'Aunt Mary Pat' and 'Queen of Delco' opens up about fight with anxiety, depression

"I had a severe anxiety attack on Thanksgiving Day last year," recalls Troy Hendrickson aka 'Aunt Mary Pat.'
WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- He is known to his fans as "Aunt Mary Pat" and the "Queen of Delco."

But behind the Delaware County wine-chugging, Iggles-loving character who works at an ACME is 33-year-old Troy Hendrickson of Wilmington, Delaware.

He's been entertaining the Delaware Valley with his talents for four years now.

But on Wednesday, he posted an emotional video on Facebook explaining his long absence during a large part of the pandemic.

"Over the past year I've been dealing with anxiety and depression, and I'm sure a lot of people are in similar boats," Hendrickson said in the video.

He explained, like so many other people, he lost his source of income during the COVID-19 lockdowns and was isolated at home.



"So I really started to kind of panic and I had a severe anxiety attack on Thanksgiving Day last year. I never experienced that before in my life," Hendrickson told Action News.

Dr. Thea Gallagher, a Philadelphia area clinical psychologist, says there's been a significant uptick in anxiety and depression throughout the pandemic.

"We call it the depression cycle, and I've been educating a lot of people about this. They're saying, 'I don't feel good anymore. I feel down. I feel sad,'" said Dr. Gallagher.

She says the silver lining of the pandemic is that it is breaking the stigma around mental health and seeking help.

"Seeking help and reaching out to trusted professionals, reaching out to your friends and family, even maybe to help that process get started," said Dr. Gallagher.

Hendrickson did get help and he's back performing as Aunt Mary Pat.

He is now sharing his advice with others.

"You have to talk to somebody, you have to talk about it. It's the only way you could ever get help with it," Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson is doing live shows again and has a big tour planned for the upcoming holiday season.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.