DEPRESSION: A SILENT EPIDEMIC AMONG BLACK MEN by Calvin R. Greene First of all it is important to understand what really constitutes depression. All of us feel down from time to time perhaps based on having a "bad day". However when feelings of sadness last for several weeks, months, or years, and are accompanied by other symptoms such as change of appetite, isolation from family and friends, sleeplessness, etc. these are symptoms of depression. In 1999 Dr. David Satcher, Surgeon General of the United States, and an African-American, released a Report on Mental Health that was a landmark moment for America. This was the first comprehensive report on the state of the …show more content…
The internal wall that often keeps black men away from psychotherapy goes along with external barriers built just as high, if not higher. Mental health practitioners are overwhelmingly white, with the proportion of black psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychoanalysts estimated at less than three percent of the nation 's total. This would mean that even if black men were to break through the self-imposed barriers and seek professional help for mental issues, it may be difficult to find someone with whom they can build a rapport, and whom they feel can relate to them, and they can trust. This feeling of comfort is what allows a patient to reveal his most intimate secrets. As Dr. Richard Mouzon, a prominent black clinical psychologist puts it, "Many of us grow up feeling that it is dangerous to give up too much of yourself to the white man." There 's no denying that access to mental health care is restricted for Americans in general. In private health insurance policies and government medical assistance programs, psychotherapy is too often considered a luxury rather than a necessity. It has been said often times that the only people with a guaranteed
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Dr. Kimberlyn Leary writes about the application of treatment methodologies specific to the treatment African Americans but to make this suggestion is contrary to purpose of this paper. I assert that the creation of specific therapeutic methods for Black people and people of color would only deepen the chasm between black and white. What I am saying here is that there is a way to apply the existing psychoanalytic theories to Black people and most all of these theories address many of the issues of the
This article is a great article that relates to African Americans seeking mental health treatment at lower rates than whites. The article states that this disparity can be attributed to attitudes toward services, alternate coping, and differences in care. This article also illuminates biases in counseling.
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual is used to diagnosis persons that are getting assessed with mental health disorders. The manual contains criteria the clinician can use to diagnosis a client. If the client meets a certain number of markers then they are given a diagnosis of a particular disorder. But, what if it’s not that easy? For African Americans, there has been a history of getting misdiagnosis by clinicians which has led to some mistrust. The cultural differences between African Americans and their white clinicians can possibly lead to the misdiagnosis of the clients. An article on clinician race states, “African Americans are less likely to be diagnosed with mood disorders and more likely to be be diagnosed with schizophrenia” (Adebimpe, 1981; Neighbors, 1997). Within this review, we will explore research conducted by scholars that examine the relationships between the diagnoses of African Americans by White Clinicians.
And when the brain gets sick it is necessary to see a doctor that specializes in the health of the brain, usually a psychologist or psychiatrist. With that another issue arises, many medical and psychiatric professionals have issues diagnosing people of color and especially black people. There is a perception by the general public that black people don't get depressed or experience anxiety there is also a stigma amongst health care providers. They are unable to recognize the signs of mental illness in african americans because they have a tendency to normalize black strife and
Depression is a major issue in the United States, yet some people still have to suffer. They suffer because the issue of depression is not taken serious and they have no help or support to get through their hard times. People of color are usually the ones to suffer. Mental health is stigmatized in the black community. Depression can impact all kinds of people that come from different paths of life, but it is expressed and addressed differently in the black community. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2011, 7.6% of African-Americans sought treatment for depression compared to 13.6% of the general population (Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity: A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General 2011). Why
Racism against African Americans and other ethnicities is still prevalent in our society. Salis (2015) mentions a recent poll of Caucasian and African Americans and found that sixty percent of those surveyed felt racial relationships ha vent improved and forty percent felt they were worse. In this paper, I will identify how a counselor can reduce the effects of racism and discrimination that has affected African Americans. Additionally, I will address what role a counselor plays in reducing the stigma of mental illness within the African American community. Furthermore, I will highlight the legal and ethical issues identified in the video
13.2% of the United States population identifies themselves as Black as African Americans, and of those over 16% had an mental illness that was diagnosable. The socio economic impact of a history of slavery, sharecropping and race-based exclusion from health, racism, spiritual beliefs, social and economic resources, education and other factors are key factors that contribute to African American disparities today. Many of these things are linked to mental health. According to the US department of health, African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than in non-Hispanic whites (. Despite knowing this, African Americans are less likely to seek mental health services than white Americans.
