It Takes Less Time To Prevent Than To Heal

It’s February and it’s Black History Month so it was sadness that I recently read about the death of Joseph White, PhD, clinical psychologist and “the godfather of Black psychology”. He had a heart attack on a plane en route to visit family and friends.

Just as he got and kept the conversation going and challenged the ‘deficit-deficiency’ model, I want to keep the conversation going about something else that we, as African Americans, don’t like to talk about – depression.

And yes, I know it’s not even depression screening month, but depression doesn’t wait for a particular month to show up; it strikes, sometimes without warning, and indiscriminately. Meaning that it can affect all different kinds of people, even those that are traditionally considered to be “strong”, or appear to have no obvious reasons in their lives to be depressed.

For those of you reading this who self-identify as African American, you may have grown up being told, “just snap out of it”. Yet depression can negatively affect a person’s ability to eat, sleep, go to work, enjoy times with friends, or take care of their children. African American women experience higher rates of depression compared to White women or even African American men, yet they are also among the most undertreated group for depression. African American men still experience depression, yet are forced to hide it because they may believe they have to “man up”; i.e., don’t have, talk about, or deal with your feelings.

It’s time to stop suffering in silence.  It’s time for the pain to stop.

Here are 3 simple and practical ideas if you suspect you, a friend, or loved one, may have depression:

1. Share how you’re feeling with someone. A trouble shared is a trouble halved; this could be the hardest part, but it helps you to know you have support and love.

2. Read up on it. There are several books and legitimate websites that have depression information. Your MD probably has depression pamphlets in her office-take one. Actually take more and share them with friends and family.

3. Get help. After you’ve shared with someone and gathered more information and think, yep, this ain’t the blues, it’s depression, reach out to a mental health professional who specializes in working with people who have clinical depression.

Remember, your mental wellness is your responsibility and the life you want to live and create flows from it.

As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free 15-minute phone consultation. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help. If we decide to meet, I’ll have tea and chocolate waiting for you.

Looking forward to hearing your story and helping you feel better,

Dr. B.

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