Clutch Magazine has unearthed a new study, which finds that black men are more likely to suffer from depression as they experience greater economic success. This is shocking news in a society that equates money with happiness. But it seems that not even greater wealth can magically erase the emotional harm caused by the increased exposure to racism that career growth can bring. Clutch writer Leslie Pitterson states on the subject:
The hard times have affected all of us, but the recession has really taken a toll on black men -- even the ones you wouldn't expect.
More prone to be negatively affected by the downswing in the economy, black men are experiencing levels of joblessness not seen since decades past. When the unemployment rate among black men reached 16.7% in 2010, some compared their experience to the great depression.
With more and more African American men losing their jobs, new research from the National Survey of American Life showing poor Black men at high risk for depression does not come as much of a shock. But what is raising many eyebrows is the survey's other notable finding: affluent black men are at higher risk for depression than those on the other end of the income spectrum.
According to the recent survey, black males who earn $80,000 and more were more likely to report symptoms of depression than those who made $17,000 and below. Besides proving that every baller doesn't look as gleeful as Dipset's Jim Jones, the study gives new insights into black men's measurements of wealth and emotional well being.
"African-Americans with greater socioeconomic resources are farther away from their social support network, both physically and socially."
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Read more about these surprising findings on Clutch Magazine Online.
This type of social isolation is something that blacks of both genders experience as they climb the corporate ladder. Perhaps black women are able to deal with it better, as in general women naturally create support networks and share their feelings. This gives those who are exposed to harsh business climates more of an outlet for disturbed emotions. Hopefully, black men who have been successful will soon learn to create the deeper connections they need independently, and make treating the wounds inflicted through achievement a priority.
Support can be found in numerous black professional organizations, by joining African American alumnae groups, through church and political organizations, and among other black men who are informal peers. Some groups African American men can join include:
-The National Black MBA Association
-National Conference of Black Lawyers
-BDPA (Black Data Processors Association)
-National Society of Black Engineers
-National Society of Black Physicists
-Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists
-National Association of Black Accountants
-The Association of Black Psychologist
-The National Forum for Black Public Administrators
-The National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
In the age of the Internet, if you need social support, there is an easily accessible network that can help you get it. Ubiquitous sites like Facebook make it easy to start your own. The important thing is for our black men to take action and get the support they need, if they don't find the necessary understanding among current friends and family.
This study shows that the time is now for black male professionals to take their emotional lives as seriously as their careers, even if it seems embarrassing. We need our successful black men to remain healthy and find positive ways of unleashing the pent up frustrations that come from navigating a difficult world. The assets, both emotional and financial, that stable black professionals bring to their families and communities are an important key to solving many of our persistent social problems.
But clearly, we see once again that money isn't everything. People and connections matter as much as cash. This reports makes me hope that this is a lesson all communities learn.