According to BetterHelp.com almost 15 million Americans suffer from depression symptoms annually.

And those are just the ones reporting it.

Depression can hit anyone of any age, race, or religion. It doesn’t discriminate.

And yet, perhaps because their community has experienced so much trauma, the black community often doesn’t acknowledge the reality of mental health issues among black people.

But they are real and they are valid, and they can be caused by a variety of underlying problems, as these 12 posts demonstrate.

1. Sometimes it’s just the struggle of being black

Totally understandable given systemic issues of the day and all.

Being a black girl makes life somewhat difficult, and it shouldn't have to be this way. I'm so depressed and frustrated.

Image credit: Whisper

2. Societal prejudices may not be the cause

But they certainly don’t help make it better.

It's hard being a black guy when no one knows my struggles with depression, anxiety, and dealing with r**ism.

Image credit: Whisper

3. Others would argue, their race is not the source

And that is also completely valid. Humans get depressed. Fact.
This seems like a healthy perspective of a difficult issue.

I'm not depressed because I'm black, I'm depressed because I'm depressed.

Image credit: Whisper

4. Sometimes there’s no reason, and sometimes there is

Disapproving parents, the number one reason as old as Shakespeare.

I love my wonderful boyfriend, but his parents don't approve because I'm black and my parents don't approve because he's white. It really hurts and makes me depressed.

Image credit: Whisper

5. Sometimes it’s because people are the worst

I hope he doesn’t listen to them, and follows his dreams.

I'm a black male and I was told I'll never fly an airplane. I was told to go play basketball instead. I'm depressed.

Image credit: Whisper

6. And sometimes it’s because the worst is all around

What a thing to have to face each day, torn between two cultures.

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

7. It can be so very lonely to feel unwanted

No one should have to feel this way.

I'm a black bisexual female with self harm scars and mental health struggles. No one wants me as is.

Image credit: Whisper

8. Believing you are unloved can make you feel superfluous

Just know that you are not alone.

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.

Image credit: Whisper

9. Especially when you just want to be yourself

But yourself is very different than everyone you know.

I'm a black man who's a huge geek, polyamorous, non heterosexual and deals with social anxiety. I am so far from the norm.

Image credit: Whisper

10. The biggest challenge is often the community

Great strides have been made towards normalization, but it’s not enough yet.

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

Image credit: Whisper

11. People sometimes think it’s a fake illness born from privilege

But these days the privilege is simply in how it’s handled and accepted.

I hate being told my anxiety and depression don't matter because I'm black and it's a white girl thing.

Image credit: Whisper

12. Prayer on its own just may not be enough

That mentality can make it hard to find help when you need it.

Black people struggle with depression, and anxiety too. Sometimes just praying about it doesn't help. I wish more people in the community understood that.

Image credit: Whisper

It’s not easy out there for anyone living with depression, but in the black community it can be particularly hard to find help.

If you or anyone you know needs someone to talk to, you can call 1-800-950-NAMI to speak to someone at the National Alliance on Mental Health.

Do you have thoughts on how we can normalize talking about mental health in all of our communities? Tell us in the comments!