Black People: Mental Illness is Real

Black People: Mental Illness is Real

Recently, we lost another pioneer in the Black community Miss Jessie's Co-Founder, Titi Branch. Titi Branch, Lee Thompson Young, Don Cornelius  and many other famous African Americans have taken the suicidal route due to the mental illness, depression.  The sad part about this is that suicidial is increasing at an alarming rate.

Recently,The PREYing Narcissist wrote about Narcissism is not Only in White Families, it's Universal prior to the announcement of Titi Branch death. What we have to understand as Black people is that you can't pray away mental illness. Mental illnesses like: anxiety  and  severe depression triggers the thought of committing suicide. Below is more information about mental illnesses in the Black community:

According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Minority Services, Black-Americans are 20% more likely to succumb to psychological distress than Non-Hispanic White people, and the suicide rate among Black men was four times that for Black women, in 2009; but according to a 2012 report by American Psychological Association, Black people—particularly young adults— with higher education are less likely to seek help for mental illness than their White counterparts.

While some in the Black community struggle with mental illness in silence or find solace in family, many others rely solely on faith and prayer as a solution. Mental health experts believe that while religion can be a place of spiritual refuge and offer some piece of mind, using it in lieu of a mental health professional, undermines the need for proper diagnoses and care, as there are some traumas that require specialized help and that need to be dismantled gingerly; particularly since there’s been a growing stream of Black men (especially) and women who have chosen to end their own lives.

A report by The American Association of Suicidology states that in 2007 1,958 African Americans committed suicide in the U.S. Of that that number, 82% were males; 352 were African American females; and while Black women are, reportedly, more likely to make attempts at ending their own lives, Black men usually commit suicide to completion. The report also states that suicide is the third leading cause of death among African American youth between the ages of 10-19, after homicides and accidents.

Within the past two years alone, popular culture lost a number of Black celebrities and noted figures that grappled with mental illness, unbeknownst to fans, media, and in some instances, respective family and friends. From actor Lee Thompson Young, to prolific hip hop impresario Chris Lighty, to Soul Train legend Don Cornelius, and to the suspected suicide of writer, blogger, and news correspondent, Erica Kennedy… mental illness has the capacity to leave an indelibly tragic mark on sufferers… regardless of age, class, or social standing.

As to why Black men, women, and youth choose to deal with growing despair and mental illness with suicide, there’s no one authoritative answer; but some triggers may include: illness, substance abuse addictions, lack of social support, unwillingness to seek help due to fear of derision, loss of a loved one, or PTSD—from having served in the armed forces or precipitated by disenfranchisement, poverty, racism or some other event. Also, as a marginalized community with a history of cultural trauma and having to navigate daily racial micro and macro aggressions, it’s important for members of the Black community to tell their stories; particularly since Black people are often silenced and dissuaded from doing the necessary work it takes to heal.
Black People: Mental Illness is Real Black People: Mental Illness is Real Reviewed by The Preying Narcissist Staff on 7:00:00 AM Rating: 5

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