Invisible Man: Black Men & PTSD

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2stepz_ahead
2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
https://blackdoctor.org/492491/invisible-man-black-men-ptsd/

Black men have an unbelievable weight on their shoulders. The stress comes in every direction on a daily basis. The impact of walking down the street in your own neighborhood can be a traumatic experience in itself. You don’t know who to trust. You would love to trust your brother who shares the same pigment, but he’s bound by that same fear that has you tiptoeing on eggshells just to walk to work or school. It’s hard to trust the police because you don’t know if they’ll protect or serve. And sometimes the trauma happens in your own home. The dynamics of Black household relations can often put a strain on the mind of a young Black man who will grow up with this thing we call post traumatic disorder (PTSD).

This disorder is developed after being exposed to something that is highly stressful, scary or dangerous. This exposure doesn’t have to happen directly to the person with PTSD. For instance, seeing your friend be killed, watching a car accident and even being in the home of domestic abuse can all trigger PTSD in a person. Marked by frequent flashbacks, hallucinations, mood changes and avoidance behavior, PTSD is a disease that gets overlooked in our community.

Black men are taught to be macho and keep it all inside. The “Be a Man” motto has a lot of our men suffering in silence with PTSD. The symptoms can vary from person to person according to Dr. Tasha Holland-Kornegay of the Outpatient Center .

“It can be intrusive symptoms such as thoughts and emotions that intrude into his life and causes him to re-experience trauma such as flashbacks, nightmares, and sudden feelings of terror. Another way of knowing is his attempt to avoid re-experiencing trauma, and constantly feeling threatened,” Dr. Holland-Kornegay explained.

PTSD can be a host of things, but for many Black men these things will be looked at as “the normal way of life for brothers.” Our Black men have a distrust of the medical institution in America. Things like the Tuskegee Experiment and other medical atrocities committed in the name of medical advancement and savagery keep many Black men at home self-diagnosing or coping in ways that are detrimental.
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Dr. Jean Bonhomme, founder of the National Black Men’s Health Network, offers some insight into why Black men don’t seek help.


For instance, African American men die at the hands of prostate cancer at high rates, but if you ask a Black man where the prostate gland is he probably won’t know. It’s a lack of information out there for Black male health concerns. All we seem to hear about are things like Susan G Komen Walk for Breast Cancer, but not initiatives for the mental health of Black men.

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  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Distrust of the Healthcare System

    There are some popular sayings that are quite indicative of how Black men feel about the healthcare system such as, “When Black people go in to that hospital they don’t’ come out again,” or “I ain’t gon be no guinea pig.” It’s because of things like the Tuskegee Experiment and other medical mishaps that toyed with the lives of Black men. Also, the healthcare system is mainly geared towards women. When you go into a doctor’s office all you seem to see are magazines geared towards women’s issues which can be a turnoff to men.

    John Henryism

    “John Henryism” is a popular phrase coined by Black epidemiologist Sherman James which “posits that repetitive high-effort coping with social and economic adversity is a major contributor to the well-known excess risk among poor and working class African Americans for hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases.” For those that aren’t familiar with the legend folklore of John Henry here is the story in short. The moral of the story points out how Black men go to the extreme to prove their worth and mettle in the attempt to survive and overcompensate for what society says against them. As Dr. Bonhomme says, “Black men drive themselves into distorted extremes trying to make up for what society has against them.”

    Do It Yourself Mentality

    As Black men we’re taught to be stoic and not complain about our problems. We don’t seek help because we’re taught to make it happen in silence which leads to a lot of harmful coping behaviors. This is a very powerful barrier to therapy because Black men are so innately designed to not ask for help. In this society “we value the man that doesn’t show any pain.” Studies have shown a correlation between life stress and income. For every other race besides Black men, as income increases, life stress decreases. I guess B.I.G. was right, “Mo Money Mo Problems.”

    “I’m Not Crazy”

    Brothers don’t want to be categorized as crazy. Dr. Bonhomme uses a famous phrase when addressing his patient’s uneasiness about seeking therapy. “You’re not crazy, you’re responding to things that are crazy.” You should be feeling a certain way when you’re surrounded by death, you should be sad after going through a painful divorce and you should be irritable for going through workplace racism on a daily basis. Don’t be afraid to address the elephant in the room.
    Signs to Watch Out For

    Depression in men looks different than in women. You’ll see a lot of behaviors in women that are telling, such as crying spells and feelings of worthlessness. Men aren’t that introspective. Male signs are often behavioral. If you’ve ever seen brothers who’re prone to gambling, irritable, sexually promiscuous and other self-defeating behaviors they might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. These self-medicating coping strategies are harmful and require intensive medical treatment.

    Seeking therapy is the best route. As Bob Marley says, “If everyday the bucket goes to the well then eventually the bottom will fall out.” What we don’t release will eventually come out.

