No, you are not "crazy."

And no, you are not turning your back on God by seeking therapy.

In our community, there is a not-so-silent barrier that goes up when Black women express that they are considering seeking therapy or have been going to sessions.

Well, to be fair, there are many barriers, like the high cost of therapy and also the fact that most licensed therapists are white. This equals many of us choose not to go because we aren't comfortable speaking with someone that doesn't look like us, understand our history and culture and also won't treat us without bias.

What I'm addressing now, is the barrier our community puts up when we raise our hand and say we are drowning in a sea of uncertainty, depression, sadness and anxiety and our community says just hang in there, pray about it, and everything will be fine. Our families, friends, partners and colleagues will brush over what is clearly obvious because they are uncomfortable acknowledging that things are not ok and have been taught to pray about it and leave it to God.

When there are mental health issues you will likely also find shame and embarrassment because "crazy" is a sign of weakness (and you know, we are superheroes after all *sarcasm*) and a mark against our families and community. Other communities are allowed to have breakdowns but Black people are held to impossibly high standards and not given grace and space to be unwell without being seen as bad, inferior or even animals.

Prayer does work, and I'm here for it. However, God has provided us with people, Doctors and Therapists, to help us explore and protect our mental health. It is ok to couple your faith with action, sis, and still walk in alignment with God's word.

Black women should not be expected to pray away their mental health challenges and we certainly don't deserve a permanent "crazy" or "angry" label glued to our chests when we are experiencing a crisis. You are not crazy, sis. You are going through a lot right now and you are human. All humans can (and do) break down under the weight of the loads we shoulder on a daily basis. Self-care can look like going to therapy with zero guilt if you are struggling.

Sometimes we have to be brave and say that we are going to take care of ourselves DESPITE what our friends and family may think.

If you are looking for a therapist, please check out Therapy for Black Girls list of providers. Also, for a low cost option, look into your local university to determine if they offer sessions led by therapy students (as part of their training) or see if a therapist you are considering will offer you a sliding scale rate.

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