This will eventually be a YouTube Series
Mental Illness in the Black Community and why ‘help’ is not sought
The top 5 reasons black people do not go to therapy are as follows:
1. Part 1 The Church
2. Part 2 Attached Stigma
3. Part 3 Perceptions
4. Part 4 Family
5. Part 5 Finances
Part 1 The Church
The Black church is a business. A business needs money. Tithes bring in the money. If someone is attending church who feels overwhelmed, or feels as though they need additional mental help the black church discourages the member from receiving help by running a guilt trip using religion and the perceived punishment of Jesus as a shield.
This is how it works:
Sister Pam is the sole survivor of a car accident where her child, mother, and sister died. Sister Pam went to the triple funeral in a wheelchair and my never walk again. Sister Pam is having suicidal thoughts and survivors guilt. She’s also having flashbacks of the accident. She wants to go to a therapist but is urged against it by the church.
Here are the reasons:
1. She may stop attending church which means she won’t tithing which means the church will lost at least $1.
2. She’s supposed to trust in Jesus and pray about it and all the bad feelings will just go away upon mentioning Jesus name.
3. If she goes to therapy then she’s not trusting Jesus. If she can’t trust Jesus then she needs to find another church (finding another church is discouraged because they don’t want to lose members who may tithe. It is an empty threat.)
4. If Sister Pam is still feeling bad after a week then she’s not praying hard enough.
5. Satan has a hold of her and she must rebuke him. Satan is giving her the flashbacks.
Part 2 Attached Stigma
Sister Pam won’t go to therapy because of the stigma attached in the black community.
There are preconceived ideas, learned behavior, and flawed belief systems in the black community. Even if Sister Pam wants to go to therapy she will still resist because of her flawed belief system.
Seeking professional help in the black community is seen as the following:
1. Jesus won’t like it.
2. Therapy is for white people.
3. If you see a therapist that means you’re crazy. If people find out that you are crazy they will look down on you. Once that happens you are ostracized from the black community and labeled as ‘goofy’.
4. She believes in the preconceived idea that faith and love of Jesus is the only thing to stop her from suicide and help her recover from the sudden loss of her family and make her walk again.
5. She believes is she goes to therapy that she will be ‘acting white’ and will be shunned by the black community.
6. Her family and community programmed her to believe these things and if she detours from them then she is not the upstanding Christian they think she is and she will embarrass the church.
7. Discussing your feelings is a sign of weakness.
8. Satan wants her to turn against Jesus and the church by seeking professional help.
Part 3 & 4 Perceptions and Family
What does Sister Pam’s family say about Pam’s mental condition.
Sister Pam is angry. She keeps crying and asking “Why me Lord? Why me!” She may never be able to walk again but she doesn’t care about that. She does care about never seeing her child again, or be able to hug her mother or celebrate her sister’s birthday. Sister Pam has turned to drinking, cussing, and internet gambling. She is truly depressed and talks of ‘offing’ herself often. Her family agrees with the church.
Pam should do the following according to her family and the church:
1. Pray harder
2. Appreciate that she made it out alive
3. Trust Jesus
4. Do not go to counseling it will embarrass the family
5. Do not talk about therapist or seeking mental help from the white people because all they want is money
6. Her family doesn’t want people thinking she’s ‘crazy’
7. Sister Pam needs to just grow up
8. She’s not rebuking Satan hard enough he’s still rearing his head. She must crush him by claiming and forcefully yelling Jesus name.
Sister Pam buys a gun. She doesn’t like what she’s thinking. She goes to therapy anyway and decides that the family and the church are the ones who need get right with God and not her. She tells them she’s going no matter what they say.
This is what Sister Pam faces from her family for her decision:
1. She’s told that If there is family problem then the family is supposed to solve it. Not people outside the family.
2. She is told that she has made the problem worse and it wouldn’t be this bad had she not kept up the silliness.
3. She is the problem and everybody else in the family and church are doing the right thing by praying with the pastor
4. If she just prays hard enough the pain of losing the family will go away
5. She supposed to be strong for everybody else. She’s showing too much weakness by whining and crying all the time.
6. She is letting Satan control her. She has allowed Satan to bring her to this point of turning her back on Jesus with this therapist mess.
Part 5 Finances
How much of a role does finances play in seeking professional therapy in the black community?
A lot of black people have health insurance through their work place and a lot of black people don’t. The ones that do not have health insurance do not have the money to seek out therapist or other professional help. Therefore they don’t go.
The percentage of black people with health insurance that seek mental health is very very low. Therefore, finances are not the issue in the black community as a reason for not seeking help.
The belief system, perceived stigma, being called crazy, being made fun of, and told that you are ‘acting white’ is the deterrent for getting help.
Sister Pam received a large settlement from the insurance company that allowed her to pay for the help she needs. Again, the money is not the issue. She’d much rather have her family.
What does Sister Pam learn in therapy?
