Depression is a condition that many people deal with on a daily basis. Every time I see that Cymbalta commercial I always tell myself I never want to get in that place. That’s sometimes easier said that done. As much as we hear how hard times are, when will we search within and find our happy place and move forward? I was recently in a discussion with a group of women and men and I stated, “Its hard being a woman.” Of course, the women agreed with me.
I went on to speak on all of the responsibilities and things we have to deal with in our everyday life, being a superwoman in addition to having a menstrual cycle each month! Ugh! Men truly don’t understand what we go through. One of the males in our discussion replied back, “Its hard for us too because we have to deal with you woman!” Even though the remark was amusing and I understood what he was saying, women and depression is a big issue to tackle. We read stories about woman who’ve “snapped” and there’s even a television show depicting these real life scenarios of women who’ve had enough.
Insight News shares a interesting view on African-American women and depression that everyone should marinate on. Please share your thoughts with us. We’d love to hear from you.
“I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
– Fannie Lou Hammer
because she didn’t know any better
she stayed alive
among the tired and lonely
not waiting always wanting
needing a good night’s rest
– Nikki Giovanni, “Introspection”
How many times have we repeated the words of Fannie Lou Hammer, whether out loud or in silence? Slavery, years of oppression and discrimination have contributed to our need to hide our feelings. We have generations and generations of habitual hiding and have become experts on hiding our sadness and refusing to name the pain. We hide it from the medical profession and ourselves. Our illness goes unnoticed, untreated or mistreated. Untreated depression can lead to death by suicide and violent behavior. We need to lose the fear and name the pain.
“Many times when African American women consult health professionals they are frequently told that they are hypertensive, run down, tense or nervous. They will be prescribed anti-hypertensive, vitamins, or mood elevating pills; or they may be informed to lose weight, learn to relax, get a change of scenery, or get more exercise…” Barbara Jones Warren, R.N., M.S., Ph.D. When we talk to our friends we commiserate and share our feelings of woe believing this is just the plight of a Black woman. These sistah group conversations validate what we hear from many of the doctors. In reality, African-American women live with a triple jeopardy status that places us at risk for depression. We live in a majority-dominated society that frequently devalues our ethnicity, culture and gender.