In the Black community having these ... - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support
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In the Black community having these issues are tough

Purpleblackdawg8
Purpleblackdawg8

Mental health issues in alot of the culture has been an issue that most times are hardly ever talked about.Before i got my formal diagnoses my depression was always chastized and described as laziness by My parents and never acknowledge by anyone in my family.My anxiety wasnt addressed at all and became a huge weight in my teenage years ( leading to other silently self destructive tendencies) to hide because I felt judged enough already.Hopefully tho we all can continue to grow and realized that these things must be addressed so that we can get help when we need it without having to worry about ppl slapping yet another label on us...There are ppl suffering in silence.I want us all to be able to be open and safe enough to be able to talk without fear of a stigma.

Always have a better day you guys and Thanks for listening.

36 Replies
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Hello. I hope U are in good spirits. As for your post, I myself am black too, but I don't think mental health is just overlooked in the black race. This is something that can be and is overlooked in all races. I've read many post from non-black members who have had the same issues with their family/friends. These issues can be tough for anyone no matter the color. People who can't relate to what we're experiencing, tend to put our mental issues on other things or have a deaf ear to them. This is why we come to this site so that we can communicate, express ourselves and get advice from and give it to people who can relate to us. I am glad that U did get a diagnoses. Now it is known that it's not laziness or whatever else it was put on. Blessings to U.

Agora1
Agora1 in reply to Lightattheend

So true in what you say xx

Thank so much and im glad to have found this site

I'm happy to have a place I can communicate with people like myself and not be judged

So true, anxiety and depression were something you hid from all but the closest members of your family. You certainly wouldn't want it known at work. That is changing, more people are becoming open about their disorders, people with anxiety and depression can still do a good day's work as those without it. Winston Churchill is an example, he suffered from 'black dog' depression during the years he was making a huge contribution to winning WW2. And his medication was neat brandy, in fact he was tight most of the time he was the U.K. war leader.

didnt know that and cool I like history maybe we can chat about it sometime

What you said gave me the idea for a post on famous people who had mental health problems, I posted it this afternoon. Many thanks.

I agree with Lightattheend in that it's all about family and the people around us not

understanding what is wrong with us. We never seem to get well and if we do there

are still limitations in what we can and cannot do. Unless the others have gone through

mental health issues they can't possibly understand. Not having the support and

understanding of those we love can be frustrating to say the least. I don't know how

many times I've tried to explain and yet felt like I wasn't heard. After a while, we all

tend to withdraw into our own little world. But now you don't have to anymore.

You have found this amazing site to come to where you are safe and not judged for

anything you say or feel.

We may come from all parts of the world and yet our mental health issues are all the same.

We feel and hurt alike because we are human. You have taken the first step forward

in getting help. I'm glad you are here. :) xx

Hidden
Hidden in reply to Agora1

Yeah I even encountered these things in the job program I was in for people with mental illness. They claim to understand, but they won’t hear me when I speak of certain limitations I have. It was frustrating. It got to the point where I said 🖕to the job program and went out and got my own job. It’s amazing that they can call themselves a jobs program for people with mental illness when they had no understanding of my condition and how far I came.

Agora1
Agora1 in reply to Hidden

It is sad that we are not where we should be regarding mental health

in the work place. I do see it happening in the near future as more and

more people in entertainment are not ashamed to let their fans know

they struggle with mental health issues and/or drugs. People in the

public eye are starting to put down their pretenses that their life is perfect.

Thank you and you are absolutely right about the withdrawl and Not being heard..I am so glad I found this place and you as well

Hidden
Hidden

Some families don’t want to admit mental illness is in their family. They perceive it to be some kind of weakness that reflects poorly on the whole family.

