African American Stigma

1712 Words 7 Pages
There is a misconception in America that African Americans can not fall victim to mental disorders, and the fallacy needs to be taken down. The misconception needs to be broken so that African Americans can feel comfortable enough to express their issues without being judged or even silenced. There are many odds against minority groups in the United States. However, there seems to be a certain negative stigma towards African Americans. This negative stigma creates a double standard for African Americans in America, especially in the justice system. There have been many cases where White Americans have pleaded insanity for degranged crimes. Although most African Americans are imprisoned for drug related charges, the court system seems to disregard …show more content…
Some therapist might actually undermine the impact of environmental factors and pay more attention to their racially biased thoughts. However, there is also a stigma that receiving help for a mental illness is “weak”, due to the impression that African Americans are supposed to be “strong.” This stigma can lead to recieving no help at all, and it is a common notion that its better to recieve some help than none at all. A 2008 study found that more than one-third of African-Americans actively seeking treatment believe talking about their anxiety would lead to them being called "crazy" by their peers, noted at Psychology Today. With all of the negative stereotypes associated with African-Americans, “crazy”, is not a desirable addition to the list. Blacks have endured an abundace of pain throughout history and individuals use these situations to justify why African Americans should not require help or be mentally unstable at all. "If black people could get through slavery, they can get through anything", and even the "strong black woman" trope can be further damaging to the mental state of the patient. The need to appear strong in the African American community can prohibit the necessary outreach for help, leaving the patient without control over their mental state. The pain and confusion that comes with mental disorders such as depression, can also prevent individuals from …show more content…
Over the past few years, police brutality has been recorded for the public to see more than ever. It is known that African Americans do not have the best history with law enforcement, as the group is targeted heavily. In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health (Geller, Fagan, Tyler, & Link, 2014), the authors reported that 85% of the participants reported being stopped at least once in their lifetime and 78% had no history of criminal activity. Being stopped by an officer is an unpleasant experience on its own. When someone is a witness of numerous fatalities due to officers it does not calm your nerves much more. The heightened sensitivity of nerves results in paranoia. That case of paranoia can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Although African-Americans have a lower risk for many anxiety disorders, the study reported a PTSD prevalence rate of 9.1 percent in blacks, compared to 6.8 percent in whites, 5.9 percent in Hispanics, and 1.8 percent in Asians. The constant slaughtering of African Americans over decades can cause ongoing stress. The events are upsetting and terrifying because no one knows who the next victim is. If someone is afraid to get help from a professional, they may resort to drug and alcohol use to “solve” their problems. According to the 2012

Related Documents