, you know, dweeb harmless. But in this new version of Bel-Air, he’s like the cool guy at Bel-Air Academy. And so he has issues with with Will from the get go because now Will is like, for real, a cool guy coming to his school. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So as far as the new series, what would you say is Carlton’s diagnosis? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay, listen, so [laugh] I, I just want to say, whoever produced this this iteration of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which is obviously known as Bel-Air, y’all did a really good job. Because– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Mm hmm. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I remember do you remember um on like Instagram and social media? Like, the whole idea came about because someone did a dramatized like version. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Not of the entire show, but like they did like a dramatized version of the intro. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: To Bel-Air to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And I was like, Damn, that actually would work as a drama. So.

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I thought it was like, I thought this show was great. Um, Alright, let’s get into Carlton. First of all, Carlton got on my nerves, but Carlton got on my nerves because he was like he was super petty and, like, really jealous. Do you remember like. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: The first episode when like uh there was the party for Uncle Phil and there was the girl that Will was chatting up. And it turned out to be Carlton’s ex-girlfriend. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And Carlton got he was just like, [angry sounds] and I was like Carlton you are such a hater. My god, like that ain’t even your girl, no more. So that was number one. Number two is and this is– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Outside of me providing like a psychiatric diagnosis. When they were all in the locker room. And then the white dude was like, said nigger said the N-word. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And Will was like, excuse you. And Carlton was like, and then Carlton really fixed his mouth to say, what’s the big deal? Black people say it all the time. I was like, You need to be slapped. Okay? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like I have had it. I’ve had it with you. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And this foolishness. But then of course, I do remember the Fresh Prince episode where the whole issue of drug abuse came into play like the original episode. And Carlton at that point, I believe was using like Adderall. He was like abusing Adderall on the show, I think. In this iteration in Bel-Air. Carlton has no surprise, really bad anxiety. I would go on to say that Carlton has generalized anxiety, and I believe at one point during the show, we we see Carlton having like a panic attack. So. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: At one point and this is like, girl, this might be the first or second episode. Carlton is like, do– he’s snoring coke. He out here like I was like, God, damn. I was like damn Carlton. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And I was like, damn. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: He snort coke, you know, cause the original original Carlton would never. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh would never. Girl. [laughter] Oh no, no. He had to be able to do his little Carlton dance like he can’t. You don’t want to do that on coke. That’s that’s that’s too much stimulation. So.

 

MegScoop Thomas: But 2022 Carlton is on that thing. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: 2022 Carlton is awesome as shit. Okay. And so this Carlton he smoke, he doing coke, he uh and he has to take uh I believe it’s Xanax for his anxiety and–. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: So it’s you know, it was I was just like, damn, y’all brought this up to speed. Like, y’all brought this into 2022. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Mm hmm. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like what. Um. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But basically to to give a diagnosis. I definitely would say that aside from being a aside from abusing cocaine, Carlton definitely has generalized anxiety disorder, which I’m sure is brought about, as we discussed, him just being a Black young man in in America, but also just all of the pressure that he feels being around his his other, you know, white students, I’m sure his teachers, his family is is very, very well-to-do. And his his father is, in the show is running for DA of L.A. And there’s a lot of stuff going on. Plus, Carlton, like this particular Carlton is incredibly tiny. I mean, I hate to say– [laughing] 

 

MegScoop Thomas: He’s really short yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: He’s really short, like he’s so tiny. So, you know, I’m I’m not going to say that that plays into his his anxiety or panic disorder. But um yeah, but Carlton got a lot of stuff going on, on, on, on this iteration of the show. Um, so, you know, that’s that that’s my diagnosis. But, you know, Carlton, you got to you got to put that you got to leave them drugs alone. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Got to leave them. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It’s a great show if you haven’t seen it. I mean, check it out. We did tell you a couple of things. Sorry. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: But ain’t tell you all the stuff. So still watch it. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It’s on Peacock.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. Still watch it. It was. It was really, really good. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It was really good. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. So that’s it for Pop Culture Diagnosis. We’re going to have another fun character to analyze, as always, next week. If you guys have suggestions for fictional characters out there that you want me to diagnose. Hit me up on @doctor_imani or email the show at hello@Imani StateofMind.com. And again, if you’re enjoying the show, please don’t forget to rate and review the show on your favorite podcast apps. Thank you as always for listening to Imani State of Mind. Thank you, Meg, as always for co-hosting. And we’ll be back for an all new episode to get our minds right next week. This is a Crooked Media production. Our executive producer is Sandy Girard. Our producer is Leslie Martin. Music from Vasilis Fotopoulos, edited by Veronica Simonetti and special thanks to Brandon Williams, Gabi Leverette, Mellani Johnson and Matt DeGroot for promotional support.