Depression: African Americans - Teliah NaShonia

Depression: African Americans


According to MHA, anyone can experience clinical depression, regardless of race, gender, age, creed or income. Every year more than 19 million Americans suffer from some type of depressive illness.  Yet, 20% of African Americans are more likely to experience serious mental health problems than any other race. NAMI discovered that the most common mental health disorders among African Americans include: major depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suicide, among young African American men and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because African Americans are more likely to be victims of violent crime.

Yet, movies and television shows with Black actors and actresses state that “Black people don’t see therapists." As a result, a majority of  African Americans do not want any type of mental health treatment. There are known myths that the black community may distrust health provider,  have limited access to medical services and have spiritual beliefs that encourage silence.


Depression is designed to kill you mentally and emotionally. Your thoughts will become dark. Depression will lead you to a place of isolation. As a result, you will feel devalued, lonely, and unwanted. You may have thoughts of suicide as your trying to figure out why life is worth living.


I was diagnosed with Depression back in September 2015. My spirit was pressed down. Emotionally and mentally it has been hard for me to connect with my family, friends, and colleagues. It seems that I have lost my ability to care about what happens in my life. I have lost interest in the things I loved doing. You can't just get over depression. It's a consistent battle. Every day, I wake up fighting to stay sane and wanting to be apart of this world.


Depression is difficult, but we do not have to feel defeated. Depression is treatable. Currently, I am taking antidepressant medication and enrolled in therapy to aid in becoming mentally healthy. I have faith and believe that I will be delivered from depression.

Psalm 34:17 (NLT) states, " The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles."

What steps have you taken to seek help with your mental health issues?

2 thoughts on “Depression: African Americans

  1. I quit eating pork. One day and just stopped and so did my feelings of depression. I feel down sometimes, but that's natural. Depression…nooooo. Thank God. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is Malcolm X's wife asking him if he was eating. I get the association between the mind, the body and what we eat.

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