Today’s post is a guest post by Dr. Jolyn DePriest, a writer, mentor, counselor and educator with a PhD in Organizational Development. Please welcome Dr. DePriest to our community and comment below to support her post.

How many times did I respond to the morning light with a first thought of what is not going right in my life. Only to follow up with a foreboding of events to occur during the course of the day.

How many times did I cling to a situation or person with desperation even when my inner knowing gave me clear signals that the person or situation was not good? Feeling powerless I clung to these dark feelings convinced that this was my destiny.

Depressed Black Woman 

Depression is devastating, debilitating, and morose. As a woman of color (WOC) there is a whole added impact that occurs when we suffer depression. That impact is the stigma. Our village sends a clear message that we (WOC) are not allowed to have challenges to coping. We must always be strong. We tell each other jokingly that we don’t need a counselor to solve our issues. The truth was we often did not have the luxury of monetary funds to engage a therapist nor the strength to withstand the stigma if we were.
When I read Terri’s admission of struggles with depression there was no question I must support her fearless passion to guide us to a stigma free, self-acceptance.
I was moved to give a glimpse into my journey toward understanding and empowerment. I am a recovering depression challenged WOC. Growing up in the age of sedation I turned to prescription therapy. Not willing to risk the long term impact and side effects I made the decision to begin a search for alternative solutions.

There’s Hope for Us

I realized there were many factors contributing to and fueling my depression: religious beliefs, subliminal messages from social media, a self-sabotaging belief system, the locus of power in my life, restructuring social communication, developing the power to listen to my gut, looking at life through a different lens, strengthening my connection to the inner voice which provides me with clarity about people and circumstances in my life, and to develop an understanding of the words “things are not always what they seem.”
It is possible to emerge from the darkness stronger, wiser, and healthier.

Dr.Jo Headshot

Dr.Jolyn DePriest, based out of California, is a writer, mentor, counselor and educator with a PhD in Organizational Development. 

share your wisdom. Comment below!

Have you experienced the stigma associated with being a “depressed black woman?” How did you respond? How do you communicate your mental health with those around you?