During the daily multitasking duties of women who are mothers, wives, friends, and working professionals, Black women are facing added stresses by simply being Black, according to some mental health professionals.
"Speaker Shelter Dziya said black women face unique mental health challenges because they're battling two forms of discrimination (a phenomenon known as "intersectionality"): one based on skin color and one based on gender."
They key here, however, is the level of consciousness of the woman. If she can see the added stresses, she will harbor feelings of being under pressure because she is Black. But some women do not consider the fact that they are having a hard time because they are Black and sum up their issues as simply everyday life.
Subconsciously, however, Black women do face extra pressures whether they acknowledge them or not. For instance, "If black women are experiencing discrimination at work, it's not their fault," Dziya said. "Therapists can help these patients develop coping strategies, such as interrupting micro aggressions on the job."
But according to the finding, fewer than 10 percent of mental health professionals in the U.S. are black so finding professional support can be difficult. Many times, Black women seek out that support from friends, family or their spouse.
"We're taught in our culture to 'ride it out.' People always say, 'Ride it out, girl. It will be all right.
In the meantime, what should a Black woman do who is under stress from her job, at home with the family (kids and spouses), or from life in general? Temptation is always there and bad advice is also, such as drinking, getting high, even casual sex is becoming an option for some through hook up apps and dating sites.
Seeking relationships with men are not always the answer. "Black women of my generation have a hard time finding black men who are educated and at our financial level," she said. "I have just been through a tumultuous relationship with a man that really damaged me emotionally."
"Black women experience domestic violence more often than any other group," said Dziya, who teaches psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. "But they are less likely to report it because shelters and the mental health system are not designed to meet their needs. Black women may hesitate to call the police, she said, if they fear their husbands and sons won't survive the criminal justice system. When black women do flee, shelters often lack African-American hair and skin products."
Many women tend to get lost in reality television shows that promote stereotypical behavior of Black women and they take on those character traits as a way to deal with their problems. This can be destructive because no problem ever has a ready-made solution like on television.
But there are many other ways to relieve stresses other than self-destructive acts or through mindless indulgence into the world of reality television. When all else fails, Black women should learn to ease their stresses through one of the following methods:
* Novel Reading or writing
* Gym or exercise activities
* Walks with the kids or spouse
* Taking self-help classes
* Starting a support group
The point is to relax and pinpoint the source of the stress and counter it with an activity that reduces the stress and at the same time build positive self-esteem. Learning how to think and direct your thoughts through consciousness is the key.
"Carter said the prefrontal cortex ("the CEO of your brain") calls the shots under normal circumstances. But during periods of stress, the amygdala (which helps process emotions) takes over. People who are constantly in a reactive mode are exhausted. A mental health provider can help get you over that hump. In order to be a fully effective mother, wife, daughter or sister, we have to get to the point where we can let the prefrontal cortex do its job."
Source from Baltimore Sun
© Mar. 2019
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