IChoose
IChoose in reply to Hidden

It is a weakness that reflects on the whole family - since a lot of it is either genetic or environment. Crazy people frequently come from crazy families. The craziest part is all the denial and secrecy that visits itself from one generation to the next. I am so very grateful our generations have started to talk about it and get therapy. Who knows, all this new awareness may save civilization.

ellinaki
ellinaki in reply to IChoose

yes i agree..im happy where we are with the mental health support so far.. on the other hand its only gonna get crazier as it will get way out of control and so will people..such a broad and interesting topic, mental health, if you think about it..the pharmaceuticals are laughing all the way.. hope it does save civilization, but unfortunately, i see it destroying it..but till then, i wish everyone a healthy mental health and to live life to the fullest..

IChoose
IChoose in reply to ellinaki

Oh yes, and many facilities are prescribing only - if you won't take drugs they dump you, way before you know how how to live life at all, let alone the fullest.

Hi

I can relate to what your saying as what l found is that my family see mental heath as something which is a curse and are ashamed that you can have a condition which affects your mind they would prefer you to say you have broken your leg. I have had mental heath issues for over 20 years and spent many years hiding it which has made me worse because l became ashamed of feeling the way l l tried to hide it l self medicated with alcohol and self harm which led to more loss . I have learnt to not be around people who have a negative view to mental health issues and believe me they are still out there. I know there is a lot of positive talk in the media about Mental health and time to talk but l find due to funding cuts it’s hard to have a holistic approach to healing affectively from mental health difficulties. Healing from emotional pain is a long process which can be a bumpy road to recovery.

Hidden
Hidden

Imagines with my happy childhood play in front of my eyes. When time passed and I grew up I was more and more unhappy, with physical manifestation of depression and anxiety. Today I'm lost in this life, feeling that I missed my purpose somewhere in the road of life.

Purpleblackdawg8
Purpleblackdawg8 in reply to Hidden

Trust me As long as you are taking care of yourself you are where you need to be..society puts soo much pressure on us to be a certain way..Its the way they programmed us...to never feel like we have it all together..They make ppl constantly live lies..Im glad your here and you are not alone friend..

i hear you are aware where some of your issues are stemming from which is great..you have also formed your own opinions...you can change and be what you want to be and feel what is right for you..it all starts with you..

You are absolutely right..🙄

I've worked for decades to battle the stigma of mental illness in our community. It seems to be a continuous battle. But it's not one we cannot afford to lose, for the sake of others. So keep working and sharing your stories with others around you. You can help them to understand. I wish you luck and God bless!

Purpleblackdawg, the fact that you found this site and had the courage to post something tell me a) just how strong you are, and b) you have a willing desire to get better.

One thing I realized is that it takes true strength to address our mental health, and to open up about our feelings.

Also, remember that you are made perfect, and that the pain you are experiencing will lead you to growth if you let it. Simply be with your thoughts and feelings and do not judge them. They are simply thoughts and feelings; it is the reaction to those thoughts and feelings that causes the most pain.

Best of luck my friend. Take each day as it comes.

Thanks soo much for that it really does make a difference when someone reaches out with a kind and supportive message

Hidden
Hidden

So many of my friends have echoed exactly what you said. I’m glad you’re here and that you have a place to be you without any misinterpretations!! Be well 🌻

Hi Purpleblackdawg8

I think you make an important point that we should hear about how you see and have experienced life as a black person with a mental health problem. You said in your first post that in the black community having mental health issues is particularly tough and I can hear the point that you are making. I agree with others that it is tough in all communities but it is certainly possible to experience it as tougher in some communities than in others.

My parents would never have said that someone with a diagnosed mental illness was lazy. The messages they received from their culture would have made that unacceptable. However this does not mean that they understood mental illness in any depth at all. They would have made the right noises but simply failed to understand. In your case if you were told you were lazy and chastised for having depression, this must have been devastating for you as an impressionable young person. I have GAD and depression which I did not get until I was an older adult. My childhood was tough because my father suffered from mental health problems as a result of being physically abused as a child and from PTSD from the war. It made it impossible for him to be a warm and loving father so I was left feeling abandoned and that I did not deserve his love and am only now beginning to work through those feelings. I cannot even imagine how tough it would be to experience the frightening and horrible symptoms of anxiety and depression, I now know so well, as a vulnerable child or young adult. To also have been told I was lazy and chastised for this would have been unbearable and must have compounded your problems to a huge degree.

