10 People Talk about the Stigma Depression Carries in the Black Community

Image credit: Whisper

Pretty much everyone struggles with mental health at one point or another.

It’s easy to think that certain issues, like depression, only affect women and not men, or only affect white people and not people of color, but that just isn’t true.

There’s more that unites us than divides us, and mental health is one of those things.

Depression doesn’t discriminate, it can hit anyone of any race, gender, or background.

Here, 10 black women and men talk candidly about their own depression.

1. Depression can have many causes

In the age of Black Lives Matter, I can only imagine how difficult this must be.

I wake every morning now with anxiety to drive to work because I fear the police. Including the ones I work with daily. #blackmantruth

Image credit: Whisper

2. It’s one more thing on top of everything else

Life was already hard enough, and depression just makes it harder.

It's so hard being a black girl with depression, social anxiety, and PTSD. It makes finding friends and trying to find romance even harder. Especially in college.

Image credit: Whisper

3. Even your own family deny it’s a thing

It’s culturally not accepted yet, which is dangerous.

My parents say that black kids can't be depressed because it's a white people thing. Little do they know I have considered s**cide and I was depressed at the time.

Image credit: Whisper

4. Your family may not be there when you need them most

We have to break down these false assumptions.

Being in a black family while having a mental issue is awful. They don't believe that mental health problems exist and I'm just so depressed.

Image credit: Whisper

5. The worst is when they blame YOU

No one should ever be blamed for struggling with mental health.

My father just insinuated that it's my own fault I'm depressed because I don't listen to him about school, responsibilities, and how to live as a black man.

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6. Everything feels wrong and it’s terribly lonely

It can be so hard to find acceptance and validation.

I'm a black female with depression, asperger's, and an underbite. I feel like everything about me is wrong and unacceptable. I want to find love, but it seems like I'm not even eligible.

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7. You don’t fit into the stereotype that is expected

And when people expect you to be something that you’re not, it compounds EVERYTHING.

I'm a black woman and I'm not confident, loud, or sassy. I'm insecure, depressed, and awkward.

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8. It’s a struggle to make your community accept you

I had no idea this was a misconception and it breaks my heart.

Every time I tell people I used to cut they act like I'm from another planet. I'm black, and mental illness isn't white exclusive.

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9. Sometimes even therapists cross boundaries

I mean I hope permission was asked and granted…

Today in therapy, my therapist began playing with my hair. I guess she admires my coarse hair. Yes, I'm black!

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10. Most of all, you need community support

I hope it becomes more accepted soon.

I wish mental health wasn't such a touchy subject in the black community.

Image credit: Whisper

Honestly, I had no idea that mental health issues were called into question for black people, even by the black community.

That’s the last thing a person needs when they’re in crisis.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a difficult time, you can call 1-800-950-NAMI to speak to someone at the National Alliance on Mental Health who can help.

I hope there’s a societal shift across all communities soon. Did you know it was such a problem? Share your thoughts in the comments.