Depression is a serious medical illness and an important public health issue. Depression is characterized by persistent sadness and sometimes irritability. Depression can cause physical health issues in both men and women. It can also cause suffering for those individuals and can also have negative effects on their families and friends.
All across America, black women of all ages suffer in silence with depression and other mental illnesses that go unnoticed. We are often faced with the stigma of being bitter, or angry, so any signs of mental or emotional issues are written off as a bad attitude. In film you often see white men and women as the face of mental illness issues. Even in the news when a CIS white male or female commits heinous acts of murder, the subject of their mental state is often discussed.
Part of this mental illness taboo comes from within the black community itself. When young girls and boys go to an adult family member to vent, they are told to go pray about it, or their cry for help is invalidated by saying things like "You have *insert basic necessity* to live so therefore you have no reason to be depressed." Even when someone experiences some form of trauma, family and friends will turn a blind eye to the possibility of emerging mental issues.
In my upcoming novel 'Was It Her?' My main character deals the trauma that comes after the night her boyfriend was murdered. My goal with this book was to shed light on the importance of black females having a good support system at home and within their social circles, and seeking proper help when faced with these issues.
Below are a few links to different mental health resources for anyone and everyone:
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance 1-800-826-3632
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
HOPE Line 1-800-422-4673
National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 1-800-273-8255
Postpartum Support International 1-800-994-4773
National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264