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.
Mental illness is and has always been a serious topic. But it has not always been taken as serious in the black community. From my research, scholars and medical professionals in the field of mental health spoke on the fact that mental illness is a stigma in the black community and the conversation of this is not happening. There are many factors that contributed to this. Factors such as the distrust of medical professionals, mis-diagnosis, socio-economical factors and so much more contribute to the reason the black community is missed when it comes to mental health. I also discovered the inside factors that were culture, religion, mis-education, and family reliance. This also becomes why it is a stigma or why it’s not talked about amongst everyone in the community.
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
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
Health care for mental illness is an issue in the African American community for Men, Women and Adolescents due to the underserving and lack of mental healthcare providers, the cultural stigma of having mental illness and
Per Vaterlaus, Skogrand, & Chaney (2015) studies have shown that African Americans reaching out for mental health services are perceived to be powerless or weak, and are often humiliated and feel embarrassed. In a study performed by (Ward, Wiltshire, Detry & Brown (2013) African Americans were found to be hesitant to confess any mental health problems and were more likely to cope using religious practices. In my opinion, African Americans are connected to
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
As Metzl highlights, the misdiagnosing of schizophrenia was used as a tool of social control in the 1960s and 1970s. Racist bias structured in social and political institutions pathologized the unrest and anger felt by African American communities and thus incarcerated disproportionally high numbers of Black men under the guise of mental illness. Ultimately, this pathologizing of emotions felt by African American communities persists today. The manner in which Black men and women express anger is pathologized by society and it warps how the public perceives unrest in the Black community, especially in interactions between protestors and
When experiencing a mental illness, African Americans face obstacles “related to understanding the problem or situation and limitation in awareness of possible solutions, strategies remedies and resources” (Hines-Martin, Malone, Kim, & Brown-Piper, 2003). In a study by Hines-Martin (2003), participants verbalized that they did not think they were “crazy” and therefore did not need mental health services. In this instance participants showed a lack of knowledge about what mental health illness looks like. They identified mental illness as dichotomous states (Hines-Martin et al., 2003). A study by Mental Health America found similar results. In this study, a majority of African Americans surveyed believed that depression was a “health problem” and in some cases “normal” (MHA, 2012). Talking about mental illness is taboo for African Americans, and as a result they possess little knowledge about specific mental health problems or available treatments (Alvidrez et al., 2008). For African Americans, stigma serves as an impediment to problem recognition. Because they have a misconstrued idea of what mental illness is, they are less likely to contemplate that they have such problems. Alvidrez (2008) found that stigma prevented 65% of their survey respondents from contemplating that they had such problems. Because many African Americans are uninformed about what mental illness is and how it
While stigma may not necessarily be a cause of a person’s mental disorder, it can certainly contribute to the complication and perpetuation of their illness. The effect of stigma goes well beyond just the patient and provides a commentary on society’s overall level of intolerance of those who are considered different from the majority. By recognizing the level of stigma that exists, perhaps we can alter that behavior and gravitate towards a more productive attitude towards mental illness.
In this article, Patrick J. Corrigan, Scott B. Morris, Patrick W. Michaels, Jennifer D. Rafacz, and Nicolas Rüsch discuss various approaches to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental
There is a dark stigma surrounding mental illness in general, and bipolar disorder is no exception. According to the Mental Health Commission of Western Australia, a stigma is “a mark of disgrace that sets someone apart.” Bipolar disorder is incredibly misunderstood by society at large, which leads to this stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. In everyday conversation, the word “bipolar” is frequently used to describe how someone is feeling at that moment. If a person is sad one moment and
When providing treatment to address any co-occurring mental health diagnoses, agencies are encouraged to utilize evidence-based treatment. In the case of Tyrell he is a thirty year old African America male who presents with symptoms that support Bipolar Disorder and Amphetamine Abuse. In developing the theoretical framework for Tyrell important aspects to take into consideration are age and social setting. As it relates to Bipolar Disorder, it frequently appears in that late teens or early adulthood, which in Tyrell’s case he displayed his first symptoms during his undergraduate years. Additionally, the social setting, in the case the college campus is important because during college years is when individuals start “developing personal values, principles, independent thinking styles, and identity” and college students historically are known to
As a black male, my demographic makes up approximately 2 percent of all psychiatrists, while black people make up 12% of the population. Black people are less likely than other ethnicities to seek help for mental problems, while these problems are more prevalent here than in every other ethnic groups. My goal is to help these people; to try to take the stigma out of a mental illness, and treat people – black, white, and every other race and ethnicity – who are struggling against their invisible