Support is “Key” for Depression in Black Men

By Kalin Thomas Contributing Writer | 7/3/2013, 8:41 a.m.
Vietnam War veteran Lloyd Alaman remembers fighting for a country that was still treating him like a second-class citizen, like ...
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10 percent of American adults report depression. People who suffer from it the most include those between the ages of 45 and 64, women, and blacks and Hispanics.

Alaman added: “We’ve seen some horrible things; like our fellow soldiers getting their brains blown out.  So we talk about our stresses and troubles and we feel safe with each other.”

Holden said many African Americans also have chronic depression because of the social ills of surrounding them.

“If we can address some of the problems around economics, housing, and employment disparities, that will help relieve stress and decrease incidents of depression,” said Holden.  “And the lack of enough African American psychiatrists and psychologists in the industry could also be a deterrent for people getting help.”

Alaman added that many veterans have no healthcare, and the Veterans Administration seems to always have a backlog of veterans seeking help. So he and his group are doing their part to uplift each other. 

“Many of the homeless with mental health issues are veterans,” he said.  “So we bring in vets from homeless shelters to feed them here at Lou Walker Senior Center during the Thanksgiving holiday.  And we also give them free hair cuts, clean clothes and showers.”

And to African Americans who say, “Just turn to God,” to get through depression, Alaman states: “Sometimes you need more than a prayer.  You need support!”

Symptoms of

depression include:

•  Feeling sad or empty most of the day

•  Significant loss of interest or pleasure in


•  Significant weight loss or weight gain

•  Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much

•  Feelings of Worthlessness

•  Thoughts abut death or suicide

Resources for

depression include:

•  Black Psychiatrists of America,

www.blackpsych.org, 877-272-1967

•  Association of Black Psychologists,

www.abpsi.org, 301-449-3082

•  Alcholol/Drug Abuse Hotline,

800-662-HELP (4357)

•  National Suicide Prevention Hotline,

800-273-TALK (8255)