The stigma of mental illness in the black community has a major dragging effect on the rate of blacks who seek treatment for depression, a new study found.
The study, led by Rosalyn Denise Campbell, assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia, found that black Americans are often thwarted from seeking depression treatment due to fears of being stigmatized by their friends and family as “less than African-American.”
In addition, there’s often a hesitancy to trust in treatment by the medical establishment.
“I can’t tell you how many times in these interviews people have said, ‘I don’t talk about this,’” Campbell said. “Because African-Americans are already marginalized, there is no rush to adopt another marginalized, stigmatizing identity.”
The study titled, “The Stigma of Depression: Black American Experiences,” was co-authored by Campbell’s colleague Orion Mowbray, and published by the Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work.