Historically, Black Americans have been reluctant to pursue mental health treatment. Bean (2007) details how cultural tensions, Black religiosity, gender role dynamics, and African American history with mental health has lead to current negative perceptions of counseling and psychological services in African American communities. Bean (2007) conducted this study by sampling 194 African American students of Tennessee State University and an additional 94 Black residents of a neighboring community of Nashville, TN. The author’s participants completed tests measuring Cultural Mistrust Inventory (CMI), Religious Orientation Scale (ROS), Gender Role Conflict Scale (GCRS) and Attitudes toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPPH). Ultimately, gender roles did significantly correlate to informing
African-Americans are likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia since they are likely to encounter stigma and victimization from clinicians, other African-Americans without mental illnesses, and other races. African-American are likely to avoid psychotherapy. Instead of relying on psychotherapy for treatment of mental illnesses, African-Americans rely on religion and spiritual beliefs to cope with the stressors of life such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or diagnosable mental illnesses. African-Americans view the church as an institution to provide them with social, economic and political resources and to relieve them from oppression and discrimination (Plunkett, 2014).
The black community has its own opinion about how effect mental heath services could be. The most apparent opinion is how African Americans feel that using mental health services is something that is stigmatized to be not useful. There’s been plenty of occasions by which African Americans don’t seek the guidance because of their assumptions on the effectiveness of these interventions. In order to understand this better, Cauce has a three step model that includes problem definition, the decision to seek help, and the selection of a treatment service or service provider. This is called the help seeking pathway because it helps us understand the culture and context of the process to seek help. This process could happen in any order because
African Americans acceptance of therapy has been rising in the past decade, particularly among the young and those with more education and in those urban areas with large black populations (Bahrampour, 2013). Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City stated that in the past 10 years they have seen a 20 to 25 percent rise in African Americans seeking therapy (Bahrampour, 2013). Along with this SUNY College at Old Westbury in New York, noted that more black students are studying psychology (Bahrampour, 2013). These are just a few of the examples were the field of counseling is becoming more diverse and more excepting to African Americans. This group is still behind but with progress being made they are moving in the right direction. This is needed to help with the higher rates of mental health issues that are reported in the African American community. African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic Whites, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Services (Hamm, 2014). Yet young adult African Americans, are less likely to seek mental health services than their white counterparts, according to a study
Conversations regarding mental health can often be a difficult topic to discuss openly. The Huffington Post provided readers with the opportunity to understand mental illness and intersectionality in the article, 4 Black Women Writers Get Honest About Mental Illness and Race. This article provides a different perspective on mental health as it looks at mental illness through the intersectionality of race and gender. In the article, four black women participate in an interview to discuss their experience with depression, bi-polar disorder, and ADHD and how it affects their lives as both black and woman identified beings. Discussions of mental health in the black community are rare as there is a negative view of mental illness. Hearing
I come from a family that knows very little on their family medical health history due to family members leaving such information in the dark and not willing discuss health issues accord especially mental health issues. Black families must take mental health serious and open up a little more regarding health related issues that may oppose themselves.
Other factors that may affect depression in African American men may be their employment status. One in three Black men in the US face difficulties obtaining employment, housing, and maintaining self- sufficiency post incarceration (Perkins 2014). Many jobs require a background check; felony records result in social and economic vulnerability, placing many young Black men at risk for depression. Little research has been done on depression in Black men with felony records.
There is an inadequate amount of study on the mental health in the black community because of the stigmas that come along with it as well as the distrust for medical personnel and due to the role that the church plays in the community. A common notion in the black community is this idea that African Americans have already been through a lot as it is and therefore do not need to be further stigmatized through media or any other medium that could do further damage. The lack of trust between Blacks and Whites is also a very big deterrent for blacks wanting to essentially put another label on themselves. Rebecca Solnit who is the author of a essay called “A Field Guide to Getting Lost” has a quote that symbolizes in a way the complex cultural thoughts regarding mental health. The quote