Lets Talk About It!
Mental health is not the typical family dinner conversation in most African American households. We can talk about sex, we can debate over sports, we can discuss religion and what the Jones's were doing in their yard last week, but mental health does not particularly come up. Taking care of yourself includes taking care of your mental health and being oblivious to the issue does not mean it disappears. It creates an endless cycle of miseducation and misplaced stigmas. African Americans are so use to the shitty hand society deals us, that we don't even recognize when we have serious issues and we're easily discouraged in seeking help. Everything can not be fixed with coconut oil and a bible scripture, sometimes you need professional help, and that is perfectly ok.
Taking into account social media's latest hot celebrity meltdown, Tyrese Gibson, and his battle with fellow co-star of the Fast and Furious series, Dewayne Johnson; his battle with his babymother and child custody, and his battle with himself. From the ignorant outside looking in perspective, we would all assume Tyrese is goofy as hell. Immediately we think he has egotistical issues, with his on going and very public feud with Johnson, its easy to come to that conclusion. Tyrese claims Johnson is to blame for the unscheduled release date of the next Fast and Furious movie, wanting the movie to all about Johnson and not give credit to fellow costars. Following these unprofessional antics, would be his very public custody battle with his baby mother and ex wife Norma Gibson. Tyrese recently uploaded a video to social media of him literally crying his grown ass man eyes out about the situation with his daughter and the mother of his child. Tyrese informs us he pays $13k in child support and all he wants to do is be a good father to his child (which all men claim after the courts hit you with that monthly bill). I won't get into details with the circumstances of his marriage with Norma, but a lot of the times women are vicious and love to use children as a ploy to hurting their no good ass old joints. The video to me was a clear sign Tyrese needs help. He's acting out way more than normal and a celebrity is only allowed 3 major meltdowns in a 12 month span, (unless you're 50 cent) before people start thinking you should probably be in the looney bin.
For details on Norma & Tyrese Gibson's marriage click here
"If black people can get through slavery, they can get through anything."
"If black people can get through slavery, they can get through anything." Fuck whoever said that and fuck whoever thinks that. Black people didn't get through slavery (whatever that means) we were blessed enough to be granted freedom after hundreds of years of mental, emotional and physical abuse; and although those days are long over, the impact of the pain endured by our ancestors has made a lasting impression on our culture as a whole. Ignoring an issue doesn't mean it goes away. Lots of blacks don't understand the severity in not taking care of their mental health. Most times, the little black boy who is always getting in trouble in school may be going through mental and behavioral health problems that can easily be fixed if he had the support and help needed. Society will write him off as a criminal when he gets older, because he never received the proper help growing up. It is easy for the adults in his life to ignore his behavior and deem it as growing pains, instead of tending to it; and when he gets convicted of a crime it won't be because he's mentally unstable, it'll be because he had a troubled past and no one cared enough to help.
About 1 in every 5 Americans has some form of mental illness.
About 1 in every 5 Americans has some form of mental illness, (I am one of the them) not necessarily to the extreme where they may need to be admitted to an institution, but enough to at the very least seek help. Part of the problem is the stigma placed n seeking help and little access to such kind of health care. Trust is a big cultural concept in the back community, and at a very young age blacks are taught not to put their trust into everyone, especially those outside of your race (and given American history can you blame us?) We're conditioned to keep our problems to ourselves and keep it pushing. Black women are encouraged to keep a smile on our faces at all times; whether its financial, family or love problem, we must keep it pushing. If we act out or act up, we'll be labeled as "the angry black woman" and that my dear, is almost the equivalent of being labeled a crackhead. Let me reassure you that you don't have to put on a facade your life is good. My life can be shitty as the new person and a million things seem to all go wrong at the same damn time, every damn time. I cry, I have mental break downs and some days I don't even feel like getting out of bed. I do though, I wake up everyday, count my blessings and make it happen. I also have a therapist and a support system to be there to catch me when I fall, and that is only because I've expressed to them I have some issues. I am not ashamed, because I know life isn't covered in rainbows and sunflowers.
63% of African Americans believe that depression is a personal weakness. 6% of African Americans believe depression is apart of growth and development. 31% of African Americans believe that depression was a "health problem." Lets change those statistics! First things first, educate yourself! Educate yourself and educate others. We must know that there is a problem, understand the problem and then work on solutions to solving said problem. Depression is not a weakness, it's a health disorder that needs tender love and care. It is not normal to feel like you're growing in sorrows, you shouldn't grow up feeling sad all the time. Loving yourself taking care of yourself, your physical, emotional and mental needs.