    Black men can be pressure cookers ready to explode when we don’t address what we feel inside and live life passively. Make an appointment to see a therapist, talk to them about what weighs you down on a daily basis. Mental health is wealth. Be well.
  • Germz101
    Germz101 Members Posts: 355 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
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    It is what it is, ion feel ? , but I'm alive. I got kids now so I know what to do so they don't end up like me. Each one teach one and move forward. Try to create a tree that drops apples better than the one u dropped from. That's all a ? can do.
  • Lefty_
    Lefty_ Members, Writer Posts: 3,506 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Unchecked mental issues in the inner city need more help..... everybody know a “man in the room”, turns 1 I knew had schizophrenia and the other had downs and only came outside to fight for the family.
  • AZTG
    AZTG Members Posts: 7,598 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    LordZuko wrote: »
    Nobody gives a ? about a black man's problems.

    I've been depressed and suicidal. I had to fix myself.

    Everything we do is viewed through the eyes of criminality.

    We are treated like dogs off a leash.

    You can't trust anyone because people take your confidence just to use your words against you.

    To prove that you aren't some stereotype is a constant performance.

    Personally, I'm always proving myself. It's what pushes me to learn.

    I'm 6'4" people assume I'm some ? ? who gets by because I'm strong and useful.

    It's this box i have to break out of every time i talk to someone. And even when people know that I'm vastly intelligent they want to find little ways to maneuver back in that little box so their world makes sense.

    Being a black man is an everyday struggle to just not surrender to madness to find some reason to hold on to the tattered cloak of dignity and sanity.

    Dope post. Props for everything you said.

    Being depressed and suicidal aint no joke though bruh. Glad you were able to fix yourself, hope you dont stop until you get yourself all the way out of it.

    Keep your head up man.
  • rickmogul
    rickmogul Members Posts: 1,961 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
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    @2stepz_ahead Distrust of Medical is spot on. You know that chart that show's the old white dude with all the stats and ? ? That's what all males r being held to health standard wise. We have Melanin. Our blood pressure is different than whites, heart rythmn, reactions 2 antibiotics, etc. All black males should have black doctors. Whites don't go 2 black Dr's. Hispanic go 2 Hispanic, Asian with asians etc. Y do we trust them when they expose themselves online with true feelings. Denying black children pain medicine, saying our blood coagulates faster than others! We're mere experiments 2 CACS. As long as it's not emergency surgery I'll always choose black and again advise any other brother 2 get a black Dr. Too.
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2017
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    rickmogul wrote: »
    @2stepz_ahead Distrust of Medical is spot on. You know that chart that show's the old white dude with all the stats and ? ? That's what all males r being held to health standard wise. We have Melanin. Our blood pressure is different than whites, heart rythmn, reactions 2 antibiotics, etc. All black males should have black doctors. Whites don't go 2 black Dr's. Hispanic go 2 Hispanic, Asian with asians etc. Y do we trust them when they expose themselves online with true feelings. Denying black children pain medicine, saying our blood coagulates faster than others! We're mere experiments 2 CACS. As long as it's not emergency surgery I'll always choose black and again advise any other brother 2 get a black Dr. Too.

    i was recently told something by this tech...imma find the article...? will make your mind spin
  • Cabana_Da_Don
    Cabana_Da_Don Members Posts: 7,992 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    LordZuko wrote: »
    Nobody gives a ? about a black man's problems.

    I've been depressed and suicidal. I had to fix myself.

    Everything we do is viewed through the eyes of criminality.

    We are treated like dogs off a leash.

    You can't trust anyone because people take your confidence just to use your words against you.

    To prove that you aren't some stereotype is a constant performance.

    Personally, I'm always proving myself. It's what pushes me to learn.

    I'm 6'4" people assume I'm some ? ? who gets by because I'm strong and useful.

    It's this box i have to break out of every time i talk to someone. And even when people know that I'm vastly intelligent they want to find little ways to maneuver back in that little box so their world makes sense.

    Being a black man is an everyday struggle to just not surrender to madness to find some reason to hold on to the tattered cloak of dignity and sanity.

    I think if you´re a black male you probably been depressed sometime in your lifetime.Because we in the lowest in society.
  • Ghostdenithegawd
    Ghostdenithegawd Members Posts: 16,231 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Options
    LordZuko wrote: »
    Nobody gives a ? about a black man's problems.

    I've been depressed and suicidal. I had to fix myself.

    Everything we do is viewed through the eyes of criminality.

    We are treated like dogs off a leash.

    You can't trust anyone because people take your confidence just to use your words against you.

    To prove that you aren't some stereotype is a constant performance.

    Personally, I'm always proving myself. It's what pushes me to learn.

    I'm 6'4" people assume I'm some ? ? who gets by because I'm strong and useful.

    It's this box i have to break out of every time i talk to someone. And even when people know that I'm vastly intelligent they want to find little ways to maneuver back in that little box so their world makes sense.

    Being a black man is an everyday struggle to just not surrender to madness to find some reason to hold on to the tattered cloak of dignity and sanity.

    Dam that was well spoken