This page is dedicated to the questions I've received from visitors, site members, and social media friends regarding mental health. If you have a question you'd like answered, contact me through email, text, or any of my social media platforms listed under the "Contact" page.
Q: What elements are responsible for African Americans' dismissive attitude toward mental health?
A: I believe there are a lot of factors that play into why we don't take mental health seriously. One of the biggest in my opinion goes back to slavery and how our ancestors were forced to be strong and take whatever came at them. They developed a pattern of behaviors that includes being reserved about their emotions and not expressing them in healthy ways. This is still an issue today, as many of us are taught to "suck it up" and be grateful for what we have. For this reason, the community as a whole is either not familiar with or does not acknowledge mental health as a real issue.
Q: Do you think it's important for therapists to understand the black experience in order to have conversations?
A: I think there's a difference between having conversations and actually attempting to treat someone struggling with their mental health. With that being said, I do think it's important for a therapist to understand and be able to relate to their patient. Therefore, it's hard for them to address an issue with someone's mental health that stems from racial disadvantages and/or experiences with blatant racism. It also makes a patient more comfortable in talking about their issues if they can trust their therapist, which is the only way true progress to be made.
Q: What are some tips for dealing with anxiety?
A: First I think it's important to acknowledge it and call it what it is. Anxiety comes in many forms and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all solution to give, but I can certainly share some things that have helped me. It's very important for me to confide in someone I trust. Talking through your emotions with someone else can really help you understand how you're feeling and it's great to release that burden. I also journal, which is my outlet for when I'm feeling too anxious or overwhelmed. When you just don't want to talk to anyone and you feel like all you have is yourself, journaling is my favorite way to organize my thoughts. After I write everything out I go back and reread because it's also a big release of energy. I usually feel relieved after. Finally, I am a sucker for positive affirmations. As corny as it sounds, it really makes a huge difference. Sticking post-it notes full of positive affirmations around my mirror and in my notebooks serves as a constant reminder that I am worthy, I am capable, and I am an overcomer. It may seem silly at first but seeing those reminders really uplifts me and puts me in a much better space. If none of these things work for you, that's okay. Your journey is your journey and your healing does not have to look exactly like mine. With that being said, you can tweak any of my suggestions to your comfortability level and make it your own. I hope this helps!