BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of color. This is a range of people of color. These are also people of Latino and Hispanic origin. The term favors the shift from the word minority or marginalized. Indigenous refers to all tribes of the continent. This includes Native Americans or American Indians, Native Alaskan, or Alaska Natives. Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders. We can’t overlook the harmful cultural stereotypes they face.
Since 2000, mental health illness has risen in these communities. Now racism plays a role in whether they seek mental health care. A common concern for BIPOC folks are the stigmas they face when seeking treatment. For example, they may be afraid of asking for help because if they ask for help they're afraid of being labeled "dangerous" or "crazy." This couldn't be further from the truth. This is one reason that finding BIPOC informed psychotherapy providers is important.
What are common mental health issues BIPOC folks experience?
Systemic racism takes its toll on all BIPOC. You may also have heard that Black women suffer from anxiety. Being stereotyped as strong and outspoken doesn't help. A common issue may be that they don’t discuss it and are conditioned to endure it. So they don’t seek professional help. Other concerns that contribute to anxiety are socioeconomic disadvantages that include lack of employment, lack of access to medical care, and the issues related to the criminal justice system.
These last two years have been enlightening in the world of therapy due to social injustices that have been publicized by the media. Anxiety and depression are on rise among BIPOC after the murder of George Floyd.
Other factors that may trigger anxiety symptoms include: · early trauma or abuse · family history · genetic and early environments · shy or introverted temperament · certain medical conditions (heart disease, diabetes, drug abuse/withdrawal)
Depression is frequently experienced among Blacks and Hispanics when compared to Whites.
Depression is usually the most prevalent yet, underdiagnosed mental health concern for BIPOC folks. The effects of poverty & their socioeconomic position may contribute to depression; lower household income and unemployment predicts a greater risk of depression.
Asian Americans have experienced more hate crimes during the pandemic. Native Americans also experience high rates of mental health issues and substance abuse. So they go about their day with the stench of racist treatment. These encounters of racial bias and ethnic discrimination pose a greater risk. The prolonged events lead to symptoms of PTSD. Signs of PTSD are:
· chest pain,
· low self-esteem
· mentally distancing from the devastating event
reliving the event
American Indians and Alaska Natives report PTSD and alcohol dependence. Alcohol use and illegal drug use his higher amongst this group. Asian Americans are under a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. The American-born Asian struggles embracing both cultures. They work for acceptance from both countries. They achieve career success but there's still climbing the ladder to leadership. They must bear the weight of the stereotype as smart and hard-working so they don’t need help. Another obstacle is if English is not their first language. And they face ridicule for their accent.
Many Southeast Asians are from countries with tyrannical rulers. They endured frequent violence. There are traumatized Native Americans due to the loss of their land, family, and population. There’s the intentional killing and exposure to diseases. Then, by law, they weren’t allowed to grieve. Buried underneath are shame, powerlessness, and subordination.
Anxiety is a complex but common thread. What causes BIPOC to feel anxious are exposure to racism, racist abuse, the lack of opportunities, less safe communities, higher rates of trauma (sexual assault and police violence).
We understand that BIPOC folks want to feel safe. With our services for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, we understand their unique needs. We are a provider for folks seeking treatment. Contact us today.