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Why Research Shows Racism is Damaging to Self Esteem

These days it’s not enough to know about racism. We bring the nuances to light. These acts cause lasting mental pain. Racism is hate speech. But it can be nonverbal. Some onlookers may not notice, maybe because they are a different race & assuming someone doesn’t speak the same language.

Racism can be a look.

Staring at someone who looks different than you or when someone says to a BIPOC person-your English is "very good." The recipient you avoid sitting next to feels like this happened for the first time. Racism can be internalized, and we might get used to it, it may please some people rather than challenge their thinking.

Historically, we know that racism has benefitted the oppressors. The majority groups benefitted from limiting options for other races for example at university enrollment. This has created a disparity and crushes BIPOC’s opportunities. Racism not only limits educational potential, bit can limit asylum. There’s a demand to close the US-Mexico border but nothing for the US-Canada border. Racism impacts some groups more than others, for example when it comes to personal support workers; many are women of color experience violence daily. Their incidents may be understated are because of language barriers or distrust of authorities.

For African American girls, racism stunts their performance and confidence. Teachers' discrimination contributes to the highest rates of discipline. The data says that girls don't embrace their positive racial identity. Instead harmful stereotypes of aggression and being overly sexualized are placed upon these young women. The reason that attending school does not motivate many Black girls and women is because of negative perceptions. Now anxious--they feel they don't belong.

Stress Leads to Anxiety

This discrimination runs deeps, it's to the point that Black, Indian and Persons of color find that their self-esteem suffers. The stress from these instances (spoken and unspoken) leads to anxiety or drug and alcohol addiction. According to evidence, overt racism leads to the worst mental health. African American teenagers and adults consume marijuana or alcohol to cope. They experience brief daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental humiliation whether intentional or unintentional. Native Americans with Type 2 diabetes report microaggressions from their health care providers. For the respondents who reported histories of depressive episodes, there was a correlation between depression and racism.

There’s A Mental Health Crisis for Victims of Police Brutality

Take police brutality, racial profiling, and affirmative action. We can’t forget the national mental health crisis suffered by victims of police brutality. An unfortunate effect is that it breeds distrust in law enforcement. Thus crimes don’t get solved because BIPOC communities are less likely to call for help. A vicious cycle of anxiety continues. So there are excuses for this cruel and dehumanizing treatment but these excuses do nothing to change the system. There has been progression but yet the presence of two or more mental health concerns may be due to racism. BIPOC foks are left with more depression, anxiety, symptoms, and psychological distress. This means feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.

Research Shows Negative Stereotypes Fuel Low Self Esteem

Not only are there psychological impacts of racism, but it seems stereotypes fuel weight gain. Research shows Hispanics stereotyped as "lazy" were likely to be overweight or obese. People with low-self esteem have challenges in practicing positive healthy habits. The lack of motivation explains the weight disparities. According to the CDC, 43 percent of Hispanics and 48 percent of Blacks are obese. The study suggests they identify with the negative stereotype.

Limited information makes racism possible. The history of slavery needs a thoughtful examination. And the rising resentment against immigrants. We pledge to focus on treatment that makes positive outcomes. We value all races and we welcome them to serve their needs in Arizona. Contact us if you are having problems with depression or anxiety, our providers can provide a safe and supportive space for you to deal with the impacts of racism. We have several BIPOC providers.

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