Depression and African-American Men

2250 Words9 Pages
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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