In the black community, we are taught that it is normal to live with trauma, but it is not. Often too many of us do such a good job at looking “strong” nobody even knows we are struggling. Even I am guilty of that. With the most recent events sending my anxiety through the roof I feel like it is time that we talk more openly about our struggles with mental health in our community and figure out ways to help each other heal from the trauma.
Growing up I heard plenty of people say, “we don’t do therapy” or “pray on it, he will see you through” however, some of our issues require more. Especially because we as a community battle with so much inherited trauma that we so often brush under the rug. I think it's time we give our mental health top priority. According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, Black Americans are 20% more likely to have a serious mental health problem. So why are we so afraid to get the help we need and deal with our mental health properly?
"When you see people who look like you killed over and over again for no reason than they look like you, it's impossible no to start thinking, 'One day I might be next.'"
-Charlamagne Tha God
In the book Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me by Charlamagne Tha God (with the help of Dr. Ish), they dive into the struggles within our community dealing with mental health. More specifically Charlamagne gives personal accounts on how PTSD and Anxiety have impacted his life. Charlamagne uses hip-hop lyrics from songs like Mind Playing Tricks on Me by Geto Boys and Streets is Watching by Jay-Z to illustrate what he was dealing with internally, while Dr. Ish gives us clinical correlations throughout the book to give readers a better technical understanding of what Charlamagne was going through. Charlamagne also does a great job of talking about the common barriers a lot of Black Americans face when dealing with their mental health. From the cost of treatment, finding the right therapist, dealing with the fear of therapy, and a lot more, he gives tips on how we can tackle these barriers and get the help needed.
I believe this book is a good tool to start the conversation about mental health in the black community. We need to learn how to actively discuss our issues not only with friends but with professionals who can give us tools on how to deal with our trauma.
Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me
Tha God, Charlamagne, author.
Published in 2018
“Charlamagne Tha God, New York Times bestselling author of Black Privilege and cohost of Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club, reveals his blueprint for breaking free from your fears and anxiety to reach that elusive next level of success.”
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