Sad Black Woman, They Are Also Allowed To Be Depressed: I identify as a woman of colour. And I’m frequently told that I’m expected to have inexhaustible reserves of stamina and resiliency. Having to live up to the “Strong Black Woman” (SBWM) persona is a huge burden on my shoulders.
Sad Black Woman, They Are Also Allowed To Be Depressed
We Don’t Get Depressed In The Black Community | Sad Black Woman
I realised early on that I was different. For as long as I can remember. I’ve been drawn to the creative process and the pursuit of knowledge. Like many other creatives, I’ve had to deal with depression on a regular basis. I’ve been prone to deep depression since I was a child. It was unusual for a child to experience sudden and unexpected sadness.
At that age, I had no idea what depression was, but I was aware that a sudden shift from being extroverted to being introverted was out of the ordinary. I didn’t learn the term “depression” until I was well into my twenties.
In no time, I realised that this word had nothing to do with me.
When I began to suspect that I might be depressed, I was confronted with a new challenge: accepting my condition. Those around me did everything they could to keep me from identifying with it, and I am grateful for that.
Sadness Is A Constant Companion In My Life
Things got worse when I was bullied in school. At a young age, I was viewed as an outsider. I was shunned by my peers because of the same prejudices that made mental health discussions illegal.
Social withdrawal and avoiding large crowds were two of my coping mechanisms. After the bullying ended, I was still plagued by anxiety, which persisted through high school and into college.
Counseling Acceptance | Sad Black Woman
Students at my university were given 12 free counselling sessions per school year as a sign of their university’s commitment to their well-being. I was able to see a counsellor without fear because money was no longer an issue.
My first time in an environment where mental health issues were not confined to a specific demographic. And I took merit of the opportunity for air my grievances. Thereafter, I no longer felt so “outside” of the norm. Counseling helped me to understand that I was not alone in my feelings of sadness and worry.
As a result of my decision to seek counselling in college, I learned that my anxiety and depression were not a reflection of my worth as an individual. I’m not immune to mental health issues because I’m black. The consequence of systemic racism as well as prejudice on the health of African-Americans are amplified.