Depression doesn’t discriminate. People of all ages, genders, ethnicities, cultures, and religions can suffer from depressive illnesses, but some cultures may chose to deal with treating the disease differently because of the stigma that surrounds it.
More than 19 million American adults in the United States suffer from some type depressive illness each year. According to the surgeon general, African Americans are over-represented in populations that are particularly at risk for mental illness are the least likely to seek professional help for depression.
Strawberry hopes that his memoir will be an inspiration to others suffering from the same illnesses and encourage them to get help. He has been sober for three years and although the event was sponsored by the Brooklyn Brewery and beer bottles and glasses of alcohol circled him at tables, Strawberry appeared to be unphased. When asked how he was able to cope he answered simply, “I just don’t have a desire for it anymore.â€
You can read more about Strawberry, his struggle with drugs and alcohol, and his new outlook on life in the August issue of Black Enterprise magazine (Backtalk). For more information on mental-health related services and/or substance abuse treatment in your community log onto http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/cmhs/.
LaToya M. Smith is the editorial assistant at Black Enterprise magazine