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Standing In the Shadows

Understanding and Overcoming Depression in Black Men

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A first-of-its-kind exploration of black men and depression from an award-winning journalist

The first book to reveal the depths of black men’s buried mental and emotional pain, Standing in the Shadows weaves the author’s story of his twenty-five-year struggle with depression with a cultural analysis of how the illness is perceived in the black community—and why nobody wants to talk about it.In mainstream society depression and mental illness are still somewhat taboo subjects; in the black community they are topics that are almost completely shrouded in secrecy. As a result, millions of black men are suffering in silence or getting treatment only in the most extreme circumstances—in emergency rooms, homeless shelters, and prisons. The neglect of emotional disorders among men in the black community is nothing less than racial suicide. John Head’s explosive work, Standing in the Shadows, addresses what can be done to help those who need it most.In this groundbreaking book, veteran journalist and award-winning author John Head argues that the problem can be traced back to slavery, when it was believed that blacks were unable to feel inner pain because they had no psyche. This myth has damaged generations of African American men and their families and has created a society that blames black men for being violent and aggressive without considering that depression might be a root cause. The author also explores the roles of the black church, the black family, and the changing nature of black women in American culture as a way to understand how the black community may have unwittingly helped push the emotional disorders of African American men further underground. As daring and powerful as Nathan McCall’s Makes Me Wanna Holler, Standing in the Shadows challenges both the African American community and the psychiatric community to end the silent suffering of black men by taking responsibility for a problem that’s been ignored for far too long. Additionally, Standing in the Shadows gives women an understanding of depression that enables them to help black men mend their relationships, their families, and themselves.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 01, 2004 – In this brief but powerful book, award-winning reporter Head draws a clear picture of several complex social, racial and psychological problems and raises important questions about mental health care in general and for black men specifically. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, depression's impact on society is enormous. Yet, for many members of the African-American community the subject remains taboo 3/4;especially for black men, who may suffer silently and die tragically because of it. Their despair has deep roots in our history, Head argues:"Racism not only brings on depression in black men, it exacerbates the effects of the illness." A journalist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and USA Today and a fellow at the Carter Center Mental Health Program, Head explains that"racism is psychological warfare in the most literal sense of the term" and that, when racism's humiliation and hopelessness is combined with a loss, depression often results. Woven throughout the book is an eloquent memoir of Head's own chronic depression which provides insight into the illness for readers who may not be familiar with its effects. Head's struggle has taught him that there are no easy answers to depression. But he maintains that progress can be made if African Americans acknowledge the problem, talk about it and remember that depression is a medical illness, just like diabetes and heart disease. And, says Head, it is time for the mental health care system to do the research and outreach that the black community needs to confront this problem. Not exactly a self-help book, Head's volume is a wake-up call to African Americans, health care professionals and anyone concerned about the far-reaching consequences of depression.
Standing In the Shadows
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Self-Improvement
  • Published: Aug 10, 2004
  • Publisher: Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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