The Other Silent Killer, Depression
I have always heard that the silent killer was hypertension, or what we commonly call “High Blood Pressure. Most of us do not have a problem talking about hypertension. In the African American community we not only talked about “high blood pressure” but at times we have joked about it.
When it comes to depression, however not many of us talk about it. It is something that we keep under the carpet. We do not openly admit that we suffer from depression and in most cases we do not ever share that ourselves, our children or loved ones are suffering from depression. It is so very sad to think that people who are so, so sad inside cannot tell anyone how they feel. We work so hard to be ok for everyone else, while being simply broken on the inside.
Yesterday I was upset to hear that MarShawn M. McCarrrel ll, Black Lives Matters activist, killed himself on the steps of the Ohio statehouse. My first thoughts were why a 23 year old young man would decide that he no longer wanted to be here and the only alternative he had was to kill himself. I believe that so many of our young people are suffering from depression and have said what MarShawn M. McCarrrel ll said in his final post, “My demons won today.”
In the African American community it’s very difficult to suffer from depression and let others within the family know. We have always been seen as strong and resilient and been told if you fall down, just get up. I am a firm believer that a positive attitude in life is critically important. I teach it, coach others with that in mind and practice it every day. However, we have to do better and help our children and loved ones know that it’s ok to admit that they are depressed. We have to be able to identify the signs and get them help. It is not something to be ashamed of. There are many reasons why we can be depressed, and not one of them is a reason to hide it.
Depression is a serious medical condition that can hold you back from moving forward. No one knows for certain what causes depression; experts believe that depression occurs when certain chemicals in the brain are out of balance.
Today, I am screaming from the top of my lungs. We must talk to our kids, watch their behaviors, seek help and guidance for them and assure them that it’s ok for them to tell you and anyone else that they are sad inside or just not feeling themselves.
Let’s not let this silent killer, depression take one more life.
About Darlene Hunter
Darlene Hunter, (www.darlenehunter.com), is president of Darlene Hunter & Associates, LLC, a motivational / inspirational speaker, author, life and business coach, and award-winning radio talk show host. Her new book, “Win-Ability, Navigating through Life’s Challenges with a Winning Attitude,” is her fourth on the theme of perseverance. She is the host of “The Darlene Hunter Show”, winner of the Fishbowl Radio Network 2013 Distance Show Of The Year Award. Hunter has been a top performer in management for more than 30 years.