1. She finds out that flashbacks go along with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She finds out that the human brain seeks to make sense of things that don’t make sense.
The accident was not her fault and her brain has not fully comprehended that whole situation. Her brain is functioning the way a brain should function and sadly the flashbacks can continue for years. This has nothing to do with any Satan and prayer will not stop it. Working through therapy and working through the emotions of the accident and losing her family will help the flashbacks. Talking through the feelings will help her as well.
2. She finds out that the church is wrong and racist. Jesus will not be upset because she is taking care of herself physically and mentally. She is not acting white. The church has a picture of a white Jesus on the wall, therefore, they are hypocrites for saying somebody is acting white while worshipping a white Jesus.
3. Therapy is not just for white people and nobody is ‘crazy’ because they need a little extra help getting through a high stress unbearable situation that they did not ask for.
4. Prayer is great but it will not fix what she is going through. She needs extra help from a trained professional. If her church had read the Bible they missed Timothy 2 which clearly states that prayer without works is dead.
5. If her family is that offended that she is doing what she needs to do then maybe she needs to cut them and the church off. This is known as the ‘no contact’ method. She can return to them later if they have that much of an issue and wish to shame her on a daily basis for ‘acting white’.
6. She finds out that you cannot address ‘shame’ by using ‘shame’. Her family and the church continued to shame Sister Pam for natural normal feelings that any normal rational human being would have after going through any tragedy where people around her were killed, dying, or imminent death was approaching.
7. None of this is the act of Satan. It was a very unfortunate accident and she is justified in her human right to be sad and upset at losing family members.
8. She learns that her beliefs are flawed and she eventually feels she’s been lied to and kept in the dark about a bunch of things.
Sister Pam’s Anger at her family and the church
Sister Pam has gone through a range of emotions. She’s suffered a major car accident that placed her in a wheelchair. She had a total of 24 hours to adjust to a totally new way of life that she didn’t ask for. She had no warning on the loss of her family. The church she’s supposed to trust recites Bible verses and degrades her if she speaks of anything other than prayer. Her family is ignorant. She is now faced with changing the way she has thought for most of her life. It’s not easy.
What does Pam do?
Sister Pam does what any clear thinking individual would do in a situation as messed up as this. Quit going to that church. Tell the family the truth and take control of herself instead of them taking control of her. And continue going to the therapist until she reaches a level of acceptance of the situation that is comfortable for her. If the family insists on continuing to shame Pam she must leave and go to a facility where they are not allowed to visit unless they are there to help.
What is the family’s reaction?
1. Blame the therapist
2. Blame Satan for taking over Sister Pam
3. Blame white people. Why? There is no reason to blame white people. Its just a fail safe when no other option is available. White people are the built in fall guy after Satan has run out.
4. Pray for her to do the right thing and stop shaming the family
5. In long shot, come to the facility and help and do what she wants them to do. (They would never do this but its a nice thought)
The Black Church Can Really Mess Somebody Up
I made up that whole situation about Sister Pam. She does not exist in real life but I know plenty of Sister Pam’s in reality who have lost faith in the church for these very reasons. Some people have actually cut their family off all together because of the church and how the church acts.
The church uses shame against those who don’t fit the mold of ‘just pray about it’ or ‘trust Jesus and only Jesus’. Reciting Bible verses to answer a question is always a sign of being under fear. Fear of what? Who knows. Using shame to promote more shame is a vicious circle that a lot of black Christians fall into.
“You cannot solve problems with the same level of consciousness that created them.” David Icke Humans and Blinded by Belief Systems
Nobody asks or wants to be in a life threatening situation. Nor does anyone want to go through a horrid nightmare of suddenly losing those you love. The statement above clearly states that if God put you in that situation and you pray to God to take you out of the situation he just put you in- well…..that makes no sense does it.
Everybody has the right to take care of themselves mentally and physically how they see fit. If some people choose to pray about everything that is fine. If others choose therapy they should not be shamed, put down, demeaned, or treated poorly for their choice. However, that is what is happening in most black churches if someone chooses therapy instead of prayer. You can be a Christian and go to therapy.
There are enough therapists in America who are perfectly willing to promote time to a church and provide mental help for members who feel they need extra help. Promoting time means that nobody has to pay. A church should be about helping people how they need and want to be helped. Not the church forcing Bible verses on someone with the remedy of ‘Love Jesus and Rebuke Satan’.
How many black pastors have committed suicide after church? Or killed their family or other church members?
A church should never throw ‘shade’ or be that judgmental to the detriment of its members all in the name of tithes or Jesus.
Hiding behind the Bible or using religion to justify a flawed belief or thinking error that results in destroying someone else is wrong.
These black churches need to pull it together!
**This is not aimed at all black churches. It is aimed at most black churches. Especially the ones who feel that tithes are more important than the members and those churches who hide behind the Bible while promoting fear as a means of controlling members into self destruction**