Thinking about everything and wondering why the world, media, bank institutions, pop artists, clothing lines, sneaker brands, and everyone else that canceled Kanye for hate speech does the same for Black folks suffering from hate speech, hate crimes, and systematic hate and racism.
We go through the battles fought in our minds as we wake up every day wearing dark brown skin in a world where the less melanin you have, the more freedom you may enjoy. Having a cloak of mental & chronic illness hanging over you, creeping in like a thief in the night and sometimes staying for weeks or months on end.
Having depression, black, a woman with Fibromyalgia is a very interesting ride. I’m always going back and forth between being grateful for my struggles, having gratitude for the experience that is uniquely my own, and—to put it plainly—just straight up wanting to die.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people will struggle with a mental illness at some point during their lives. In the black community, mental health issues are often compounded by the psychological stress of systemic racism. As a result, African American adults are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than white adults.
Seeking mental health care is stigmatized within many black communities, and just one in three African Americans who struggle with mental health issues will ever receive appropriate treatment.
It’s beyond terrible because we want the help but can’t get the appropriate help so we stop seeking it and suffer in silence. For example, I don’t know how many times I was told I don’t need an MRI for the stiffness and pain within my neck and shoulders + my knees. My chiropractor actually ordered a MRI and found out that my neck was slightly straighter than it should be. Ultimately, I didn’t get diagnosed with fibromyalgia until probably a few years later.
Black have been misdiagnosed at higher rates than white patients, and black communities have been exploited by the U.S. government and medical community in the name of medical advancement.
Tell me again why our black skin don’t carry more weight? Tell me again why our mental & physical health is less important? Tell me again why our skin color is criminalized rather than given the opportunity to receive mental health care? It’s modern day systemic racism & discrimination. Skin color will continue to serve as the most obvious criterion in determining how we will be evaluated and judged.
We seriously need to do better of the treatment of black people. We’re human too and deserve equality care to our issue not dismissed, labeled or prolonged.
Check out my other posts regarding mental health & people of color.
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