Depression, Anxiety and the Black Community

anxiety black community depression mental health Jul 25, 2022

In one of our more recent blogs, we discussed the importance of self-care and what types of affects the lack thereof could have on our mental health. Well let’s look at the affects that depression and anxiety can have on oneself, especially should it go untreated. If you come from a Black home, you may have grown up not talking about going to see therapist or talking about things that bother you because what mama, daddy, or Big Mama said goes…end of story, right? So we grow up being taught to hold in our feelings, or a fear to express ourselves, so we internalize these negative thoughts and feelings and then they start to take a mental toll on us, and then the snowball effect starts. We smile on the outside while we are dying a slow, painful death on the inside…sounds familiar, doesn’t it? These are the things that lead to an increased rate of mental health concerns within the Black community, and result in anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.

“Research suggests that the adult Black community is 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems, such as Major Depressive Disorder, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder” (Vance, 2019). Dr. Vance also noted that young, Black adults between the ages of 18-25 experience higher rates of mental health problems that other Black adults and White adults and are also the group of individuals that is least likely to seek help for their mental health issues.

In an article by Forbes, it was suggested that in a study of people that were clinically diagnosed with depression, those that were using medicinal marijuana had lower depression scores that those that were not using marijuana. In this study, 368 participants were medicinal marijuana users, and 170 of them were not. Of the total list of participants, 34% reported having anxiety, 15% reported have depression, and 51% said that they had both disorders. Those that used “CBD-rich” products/cannabis reported having lower levels of depression that nonusers, a better quality of life, better sleep, less pain, and less aggressive symptoms of depression than they normally did.

Because of the regularly evolving laws and regulations surrounding the use and legality of marijuana, studies are still going on, and therefore a full list of the positive and negative effects of marijuana on an individual is still growing. As with any medication, depending on the strain, dosage, regularity of usage, and other underlying medical conditions, the affects of marijuana will vary for medicinal purposes will vary as it does with users that use the plant for recreational purposes. Just know that we are moving a step in the right direction.


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