African-American women with depression often believe they lack the time to put their needs first. When careers, families and community obligations accumulate, the associated stress can lead to depression. This can be disastrous, as it can lead to self-medicating and overlooking the benefits of professional treatment.
African-American Women and Depression
Many women expect themselves to be the source of strength and support for their families and communities. While they support others and provide strength to those in need, they may neglect their own mental and emotional well-being. Depression may develop as a result, especially from a number of life-altering events or a chemical imbalance.
Regardless of the source of your depression, the condition can last years, become worse and eventually devastate your quality of life, especially without specialized help.
There is no shame in seeking help for depression. Regardless of how highly your friends and family regard you, avoid listening to the untruths that depression produces. You are not weak because you are depressed; you are not without strength because you are depressed. If anything, you are stronger for the fact that you recognize your need for support.
The Dangers of Self-Medicating Depression
Self-medicating depression can be incredibly dangerous. It is certainly understandable why you would pursue this rather than seeking professional treatment, but consider your options fully. Depression treatment has come a long way and made incredible changes in the last decade.
The methods you use to self-medicate are a great concern, particularly if you use drugs or alcohol. While a glass of wine each night might provide a temporary respite from depression, you may eventually need two glasses to get the same results. Two glasses may eventually become three, or even more, and you may find that you get even better relief from drug abuse.
However, self-medicating depression is a slippery slope. Your body will build up a tolerance to the substances that you abuse, which means that you will need increasingly larger quantities to feel the same relief. This means that you could soon struggle with addiction, and still be horribly depressed.
Treatment for African-American Women with Depression
The most effective depression help for African-American women requires individualized treatment. No two women are alike, nor is their depression, which means that what works for your neighbor may be ineffective on you. However, with focused depression help, you can finally put your depression behind you, break free from substance abuse and become your own source of strength.