Recently I read an article on Newsone about how mental health professionals do not know much about depression in African American men. I must say that I agree with the article because as a black man we are toaguth to be tonugn and not to show any weakness.
So while these emotions are killing us in the inside we feel like we do not have anyone to talk to and help us express our true feelings.
From the article, Madison J. Gray says...
"There has been precious little research done on depression and Black men, but a 2007 study coming from the American Medical Association showed that while the prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder was highest for Whites in their research sample, about 18 percent, it was most chronic for African Americans and Caribbean Americans, 56.5 and 56 percent, respectively — and only about 45 percent of African Americans and 24 percent of Caribbean Americans in the study got any treatment for it.
Also, a 2010 CDC study shows that African Americans have the highest rate of suicide, at more than 12 percent, despite having a lower lifetime risk, but suicide is the third-leading cause of death for Black males ages 15-24.
So I began to wonder who is out there talking about this issue? Is there enough discussion and what are the solutions? I came across filmmakers Kenneth “K.T.” Nelson and Squeaky Moore who have teamed up with publicist and author Terrie Williams, who in her book “Black Pain,” wrote about her own bout with depression, for a documentary they are currently producing and funding called “Face of Darkness,” due out in May 2015, which speaks to this very topic."
See there really are not a lot of people brining this issue to the light. Hopfully Kenneth Nelson's film "Face of Darkness" will somehow bring what is in the darkness to light so that black men can feel a little comfortable about talking about depression. And maybe encourage others to recognize signs of depression in black males and how to help them.
"Nelson was inspired to speak out after experiencing depression himself, particularly after the suicide of his friend, actor Lee Thompson Young. “When you’re depressed, it’s paralyzing,” he told me in a phone interview along with his co-producer, Moore. “For a lot of people, some say you need to ‘man up.’ For Black men we are taught to not deal with our feelings."
Could talking about depression keep our black males from ending up in the prison? Maybe but we will never know until we make it comforable for them to express their true feelings.
"Yeah, that’s true. I even told myself to “man up” last weekend, but then I wondered how many times had I flown off the handle when I kept it all bottled in rather than talking about it. If that’s the case, how many men turned their depression into anger, resulting in violence? How many lives could have been saved, caps and gowns been worn, or prison beds left unoccupied if brothers just had the chance to open up? Nelson echoed what I was thinking."
Lets help our African American brothers by allow them to express themselves by asking the right questions and now looking down on them.
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