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What Is Stopping African Americans From Seeking Therapy?

African Americans share the same mental health issues as the rest of the population, I would even argue with more stressors due to racism, prejudice, and economic disparities. I Believe the reason black people may shy away from therapy is due to the negative stigma and judgement it holds in our community. Most believe depression and/or anxiety is considered "crazy" in their social circles, and discussing your private "problems" with a stranger may be looked at as "airing your business." African Americans anxiety about therapy may be related to the lack of knowledge about what to expect from the treatment itself. Many African Americans with mental health challenges express fears of being involuntarily hospitalized and are unwilling to share their symptoms due to fears of being "locked up" and/or "put away."

The financial burden of mental health treatment is a barrier that disproportionately affects African Americans due to lower incomes and reduced employment opportunities. Many African Americans also have concerns about treatment effectiveness which may be due to both lack of education and cultural misgivings. As a African American, it is troublesome to witness so many African Americans are reluctant to make use of psychology's solutions to overcome emotional barriers. I believe making treatment more affordable, increasing awareness of mental disorders, making health a priority, and reducing stigma will increase African American participation in therapy.


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