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Black Women & Depression: Stop Hurting and Start Healing

Depression is a painful mental condition in which a person becomes abnormally saddened and loses all hope in life. A bout of depression may come on after a traumatic event or for no apparent reason. Depending on the disorder, a depressive episode can last from one week to several years. Symptoms of depression include repetitive…

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Depression is a painful mental condition in which a person becomes abnormally saddened and loses all hope in life. A bout of depression may come on after a traumatic event or for no apparent reason. Depending on the disorder, a depressive episode can last from one week to several years. Symptoms of depression include repetitive crying, hopelessness, fatigue, negative thoughts, oversleeping and incapacitation. Medics have had varying views on the causes of the depression. Some believe in the chemical imbalance theory while others blame hormones and environmental circumstances.

 

Symptoms

Because of cultural backgrounds, depression may be displayed differently among African-Americans, according to the Mental Health Awareness website. If you experience five or more of the following symptoms for longer than two weeks, if you feel suicidal or if the symptoms get in the way of your daily life, visit your doctor.

 

  • A constant sad, anxious or “empty” mood or excessive crying
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment like headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
  • Sleeping too much or too little, early morning walking
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts

Black Women and Depression

More than 19 million people in the United States suffer from depression. Out of those 19 million people, many of them are black women. Black women who have a genetic tendency to develop the condition are more likely to come down with it because of the everyday struggles such as single motherhood, job competition, financial problems, and other factors such as racism that may play a role in adding stress. Unfortunately, the culture of the black female is to always display strength. More than 50 percent of black women feel as though mental illness is a personal weakness. Many of these women suffer with it, damaging relationships and life opportunities in the process.

Depression is not a Mark

What black women in society need to realize is that depression is not a mark. Just because a person has a certain mental illness, does not mean that she will lose other people’s respect if she seeks treatment. Additionally, if someone does not respect a person who seeks treatment for this type of illness, then perhaps that person is a source of negative energy that aggravates the illness. Women who suffer from depression should only engage in relations with people who will bring a positive force of energy.

Stop Hurting and Start Healing

Any black female who believes that she may be suffering from depression should seek assessment and treatment as quickly as possible. Treatment is more effective the earlier the medical experts can diagnose the problem. Healing begins when that person reaches out to a person or organization that can help and takes forward steps to maintain a positive mental balance.

Some doctors will prescribe medications, which are excellent treatments for chemically induced depression. Other doctors may use behavioral, cognitive or talk therapy to treat a client. During therapy, a woman can learn coping mechanisms. She can learn how to use breathing and relaxation techniques that will take her mind to a more positive plateau. Additionally, a therapist can help to delve into her past and see if childhood trauma may have caused some of the depression.

Healing and improvement is definitely possible. It just takes effort on the part of the black female to be truly strong and turn toward the right source of help. With the proper medications and morale boosting strategies, a black woman can end up even stronger and more vibrant than she was before treatment.

As more voices join the chorus, may there be more dialogue in African-American communities about mental illness so that those inflicted with mood disorders have a chance to recover.

For more information about depression, visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression

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Sports

Arrest warrant issued for Odell Beckham over alleged battery on police officer

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Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is potentially in legal trouble over an incident that took place in LSU’s locker room after Monday night’s national championship game.

Video appears to show Beckham slap the butt of a police officer who was in LSU’s locker room. NOLA.com reports that New Orleans police obtained an arrest warrant accusing Beckham of simple battery in connection with the incident.

The report said authorities originally wanted Beckham charged with misdemeanor sexual battery, but a judge denied that request.

Beckham, who played at LSU, was celebrating with the team on the field and in the locker room after they won the national championship. Beckham has already been under scrutiny over potentially breaking NCAA rules by handing cash to players, but this legal scrutiny is potentially much more problematic for him.

After Beckham appeared to slap the officer, the officer turned around and exchanged words with Beckham, but he was not arrested at the time.

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News & Entertainment

DEMI LOVATO TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT SUPER BOWL LIV

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Multi-platinum singer, songwriter, DEMI LOVATO will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LIV pregame festivities at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Sunday, February 2, the NFL and FOX announced today. 

The pregame show, including the National Anthem, will be broadcast live worldwide.

Lovato is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, actress, advocate, philanthropist, and business woman. Within hours of the release of Lovato’s fifth studio album, CONFIDENT, the first single, “Cool for the Summer” trended worldwide and hit #1 on iTunes in 37 countries.

Lovato will join a prestigious line up of Super Bowl National Anthem performers, including: Gladys Knight, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Luke Bryan, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Joel, P!NK, Jordin Sparks, Idina Menzel, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, and Neil Diamond.

In addition, on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), CHRISTINE SUN KIM, internationally renowned sound artist and performer, will sign the National Anthem in American Sign Language.

The NFL previously announced that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show.

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News & Entertainment

Tyler Perry Will Make His Netflix Debut With ‘A Fall From Grace’

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Now that Tyler Perry has ended the Madea franchise, and has his very own state-of-the-art production facility in Atlanta, GA, Perry is trying his hand at another thriller movie with his upcoming Netflix film, A Fall From Grace,

Crystal Fox, Phylicia Rashad, Bresha Webb, Mehcad Brooks, Cicely Tyson (Academy Award® Nominee) and Perry round out the cast. Perry also writes and directs A Fall from Grace, and it was the first to be completely filmed at his Atlanta studio.

The film follows a newly divorced woman named Grace Waters (Fox) who falls in love with a young man named Shannon (Brooks). But when secrets erode her short-lived joy, Grace’s vulnerable side turns violent

After being arrested for killing her new husband and awaiting for her upcoming trial, her lawyer (Webb) digs deep to find out the truth behind her husband’s alleged death and find a way to try to prove her innocence. “When you wake up, you don’t know that today will be the day to change your life,” says a disheveled and hand-cuffed Grace in the new montage of scenes.

A Fall from Grace arrives on Netflix on January 17th; add it to your watch-list here and check out the official trailer above.

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