I think you are very brave to have coped with such a difficult start in life. In fact I believe we are all incredibly brave to cope with the really difficult and misunderstood problems mental health issues bring. We will also have grown such alot as people as a result.

My best wishes and thoughts go out to everyone on this website.

Kim

hurtingheart1
hurtingheart1 in reply to Kkimm

I just came across this and I really appreciated your reply here!! Also I’m wondering if you can share anything more about your own experience with your difficult childhood and depression and with your father feeling unloved and abandonment- have you been able to get some help and healing with this? I’ve been dealing with bad depression myself and feeling some abandonement issues! Just looking for any support on this as well. Thanks

Kkimm
Kkimm in reply to hurtingheart1

Hi

Thanks for your comments on my reply.

I would like to share some more of my experiences from my childhood and would like to hear yours in return if you wish to reply. It will be helpful for me to write it down. You or others may find some of it to relate to. I warn you it may be long!!! I always find it helps if I explore it more fully if I try to help others and in doing so try to gain greater clarity for myself. I am a bit pushed for time today so will make sure I do it one day this week.

Very best wishes.

Kim

hurtingheart1
hurtingheart1 in reply to Kkimm

Thank you I’m just thinking or hoping maybe it possibly could help me somehow as well to understand if I went through something similar ??? And maybe why I’m struggling today??? I don’t know it’s soo confusing to me? I know I did feel abandoned a lot as a child left alone and unnoticed even I felt at times unwanted and not heard. I was bothersome only now as a full grown adult I’m finally getting to feel a bit more bits of love from parents as they’ve learned a lot more as they’ve gotten older and studied about love and bettering themselves more about God and improving ! But I still bear scars!

Kkimm
Kkimm in reply to hurtingheart1

Hi hurtingheart1

I now have time to write about my relationship with my parents but will warn you you will need time and stamina if you wish to read this post which may be a record even for me. You may regret you asked me to tell you about my childhood experiences lol, which are not very extraordinary but do appear to have had a big impact on both my and my sister's mental health. She was 18 months older than me by the way.

It would probably help first to say something about my father and mother's childhood experiences.

My father was brought up in a mining village in the Midlands. His father was a miner and in turn he became one. In his family there were 5 children and they lived in a tiny house, outdoor toilet, money a struggle etc. He said he was small in height and for this reason always got picked on at school. He was however very brave and proud, not to say stubborn and if any boy picked a fight with him he was determined to stand up for himself so he would always fight back. This was his version of events which cannot be checked ofcourse. He would come home from school with his clothes torn and covered in bruises. His mother, who was possibly at her wits end with how to deal with him and all the pressures of her life then used to beat him for having got in a fight. She used something they called the copper stick. This was a wooden stick used to stir the clothes in a big copper before washing machines were invented. This would not have been unusual treatment of children at the time but what confirms to me just how severe his abuse was, was that he told me when I was quite a young child, that at least on one occasion after she had beaten him, he could not see a space on his body the size of an old penny where there wasn't a bruise. He was literally black and blue all over.

He also experienced trauma whilst serving in the war which I will not go into here.

My mother had a much more positive childhood on a country estate to a Duke where her father was the butler. She was by nature an optimist but also tended to where rose tinted spectacles throughout her life and would perhaps choose not to see things she experienced as painful. I did experience a very positive relationship with her and felt loved, but I think she chose not to see how things were for my sister and I with my father.

My father and my mother both worked hard to educate themselves and break free from the poverty and lack of education of their backgrounds and both loved literature and poetry and tried hard to be tolerant, non prejudiced, caring people. However my father struggled badly to form relationships. He was quiet and morose most of the time and found it difficult to control his anger. He could however be a generous person and gave garden produce to neighbours etc. My mother was very loving and patient with him but it seemed to me then, and looking back now, that she ignored and did not challenge the way he treated us as children.

I am told by our mother that he was loving towards us until we reached the age of around 5 years old and then he felt that we rejected him so he began to deal harshly with us, be critical, never give praise and ignore us alot of the time.

