The language of distress: Black women’s mental health and invisibility

Media Diversified

by Guilaine Kinouani

chimamanda-01I felt privileged to read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie powerful words on depression. The piece, reportedly published in error, has now been removed. The courage and honesty it took for her to come forward and describe her experience with such intimate detail was truly moving. To a large degree, I was not surprised by her account. Indeed, many Black women I know are no strangers to what most mental health professionals would see as depressive and/or anxiety ‘disorders’. The majority of us consider these experiences to come with the territory of having to navigate through injustice and oppression. We call that life. The bio-chemical theories, which may account for what seems to only become manifest in structures of domination and subjugation, don’t necessarily matter much to us. In spite of the controversy surrounding the article’s publication and subsequent removal from The Guardian’s website, at least it…

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