On a daily basis, mainstream media is always awash with negativity about the black community. From extrajudicial killings of unarmed black men (inclusive of teenagers) to assaults on black churches and the dire neglect of black communities, blacks are constantly bombarded with a reminder on how the scales are tipped up against them. This is in terms of both political and socioeconomic oppression. Adding insult to injury is the fact that these atrocities sometimes get perpetrated by law enforcement. The perpetrators then go unpunished causing more anger and frustration. See the case of Trayvon Martin and the more recent shooting of Philando Castile. Not only do these issues affect blacks alone, but also other people of color, to some extent. These conditions make their daily lives a living hell causing tons of stress and other psychological imbalances. For this reason some might wonder, “Am I going crazy?”
What is the cause?
Taking a broader perspective into this issue, we find that injustices to blacks are not a recent occurrence. These people have been systematically subjected to adversity right from historic times. Remember the days of slavery when blacks worked in the cotton fields and sugarcane plantations. They were literally the property of their colonial masters who could use them as they please. Long after slavery was abolished, the black community still faced exclusion from proper education, housing, health-care and socioeconomic empowerment.
With such kind of marginalization it is rather obvious that the socioeconomic status of the community will plummet. Poverty comes with many social ills such as crime and drug abuse and increased rates of incarceration. All these exacerbate mental problems such as depression, schizophrenia, OCD and bipolar disorder. Racism, both historic and current also lead to stigmatization and a distorted self-image among blacks. Legal discrimination causes mistrust and hostility towards authorities.
Consequences and mitigation measures
If unchecked mental illness can have adverse consequences both for the individual and the community. Mental illness caused by drug abuse destroys the lives of thousands of people rendering them incapable of participating in any beneficial economic activity. They hence become a burden to family and society. Problems such as violence, rape, homicide and murder tend to increase with mental illness. Depression leads to suicide and other forms of self-harm.
However, all hope is not lost. With the correct social systems and avenues, many can get help on how to cope with the condition and the daily stresses of life. First and foremost we need to create more awareness about mental health among the black community. Poor blacks lack access to proper medical care and services. So many keep suffering because they lack the knowledge. Onipa psychological and consulting services is very instrumental in reaching out to victims of psychological disorders. You can access their website and gain more information on obtaining proper counseling and medication.
In case you have an issue, do not keep it to yourself and suffer in silence. Speak out and seek assistance. Community health centers will be very much willing to offer support and medication. While on this do not forget to involve your family. These are our closest people and informing them about the issue will strengthen your bonds and they will give support and cooperation. Once you make others aware of your condition, your are likely to come across others with similar issues. This will give you an opportunity to form support groups where you will assist each other in mitigating your psychological health issues.
As they say, no man is an island and just as iron sharpens iron humans improve each other. We are social beings and isolation will only enhance our underlying psychological problems. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain strong and health connections with family and friends. Always keep in touch and get involved in positive activities. These might include community service, sports, joining book clubs and etc. You can also read books and join self-improvement classes to build your confidence and self-esteem. Everything in life starts with confidence and believing in yourself. A positive mindset goes a long way in creating a positive life.