Updated: Aug 23, 2019
It is time I begin talking about issues surrounding mental health that are not discussed enough. The issue that I want to address is how racism impacts our mental health. This is an issue that has affected me on a personal level and has been an issue for ALL of my clients who identify as Black/African American.
Robert T. Carter is a psychologist and professor at Columbia University who studied the mental health impacts of racial discrimination. Dr. Carter termed the impacts of racism as ‘race based traumatic stress’, which is a combination of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma, and racial discrimination that pertains to the response of negative racial experiences. Therefore, some individuals (myself included) can experience symptoms similar to PTSD after being exposed to racism.
I think it is important to break down topics related to race based trauma in order to fully understand how detrimental it can be for certain individuals. Check out my video: RACE BASED TRAUMA: HOW RACISM IMPACTS OUR MENTAL HEALTH, where I provide more information about the development of racial trauma, criteria for PTSD, and more. Also, this is the first video in a series discussing mental health issues with a focus on black individuals.
Thanks for reading!