Manhunt helps him deal with anxiety
MR DANESH LAINO
This 28-year-old restaurateur, who is also a manager of the Anytime Fitness Balestier gym, was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at 21.
When his father died from mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, around the same time, it caused him to suffer from depression.
At 23, he was also diagnosed with agoraphobia - a crippling fear of being out in public.
He did not leave his home for almost a year, except to attend doctor's appointments. He piled on 30kg in three months and became addicted to gambling.
At one point, he went to the emergency room 20 times a month for his anxiety attacks.
Mr Laino, who is 1.81m and now weighs 80kg, told TNP: "I used to train five times a week for the Tampines Rovers FC Under-18 football team.
"Now, whenever I work out, I cannot finish it sometimes as my heart pumps too fast, which makes me freak out."
He continues to receive therapy for his gambling addiction and anxiety, receiving three types of medication.
Even though he no longer suffers from agoraphobia, Mr Laino joined Manhunt Singapore to test his limits.
He said: "I want to try and use this platform as a stepping stone to show others who are also suffering from anxiety and depression that they are not alone, and that (anxiety and depression) are not unbeatable."
Mr Laino said he suffered two panic attacks during the media presentation on Thursday, where finalists had to dance and introduce themselves, but it is "typical" for him.
Mr Laino credits his mother, wife and two young children for helping him cope.
"My wife massages me and stays awake with me until I feel okay, while my mother accompanies me to my check-ups," he said.