Upholding the image of being a strong Black woman is one that we take seriously day-by-day. But that same strength is one that can also work to our detriment.
Recent studies not only prove that Black women are one of the highest groups dealing with depression, but that we’re also not being treated for it.
Depression, which is characterized as changes in mood, self-attitude, cognitive functioning, sleep, appetite and energy level is something that according to The Center for Disease Control, affects 17-20 million Americans. Women represent four percent versus nearly three percent of men affected. Their research shows that only 12% of affected African American women seek help and treatment for depression.
Author-entrepreneur Lisa Brown Alexander, who suffered from depression for five years, opens up about her own battle with depression in her book Strong On The Outside, Dying On The Inside.
“I find transparency to be freeing … It started out a journal entry … but once I started writing I couldn’t stop,” Brown Alexander told ESSENCE.
Brown Alexander is the CEO of Nonprofit HR, which is one of the nation's leading full-service human resources firm focused exclusively on the nonprofit sector.
“As Black women we take great pride in being strong. We say it and carry it as a badge of honor. That very strength that we take great pride in, can make us not come to terms with the things that are causing turmoil in our life,” she continued.
Here Are 3 Ways Your Job May Be Contributing To Your Depression:
1. You’re unhappy when going to work and you dread the thought of it
2. Disengaged from your work
3. Your job is causing poor health: high levels of stress, inability to sleep, etc.
While Brown Alexander says that all of these items may be contributing factors that could lead to depression, it is generally something on a deeper level. Here’s how you should handle depression and when to seek professional help.
Tips For Dealing With Depression:
1. Be real with yourself about your emotional pain and mental health. Be strong enough to unveil your mask.
2. Silence and prayer is not enough. If symptoms of depression persist or worsen, seek professional help.
3. Understand that it's okay to ask for help. Seeking help does not represent weakness but strength.
4. Understand that depression is treatable. Stay in recovery by being honest with yourself and maintaining healthy relationships.