Growing up in a Black household oftentimes means that mental health is not something that’s talked about. I didn’t really experience a stigma but I also never wanted to talk about my concerns either. I would have these moments where I was paralyzed by sadness and didn’t know why and they scared me.
When I got to college, I decided I wanted to major in psychology because I wanted to know why people did the things they did. Learning more about mental processes and mental disorders just made me more aware of the issues within me. So like every psychology major ever, I self-diagnosed. Eventually, I was diagnosed with social anxiety and it felt like a relief. Not because I wanted something to be wrong but because someone finally told me my feelings were valid. My therapist didn’t tell me other people had it harder or to pray it away. She encouraged me to talk about the way I felt and gave me coping mechanisms for my everyday struggles.
Stepping outside of myself I’m passionate about mental health awareness, especially in Black people, because it’s so hard to be Black. Between generational trauma, being a minority in spaces, and the normal aspects of our lives like relationships and family we have a lot to carry. It breaks my heart to see so many of my people drowning in hurt and not reaching out for a life vest because it’s in the form of therapy.
My relationship with mental health is double-sided. On one hand, I am a psychology student and believe that everyone should should do with they can to make sure they are mentally healthy. On the other hand, I struggle with my mental health as well. For the UK’s Mental Health Awareness week I’m going to share posts about the things I’ve learned and experienced in hopes of reaching someone who needs it.
Happy Mental Health Awareness Week!