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DEPRESSION IN BLACK YOUTH

Depression is omnipresent. It plagues our generation and is more prevalent than we care to admit. From a psychological perspective, many things can lead to depression. Living in the hood- check. Growing up impoverished- check. Having a single parent household-check. All of these things, enabled by society’s intricate system of oppression, leaves little black boys and girls, unknowing, to feeling at a deficient and feeling helpless. I would know because I experienced this first hand.




I have dealt with depression since I was a youth. I didn’t know what to call the darkness that made me up. People said I had anger issues. Called me crazy. Said that I always had mood swings..but I know now that depression presents itself this way in adolescents. It presents itself differently in a lot of different communities.


But in my hood, we didn’t experience mental health illness. It was either you’re strong and a survivor or you’re weak and need to do better. We didn’t consider the weight of the system on our backs or how our anger and unrest were normal responses to not having enough resources and just barely making it. We didn’t consider the weight of the system on our backs or how our anger and unrest were normal responses to being put into boxes that meant you were an ‘Oreo’ should you not fit. We didn’t consider the weight of the system on our backs or how our anger and unrest were normal responses to being treated like animals and criminals in the 4th grade and having to enter our learning environment through metal detectors. We didn’t consider the weight of the system on our backs or how our anger and unrest were normal responses to being negatively labeled before we could become who we wanted to be.


The most important thing I have learned, besides to put my faith in God, is that this life will chew you up and spit you out. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. So long as you take all of that emotion and anger, let it rise to your fists and fight for what you want. Self love is a war zone. And happiness is a state for which you must be proactive. To all my Black and Brown brothers and sisters battling depression, keep going. You are loved. You are seen. You are heard.


Namaste.


#depression #blackyouth #blacklivesmatter #blackyouthmatters #depressioninblackyouth

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