by Kenneth “K.T.” Nelson – The Grio

At least seven percent of black men will experience severe depression during their lifetime, and their death rates by suicide are twice as high as those of black women, notes therapist Dr. Terrie M. Williams, author of “Black Pain: It Only Looks Like We’re Not Hurting.”

Williams, who is a friend of mine, also points out that black men abuse alcohol more than white men, white women and black women and are likely to adopt a “who cares” mentality to “guard against the disappointment of dashed hopes and lack of chances of being someone in a culture that at every turn says the color of your skin means you’re inferior, not worthy, or just nothing.”

She adds, “It’s all about surviving, and trying to thrive, in a nation where biased views of black men stubbornly hang on decades after segregation and where statistics show a yawning gap between the lives of white men and black men.”

I often look back and try desperately to latch on to the minuscule, yet sometimes obvious, signs that someone is going through depression. Depression doesn’t recognize one gender over the other, but as men we tend to experience certain aspects of life that allow depression to crop up in our lives in very specific ways. Though each case is unique to the individual, there remain several factors that can be honed in on when attempting to recognize depression in the men in your life.

Here are the top five indicators that the black man you love may be suffering.

Fatigue and decreased activity

For people that have never experienced it firsthand, it is hard to truly grasp the exhaustive nature of depression. For many, their energy level decreases to the point that simple tasks seem utterly impossible. You know the notion that being depressed means lying in bed all day unable to get up? For some, that is an unfortunate reality, because they simply have no energy to do much else. It’s been commonly said that depression feels like a dark, wet blanket on the shoulders of those afflicted. This analogy is closer to reality than many people realize.

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