Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist Discusses Depression Among Black Men
Stigma "continues to surround mental illness," particularly in the black community, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Annette John-Hall writes. She notes that according to John Head, author of "Standing in the Shadows: Understanding and Overcoming Depression in Black Men," the stigma around mental illness in black men is "even worse."
According to John-Hall, Arthur Evans, director of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral and Mental Retardation Services, said that studies indicate that signs of depression show up in the form of aggression. "So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the overwhelming number of victims and perpetrators of violence are black men," John-Hall writes.
A recent "admission" by National Football League player Shawn Andrews that he has depression should "lift the veil of shame and encourage other young African-Americans to confront their depression and really understand that they can actually take steps to feel better," John-Hall writes.
"Fact is, depression favors no one. Multimillion-dollar contracts can't protect you from it. Nor can celebrity," John-Hall says, adding that Andrews' case should show other black men that "depression doesn't make you weak, stupid or to blame. And it sure doesn't make you less of a man." She continues, "If anything, it should force" black men to accept the possibility that they could be depressed, seek treatment and get "on a path to healing" (John-Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/8).