There are many falsehoods some black people believe, and that other people believe about us. But none such falsehood is more destructive than “Black people don’t commit suicide. Only white people do that.” Over the years, that stereotype has been challenged as we’ve witnessed high-profile black women succumb to their internal demons and bid the world adieu.
Remember Karyn Washington? The founder of For Brown Girls and #DarkSkinRedLip and advocate of black girls and women embracing their unique beauty and dark skin ushered herself out of this world on April 19, 2014.
We lost a staunch advocate in Karyn. What would the world be like if she would have held on? How much awesomeness did we miss out on because this beautiful young woman felt hopeless?
So many of us suffer in silence because we’re told that black women aren’t supposed to ever feel overwhelmed, depressed or anxious. I’ve literally been sitting in a pulpit when a preacher told the congregation that seeking psychological help is a expression of you lack of faith that God will deliver you. Would a cancer diagnosis also be an expression of a lack of faith?!
Little girls get mocked when they cry. White girls get hugs and huddles of people rushing to comfort them. We aren’t allowed to be soft. That’s for white girls. We’re not supposed to suffer mental illness. Just say the Lord’s Pray and read the 23 Psalms, turn around three times and ta-daa! By your faith you are healed.
Sometimes we surround ourselves with toxic people. Take Titi Branch, co-founder of Miss Jessie’s. Her sociopath of a boyfriend, Anthony Spadafora, “used her as an atm” and took over $400,000 of her money to start his beard business, Maestro Classics (please, male readers and fans with beards, find another guy to buy your grooming products from). He also pulled money from her to work on his house, and got her to give him a $135,000 interest-free loan. After her suicide, Spadafora claimed that Branch rewrote her will to award him with 50% of everything. What a walking piece of stinking excreta.
Don’t be afraid to appear weak. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t let ANYONE shame you about your mental wellness. It can be hard sometimes, I know. When I revealed my General Anxiety Disorder diagnoses, I was mocked by some so-called BWE women who should have known better. How are you going to tell people to seek therapy while simultaneously mocking people and calling them “crazy” and “mentally ill?!” WTF…
But I never let their judgements keep me from taking care of me, and you need to do that same. Thanks to Obamacare, mental health services are now available to everyone. Not to diss the church, but please don’t use that as your sole source of counseling. There are many ways to overcome, and some may include intensive behavioral therapy and/or medication.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat
If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Site exit disclaimer. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline – 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727)
Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.