To keep the proper context, please read Part 1 for the bulk of my story before continuing with the post below.
“I Don’t Want People to Think I’m Crazy”
African American women are always trying to help others and we put ourselves last. With depression, that becomes less of a priority among African Americans because of the stigma associated with it, and the discomfort. “We need to openly disclose the feelings and emotions involved in the process, and create and maintain an ongoing healing process to get close to optimal health,” Dr. Holden says.
Unique Factors for African Americans
“As African Americans, we don’t acknowledge our pain and we don’t speak about it,” says Williams. “Our attitude is, ‘Don’t tell your business to other people,’ because it’s a sign of weakness. From the days of slavery on, you’re taught to have the attitude that you do what you have to do, and you don’t complain.”
At one of their events, Williams says Mo’Nique talked about her depression: “She told us she thought therapy was something just for White people. She was taught to take a Tylenol and cocktail and go to sleep.”
Dr. Holden: Influence and chronic stress have a great impact on mental health. African American women are disproportionately affected by disorders and health issues. On top of that, coping and dealing with the challenges of everyday life can be overwhelming. Take for instance, lupus – stress has major impact on this disease as it does obesity, diabetes, heart disease. We’re putting our lives at risk from a physical standpoint.