Environmental Depression: One Important Tip for Black Women-Fari Magdala

What is “Environmental Depression “. Environmental Depression is triggered by extremely stressful life situations or other factors such as: the death of a loved one, moving to a new location, divorce, serious financial problems or loss of employment. There are ways to acknowledge stress, understand where it comes from, and progress in healing. I’ll give one important tip in this article. But…

Recently, one of the writers on Medium, pointed out another, serious, often overlooked reason for depression. His premise is this: for African Americans, oppression plays a major role in presenting symptoms of clinical depression (and other mental disorders).

The oppression of slavery impacted African Americans. We remember! The oppression of slavery impacted Black women. We remember! We remember what was done to our ancestors. We also experience the debilitating effects of racism today. Yet, we continue. Yet, we survive! Yet, through our talents, virtues, creativity and drive, we’ve accomplished much to be admired and emulated.


But the impact are still felt today because racism has not been removed from the landscape of society. Much of the depression African Americans experience is seeded by trauma because of difficult life experiences related to being Black. And if you’re from another country, well, the same applies.“Environmental Depression “ is caused by extremely stressful life experiences , including the oppression of traumatic racism . I so agree!

You can read the authors article here:

And what about the oppression of women? What about the oppression of Black women specifically? You’re a woman of color. Your life is different from white women. Your problems include racism, sexism, abuse, sexual abuse, and other oppressive onslaughts from the church house, and perhaps your own house. Not only are you a women, a second class citizen when compared to all men, you’re a Black women. Environmental Depression? Yes!

Your environment can make you depressed. Tragic life situations can make you depressed. African American women know their own stories. We know!

And to get from point A of the struggle, to point B, is not easy. Or… Are there any Black woman reading this article who have never ever had struggles related to racism? Is there any reading who never had to deal with the oppression that comes from being a Black woman? For instance, take a look at the stats below from the trace.org:

So, even if you’ve never experienced domestic violence, rape, or any type of abuse, obviously, Black women are being oppressed and killed at greater rates than white women. The very thought makes me feel on the fearful side. How about you?

I’m not going to cover all the reasons Black women experience Environmental Depression in this article.

But here are some questions for you:

  1. Did you lose a loved one at an early age?
  2. Did you ever live in a bad neighborhood?
  3. Were racial slurs ever directed at you by white men or black men?
  4. Were any of your physical fights growing up, centered on race?
  5. Did you ever live in an affluent neighborhood but had difficulty adjusting to living around white women because of racism?
  6. Did you suffer ridicule from both Black men and white men because you’re dark and lovely? Were you bullied in school because of this? Were you teased relentlessly?

7. Were you severely picked on, bullied, or even made fun of because your skin was light and lovely? Maybe you never felt Black enough.

8. Were you abused physically, mentally, sexually, or spiritually by a Black or white male? Were you abused physically, sexually, or spiritually by a Black or white woman?

9. Were you ever raped or sodomized?

10. Are you a survivor or victim of domestic or any violence, verbal or otherwise inflicted on by whites or blacks?

11. Were you ever robbed, beaten or otherwise harassed by Black males?

12. Did you have a difficult relationship with your mother?

13. Was your Dad absent from the home, in one way or another?

14. Did you feel lost and alone throughout you’r childhood?

15. Did white teachers ever demean you?

All of the above stressful life experiences are problematic and oppressive. They can impact mental health, and self-image. As far as help and steps for recovery, and healing, here’s an important quote below:

I think we gain so much when we’re aware and accept the fact that we have clear, logical, proven, realistic and viable reasons for depression. You can talk to a social worker but never hear affirmation on this point. You can see a psychologist or psychiatrist, and yet they may never ever affirm that your clinical depression or mental health issues were seeded by Environmental Depression.

Discussion may be prompted by your present or past circumstance….

I don’t think discussion is enough.

Once you know that you’re not crazy, you’re not a faulted human being, you’re not making symptoms up, I believe there’s a peace that can follow these realizations. You will know and fully understand that you did indeed experience trauma. You did indeed have some difficult life experiences. You did indeed suffer oppression because of racism. And you do indeed have legitimate reasons for feeling whatever you feel for a variety of ways.

Trauma, oppression, and stressful life experiences may have happened to you. But it takes a tremendous strength to bear such onslaughts.

I hope the above words and memes are taken as compliments and encouragements. This is how I meant them. I know I haven’t covered all facets of this topic in my article. Yet, I hope it’s a start. And I by no means claim that depression or any other mental heath issues needs no treatment.