As a Child and Adolescent Behavior Counselor I worked with a number of depressed girls. It was absolute torture to hear their stories of being bullied. So I decided to take such a negative word and turn it into something positive to create a different perspective of the word.
Depression can be confusing, painful, and can feel lonely. I want to help my girls thrive and live a fulfilling, happy life with my new campaign: BULLY Depression.
BULLY stands for By Unequivocally Learning & Loving Yourself.
Bully Depression, Bully Beauty, Bully anything that has a negative effect on how you see yourself. That’s the mission with Bully Depression. I want to uplift the depressed black girl.
A 2017 study by the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health found that African American females in grades 9-12 were 70 percent more likely to attempt suicide in 2017 than their white female peers.
From 2001 to 2017 research was conducted and analyze to reflect that suicide attempts in African American girls increased by 182%. And in 2017 over 94,000 black girls made suicide attempts severe enough to need medical attention. Since we shy away from addressing depression in the black community unless it’s trending due to a celebrity attachment, our deflection drives our Black girls to deal with their traumas alone. The depressed girl then starts developing unhealthy coping strategies, which therefore leads to destructive habits and even suicide.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are common— among all races and socioeconomic classes — and can be linked to every single chronic illness. And even social issues that our country’s medical system faces like depression, anxiety, diabetes, and obesity. The ACE’s study was developed so medical professionals could understand why so many people turn to methods like food, drugs, sex, aggression, work, and other things to escape anxiety and depression.
Trauma as a child leads to a likely chance of mental disorders that manifest in young adulthood. In addition, having a family member that struggles with substance abuse, witnessing neighborhood violence, a parent/guardian incarcerated, poverty, and even racism are all ACEs. In other words, black girls are more likely to experience these issues leading to having a higher ACEs score.
Therefore, the experiences and issues leading to a higher ACEs score increase the likelihood of black girls having to battle depression and other disorders in life.
The rate of sexual assault among Black women is 3.5 times higher than any other group in the United States, according to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America. They are also less likely to report their assault, which could be attributed to the “strong black woman” stereotype that is unfairly pushed on us or cultural norms that blame victims for being “fast-tailed” for just being girls and exploring themselves.
The victim-blaming and “keeping it in the house” that comes from the misogyny and internalized misogyny in our communities is dangerous to our girls’ mental health, physical health, and wellbeing. They are fighting these exhausting battles alone without the proper strategies or environments to thrive in.
Lack of access to proper medical care, distrust of medical institutions, and seeking out other ways to self-soothe are common reasons why black girls and women don’t get the help we need when it comes to our mental health. A study by the KFF found that 11.5% of Black Americans were uninsured: which is a large financial barrier to receiving proper care for our mental health.
Clinical depression is an illness and not a personal failure. It is not a sign of weakness or anything to be ashamed of. Unfortunately, the black community sees depression as a personal failure, a broken spirit, or punishment. This leads to an unfair stigma that gets in the way of us getting the help we need.
#ComingFromWhereImFrom we grow up living in survival mode and survival is all we are taught. Because the emphasis of life is based on merely surviving, we miss out on the most vital aspect needed to live a quality healthy life. And that’s love.
We can’t love what we don’t know. In other words we must have a deep understanding and connection to what our heart is drawn to. If all we are taught early in life is survival mode, we aren’t being taught the value in loving and taking care of ourselves.
As a result we grow into adulthood believing that doing and acquiring is what makes us who we are. Never knowing who we are as individuals and as individuals what is it that we value to live towards.
Taking the time to sit with ourselves and tuning into our very own needs, concerns, desires, and interest is the pathway to loving the you your in and peace within.
To see the value in loving yourself means that you must recognize the value in knowing that you have a purpose. Abuse, neglect, and abandonment (the 3 main categories for Adverse Childhood Experiences) can stunt or even wipe away self-love, self-esteem, and safety in Black girls.
Because of this, our kids are developing a desire to not live anymore at ages as young as 6. Situations I have encountered personally with FAStell Girl Model2Mentor Program. Self-love starts at home. But when you come from poverty, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, community violence, and social issues such as racism — what is love? All of which saturates the vast majority of black communities and families. With no sense of love, the hope of purpose gradually starts to fade away.
FASTell Girl Model2Mentor Program is a community-based organization that focuses on providing at-risk adolescent girls of our community ACCESS to a higher quality of life through behavior skills training, auxiliary academic instruction, and our mentoring program. One of our goals is to build an innovative preventative and collaborative program model that combats the development of behavioral health disorders in at-risk adolescent girls and young adult women in our community.
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Thug Therapy aims to bring you relatable content aimed to awaken awareness about mental health and spark conversations about mental health in the black community. The contents of Thug Therapy Lifestyle Blog website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the Thug Therapy Lifestyle Blog website (“content”) are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Thug Therapy Lifestyle Blog website. The one thing we have learned in our journey to wellness and wholeness is just as we all are different, so will our treatment plans. Thug Therapy Lifestyle Blog is meant to provide a peek into the reality of someone living with depression and cptsd.