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Depression in Black Men: From Reflections of Their Past to Re-Inventing Their Future

Daphne Watkins, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work and
Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics,
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

There is a conception that black men do not suffer from depression. Dr. Daphne Watkins addresses the misconception that men in the black community are not depressed. Racism is one component contributing to black men developing Depression. According to Dr. Watkins, black men are urged to reach a standard of success but do not receive the benefits of this success. This also attributes to their Depression. She also argued that black menís depression may go unnoticed based off the criteria of the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM IV TR). Menís willingness to seek help for depression depends on 1) their conformity to masculinity, 2) their connection to African American Culture, and 3) their beliefs about traditional male/female gender roles. She concludes that it is necessary for clinicians, doctors, and health specialists to understand the perspective of black men.

 

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