Mental Health, Meds & Minorities
|See more photos from our Harlem Day Flickr Set|
Labeling is a significant social issue in our culture. People are labeled by what they wear, how they speak, what complexion they are, even what music they listen to. Labeling helps place people in categories so that we can make sense of what they believe in, support, negate or whatever. But in my opinion, I think labeling is used for the sake of boxing people into a format that makes us feel comfortable; maybe even to work less hard getting to know someone different than you.
Albeit, the Harlem community had strong opinions about the topic and personally some also had their own experiences with diagnoses and medications. A lot of times people think if you are diagnosed with ADD or depression that simultaneously you will be medicated. One does not always go hand in hand. The treatment can be complementary but it doesn't have to be. I know and have worked with many people who are depressed. There are varying degrees of depression. Some people who are depressed work regularly, have families, travel and so much more. Other people I know are severely depressed and take medication and attend therapy on an ongoing basis. The best treatment options are discussed and agreed upon between patient and provider. But in many cases, people in communities of color are afraid to seek help because they worry they will be forced to take medication and they believe the diagnosis will follow them throughout their life and career. It is a violation of a patient's rights to privacy for a diagnosis to be disclosed to anyone who is NOT treating the patient, that includes your boss and peers.
Talking about diagnoses, mental health, the language we use to describe anyone who is not well are all very important topics we need to make a part of our regular discussions. We may not be able to remove the causes of the illness, but we can change the way we view being sick, taking care of ourselves and each other and accept a no-fault belief system around mental illness.
I hope the community will continue coming out and having these discussions w/ me and the Social Therapy Group. We want to hear from you!
If you are looking for more information on Social Therapy go to our Connections page.
Labels: Mental Health