New Book Discusses Mental Health Among Blacks, Challenges They Face in Seeking, Receiving TreatmentU.S. News & World Report on Wednesday interviewed social worker and public relations professional Terrie Williams, who wrote the new book, "Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting."
According to Williams, members of the black community tend to mask or disregard signs of depression, which can mean that many blacks with mental health problems do not receive treatment. She said, "Depression is a sign of weakness in the black community. Black people would rather say that they have a relative in jail before they will acknowledge that they have a mental illness."
In addition, blacks are less likely than others to have "comforts," such as mental health services, massage or yoga, that could help them with depression, Williams said. She added, "If you don't have access to those comforts that cushion what you're going through, that in and of itself makes (dealing with depression) different and very difficult."
Williams' book also says that misdiagnosis of depression is common among blacks. She said, "We're perceived to be the ones who can handle our business, and so there is that tendency to not recognize depression in African-Americans. In general, I think there's a lack of knowledge about the black experience with depression" (Payne, U.S. News & World Report, 1/16). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.