With the release of Kendrick Lamar’s new album, Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers, where K.Dot delves into his personal struggles with family trauma along with his missteps and the need to seek therapy, finally, the conversation has reignited. Even with this newfound popularity of establishing mental health and wealth, many still shy away from the idea especially those in the Black community. Why is this? Even with suicides occurring at an alarming rate and the need for mental health resources at an all-time high, the fear of revealing suppressed emotions outweighs the benefits of doing just that can do. This article will address those concerns as well as the solutions to alleviate them.
Telling ‘Family Business’
Why can’t we as a people finally get the healing we need? For some families, it’s the feeling of discomfort they would feel by disclosing to a stranger, being the therapist, shameful secrets and traumas that have been buried for years or covered up as “family business”. It’s also the fear of being looked at as crazy and having something be wrong with them when on the contrary, therapy is the ultimate safe space. Of course, everything is kept confidential, and one feels immediate relief when they let it out.
Can’t Afford It/Don’t Know Where to Look
Another reason for therapy being taboo amongst African Americans is the lack of information that we have and access to therapists for many reasons, one being financial reasons, especially for those getting public assistance, as many insurance plans under this umbrella do not cover therapy. There are new resources that can help with this issue, and those who really need the help can reach out to their local government official.
FREE THERAPY RESOURCE: DC Health and Wellness
(77 P St NE, Washington, DC 20002) (202) 741-7692
Fear of Being Vulnerable and “Looking Soft”
There is also the stigma, especially among Black men, that seeking therapy or revealing that you’re going through something is a compromise of your manhood. This stigma has been the cause of Black men harming others or themselves. We must normalize that strength is found and fortified by finding the problem and doing something about it, and if your circle takes issue with you better yourself, you may have found the first problem. As Kendrick put it, you can either “be the wheel or the wheel alignment’.
With this all of information, I hope that I was able to sway any doubters of therapy into the path of total restoration and wish you well on your journey.