From Frugivore Magazine — Suffering in silence is not an unfamiliar concept to black women. We are taught above all else to be strong. Historically and presently our strength has been a necessity for survival. In being strong for ourselves, for everyone else, too many black women are walking through life unhealed.
There is a popular adage in the black community, “Black people don’t go to therapy, we go to church.” Seeking therapy is equated with being “crazy”. While we snicker at the thought of therapy, the men and women in our community are hurting.
Black women in particularly are dealing with a wide range of stresses that are so familiar it becomes a normal part of life. The constant promoted images of beauty being a stark contrast to what they see in the mirror, the demands of their careers, taking care of the family, heartbreaks, growing up without fathers, sexual abuse and strained parental relationships are only a few of the issues black women may be carrying with them daily. The adoption of the superwoman myth teaches black women to carry the burden, pray and keep being strong.
Rarely will anyone mention seeking a therapist because, after all, we can just go to church and come out a renewed woman.
With church being the central foundation of the black community it is understandable the conflict black women would have between their faith and seeking professional help.
But church is no substitute for healing when one is dealing with the number of societal and economical issues that affect black women’s mental health. Our refusal to really deal with the emotional affects of issues even predating to slavery, is only spilling over into other areas of our lives.
Mental health can also affect one’s physical health. With heart disease being the number one killer of black women, strokes and diabetes coming in as the third and fourth highest killer of black women, we cannot afford to ignore the mental or physical.