Thursday, March 11, 2010

Out of Our Minds—Trauma, Depression, and the Black Women: A Short Review

For some time now I have been planning and researching a series on African Americans and mental illness. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, nor do I have any background in counseling, but for a while now, I have been coming in contact with African Americans from disparate backgrounds who seem to exhibit symptoms of mental illness, or who, at the very least, seem to be under such enormous pressure to succeed or to fit in within both their own community as well as the mainstream community that some form of counseling would be of great benefit to them.

However, many African Americans, for whatever reason, seem reluctant to seek counseling or pursue mental health services. In fact, the subject of mental illness seems almost taboo in the African American community. But this is a conversation that I really feel needs to had sooner rather than later.

Stacey Muhammad of Wildseed Films/Intelligent Media sent over this short clip from her most recent short documentary Out of Our Minds—Trauma, Depression, and the Black Women. [Click here to view clip.] Ms. Muhammad explains her film thusly:

This film explores Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and the experience of trauma, and how the lives of Black women have been affected by these experiences.

Black women from all walks of life, speak openly and candidly about depression, mental illness, anxiety, stress, [and] why these discussions are considered taboo in the African American community, and ways in which we begin to—and continue to—heal the wounds.
The film is produced by Wildside Films/Intelligent Media in conjunction with Block Exchange Films and is scheduled to premiere at the 7th Annual PATOIS International Human Rightst Film Festival in New Orleans on March 13th.

As Women’s History Month progresses, I believe that this is an important and worthwhile beginning to a very necessary conversation. Take a look at the video, and let me know what you think.

And if you would like to enter into a dialogue with Ms. Muhammad, she can be reached through Intelligent Media at 484-472-3745. Click [here] to check out other Wildseed Films/Intelligent Media projects such as I Am Sean Bell: Black Boys Speak.

4 comments:

Anna Renee said...

Thanks, Soulbrother! This is very important work obviously! I've made my link connection and intend to find out more about Wildseed Films!

FreeMan said...

Like I said on one post we all know there's a problem but I'll be damned if I know what that problem is. We have a lot of things affecting us and since we have been dealing with them so long it's become part of our culture to see some of these kind of episodes. To say we all need to sit down and talk with a professional is a understatement.

md20737 said...

As a young black women I have encountered the things you have listed. The pressure to succeed and fit in. I often feel bouts of anxiety where I can not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I go into panics about things that have not even happened and may not happen. But the constant stress of fighting an uphill battle makes me suffer with anxiety. My mother has them, but I never thought I would have them. Especially when an event has not happened. Thanks for this post.

Lafreya said...

This is indeed important work. When I was suffering from depression I search for and found a black woman psychiatrist. We had to spend the whole first session discussing why I was ashamed to be there and why I shouldn't be ashamed. Once I was over that hump I was able to deal with my problems and get better.

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