I now know from my background in social work management that he felt we rejected him at the age of around 5 and 3 because we had started to become little people rather than babies and toddlers. As little people we would have showed normal oppositional behaviour, had our own interests and needs etc and his fragile sense of self worth would have been unable to tolerate this so he withdrew from us. He was harsh in shouting and smacking us a times but not very frequently I think. It was much more about lack of praise, being critical and ignoring us alot. He was frequently ill with migraine headache. It happened every weekend for many years and he had to stay in a darkened room and there had to be no noise. As a child I did not understand what he was going through and saw him as absent from my life except to go to work during the week and then shout and rage if we made any noise at weekends.

When he shouted at us he would say things like "Shut up or I'll half kill you" etc.

I do not think I was afraid of him just thought I was unlucky to have such a horrible dad. He did do some good things I remember, such as buying exciting and creative Christmas presents with the little money they had and taking us on trips to London by train as he was a railway man and got free tickets.

As we grew up and became teenagers things became much worse and in the end he just ignored us and this carried on all through his life. He never wanted to visit our homes once we had our own children and took no interest in our lives at all. Never told us he was proud of what we had each achieved etc.

Following my social work training I began to intellectually understand how his own life experiences would have led to developmental trauma in him, making it impossible for him to be a positive parent, but even now after retirement, I do not believe I emotionally understand his rejection and have not integrated this. On the surface I feel really sorry for him and wish I had said so many things to him before he died. I know however I have not mourned his or my mother's death.

My main feeling at the time of his death was anger with them both. At her death only about 3 years ago, I was very sad and did cry but it feels as if something is missing and I am dealing with alot of guilt about them both.

I now do not feel at all depressed or anxious and am really enjoying life, which is a huge improvement, because I was horrendously ill nearly two years ago, but I am aware I have a number of issues to resolve yet. I generally cannot cry but feel I need to and interestingly, writing about my father here has brought tears to my eyes and a sense of relief now as I write.

It is a long story about why I have not been able to get any therapy yet even though I know I need it, so will leave that for another time.

My sister developed a serious depression about 15 years ago and I became ill with GAD and depression nearly two years ago.

There are massive and painful issues in my relationship with my sister which I will not try to cover here either.

Please feel free to write about your childhood issues if you wish but I do not expect you to write to the length I have unless you want to, in which case I would love to read it.

I did read that you have difficulty in your relationship with your partner, I do too. Again I will write more another time if it could be helpful, but will just say here that it is well known in psychotherapy that we tend to choose partners that are similar to our fathers but without realising it.

My thoughts are with you and anyone else who has had the stamina to read this.

Very best wishes

Kim

hurtingheart1
hurtingheart1 in reply to Kkimm

Thank you so much for sharing!! And yes I did read it!!😂I appreciate that you did get to write it out and hope it did give you some relief or peace to get it out!!!! I’m just now reading this late at night for me and quite tired so I’ll see if I feel up to sharing some thoughts - I mean on my childhood experience??

Kkimm
Kkimm in reply to hurtingheart1

No worries, whenever you get time it would be great if you do share some thoughts on your childhood experiences

Thanks for understanding..Im here if u need me

Thank you! Yes I’m dealing with painful situations right now that are hard to get past! I’ve been in a relationship that has been tough due to my own issues, depression anxieties and more as well as his difficult issues and we keep coming to a dead end on same issue but he never seems to understand it!!🤣😨😣he doesn’t understand my depression and what I need he reacts in diff ways to me and my pain sometimes helps sometimes has made me feel soo much worse!! maybe you don’t hav a similar experience or go through something like this?? Not sure and it’s ok if you don’t knw! Just hoping to come across someone who may hav something interesting to help or share

You guys should pull up a video on the condition but agree to No talking or comments until the video is over...And breathe yall

☺️ thank you - yes good idea hav tried something similar but should try this again thanks for suggestion!!

Hi Purple, someone pulled up your post today and I realized it's been

a couple months since seeing you on site. Are you okay?? xx

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