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Depression in African American women is real. Many black women are raised with the misconception that black people do not get depress. Or that black women are strong and can handle anything that comes their way. But, The National Alliance on Mental Illness has come to dispel those myths. Reports show that over sixty percent of African American women suffer from depression. According to a 2001-2003 study, Black American women represented the second highest rate of attempted suicide.
In many black households, they’re taught not to spread their business in the streets. And if you have a problem, try to resolve it yourself in privacy, because black people do not see psychiatrists. What this misinformation has done over the years to black women is added on many other health issues as a result of suffering from depression.
· High Blood Pressure
African American women have numerous issues to deal with on a daily basis. Many are single parents that may not receive support from the child’s father. They are barely making ends meet as the economy continues to rise. They have to deal with discriminations on two levels: being black and female. As African American women continue to dominate their black male counterparts in Corporate America, this silent disease continue to rise. Why, because it’s hard to function many times when there is no one at the job that looks like you and you have to work twice as hard to prove yourself.
Depression can form also when a person is confused as to whom they are. When you have been criticized as a black woman for not looking a certain way it can bring on depression. Many in the black community make comparison between each other. If a young black female is too dark, they’re made to feel ashamed of who they are. If their hair is short and nappy, they are taught that it’s not beautiful. And in many cases these black girls grow up with unresolved issues that may turn into depression and self-hatred.
It’s time to speak out against this silent disease in the black community, because what you don’t know can kill you. Depression is claiming the lives of 1.4 million black females each year and the numbers are steady climbing. Yes, black people do get depressed and here are reasons why many do not seek help:
· No support system (Family/Friends)
· Lack of Insurance
· Communal Stigma
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