Mental Health: The Black Community’s Dirty Little Secret

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Hi, I am Orrin I am a 33 year old, African American male. I am the only child and I live in Decatur, GA, by way of Texas. I am a writer. My favorite musical artist is Curren$y. I am a closet fan of Maroon 5, and I am a lefty. I love flag football, I’m a decent cook, and I seem to have the worst luck with the elderly as in they aggressively aggravate me. But above of all of that, I’ve been battling with clinical depression since I was 25.

I know, I know, Black people don’t experience depression. It’s what they say is a “white person thing” but its true, I have days where its hard for me to get out of bed. I’m up one minute and down the next. It’s just exhausting some days even thinking about it all. Suicide? Thought about it, or was I not suppose to say that out loud?

I can never keep up with the rules us black people have about pretending mental disorders don’t exist in our community. Most of us, including myself get told to “snap out of it”, “you don’t have it that bad” or “it could always be worse.” Which I guess it could, but those are the worse things to say to a person with my condition.

But what is the fear? What is the stigma that black people and mental disorders? Although figures may vary according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that Depression affects between 17-20 million Americans a year. They discovered that women (4 percent vs 2.7 of men) and African Americans are significantly more likely to report major depression than whites (3.1 percent) In addition, 7.6 percent of African Americans sought treatment for depression compared to the 13.6 of the general population in 2011.

mental health

What this shows to me is that African Americans experience major depression at higher rates than whites.

Suffering in silence is one of those things to me that happens all too much in our community. I can only speak for myself, but sometimes you get stuck in a place in life where you just keep taking L’s and it’s a snowball effect. You get so use to losing that that’s all you think you are capable of. I get how you may feel. Sometimes, it seems as though no one understands you, and they feel you’re being over dramatic. You have no one to turn to and the more you try to fight out of the situation, the more you feel you’re sinking into a dark place.

Depression in a word is quicksand. At least that’s how I felt, excuse me, feel. The not so funny part about it is everyone around you has their own problems to deal with. No one is going to shelf their problems for yours. Though, I am here to tell you your problems are just as important as everyone else’s. Its also important to talk to someone anyone and let someone know what’s going on with you. I am especially speaking to males. Black males you matter and sometimes the world will show you different, it will say different, but you do.

I know we carry the world on our shoulders and take blame for the worlds problems, but you do matter.

What ever you’re going through will pass and you will be stronger from it.

She left you? Her loss take the time you need and move on

Outsider in school? Its ok some of the worlds greatest minds were outcast. Never be afraid to be yourself.

Whatever the case may be don’t stop fighting and don’t give up. Not now doesn’t mean never. You will get through this and you will be better for it.

But you must first get yourself in the hands of the right people to properly diagnose what’s going on because your depression our depression isn’t something you will JUST get over. Take your meds the way you’re suppose to and keep fighting

Depression can be one our communities dirty little secrets but it doesn’t have to be.
National Suicide prevention Line 1-800-273-8255.

Keep Pushing,
Orrin

 

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