My family used to joke that only white people need therapy. Black people go to church instead, find remedies on their knees in prayer, sing their sorrows away. Meanwhile, white academics told me that African-Americans merely fabricated ungrounded stigma around psychiatric help. As absurd as these two viewpoints may sound, these myths actually point to a greater phenomenon.

As of 2012, 15% of the US American population without health insurance was African-American. Considering the role economic status plays in healthcare sheds light on the racial discrepancy with respect to treating mental illness. Many people with health insurance find that their companies don’t cover the cost of mental illness treatment, and those without any health insurance find themselves facing incredibly high prices to pay for medical care, or opting not to pursue treatment at all. These obstacles often lead Black folks in the states to “rely on family, religious and social communities for emotional support rather than turning to health care professionals, even though this may at times be necessary,” states NAMI’s fact sheet on African American Community Mental Health.

Even if able to pay for treatment, many Black folks encounter prejudices and biases from medical caregivers. Black people, especially Black men, are frequently misdiagnosed when it comes to mental illness. For example, most prominently in the 1960s, white doctors institutionalized Black men involved in civil rights protests (particularly in Detroit) on the grounds that the behaviors these men defended as political activism was really schizophrenic rage and volatility. Also, medical practitioners’ prescriptions sometimes reflect discriminatory and generally racial assumptions that Black people do not need as much medicine as white people. Studies conducted by the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health discovered that Black US Americans are 1.5 times as likely to be denied antidepressant treatment. No one wants tell you that the system is sick. No one wants to tell you that the healthcare system intentionally keeps historically marginalized groups like queer folks, and Black folks, and people who happen to find themselves at the intersection of queerness and Blackness sick.

To Be Queer, Black, and “Sick” | Autostraddle (via brutereason)

This is not a feel good article, but it NEEDS to be said. This is a huge problem, and part of the reason that I will never shame anyone for having self-diagnosed.

(via depressionresource)

(via ethiopienne)

Wanna be a writer? Find a different way to say “I’m going to the store” every single time you say it. Come up with nicknames for all of your friends. Ask people questions, welcome conversation from an outside perspective, do not drop a topic until you are satisfied. For every different room in which you find yourself on every single day, point out at least one thing that is there, but shouldn’t be there, and why it shouldn’t be there. Then take maybe ten minutes a week to get it down on the page. Writing only takes a long time when the only time you think about writing is when you are writing.

Toni Morrison (via afrometaphysics)

(via heavenrants)

2spookyforever:

oh my god

(via fucktsunderes)

endofdayz:

Karyn Washington, founder of the For Brown Girls blog, has died of an apparent suicide, reports MadameNoire.com. The influential blogger was only 22 years old.
Washington’s blog celebrated self-love, particularly among dark-skinned women. She also launched the #DarkSkinRedLip project after rapper A$AP Rocky suggested that darker-skinned women should avoid crimson lips. Following her lead, thousands of women of color posted photos of themselves proudly rocking red lips using the hashtag.
While working earnestly to empower women of all races and colors, Washington was also dealing with personal struggles. According to a friend, she had been battling depression and was also finding it hard to deal with the loss of her mother.
http://www.bet.com/news/fashion-and-beauty/2014/04/11/for-brown-girls-blog-creator-dies-of-apparent-suicide.html
Black women, who often shoulder so much burden and to admit any weakness of the mind and body is to be considered defective. Vulnerability is not allowed. Tears are discouraged. Victims are incessantly blamed. We are hard on our women, and suffer as a result.
When your community tells you that you’re better off praying than seeking the advice of medical professionals and medication, you feel shame when you feel your mind is breaking. There is no safe place. To admit to any mental frailty is to invite scorn and mockery.
Mental Illness is Real
R.I.P.

endofdayz:

Karyn Washington, founder of the For Brown Girls blog, has died of an apparent suicide, reports MadameNoire.com. The influential blogger was only 22 years old.

Washington’s blog celebrated self-love, particularly among dark-skinned women. She also launched the #DarkSkinRedLip project after rapper A$AP Rocky suggested that darker-skinned women should avoid crimson lips. Following her lead, thousands of women of color posted photos of themselves proudly rocking red lips using the hashtag.

While working earnestly to empower women of all races and colors, Washington was also dealing with personal struggles. According to a friend, she had been battling depression and was also finding it hard to deal with the loss of her mother.

http://www.bet.com/news/fashion-and-beauty/2014/04/11/for-brown-girls-blog-creator-dies-of-apparent-suicide.html

Black women, who often shoulder so much burden and to admit any weakness of the mind and body is to be considered defective. Vulnerability is not allowed. Tears are discouraged. Victims are incessantly blamed. We are hard on our women, and suffer as a result.

When your community tells you that you’re better off praying than seeking the advice of medical professionals and medication, you feel shame when you feel your mind is breaking. There is no safe place. To admit to any mental frailty is to invite scorn and mockery.

Mental Illness is Real

R.I.P.

(via nkeka)