This Author’s Advice for Black Men and Depression: Turn Your Pain into Purpose

Tsanonda Edwards is the author of a book that deals with black men and depression, The extraORDINARY Mr. Nobody: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Healing, and co-founder of Above It All, a mental-health organization that offers personal, professional and psychiatric rehabilitation programs for children and parents. Although Edwards has a Masters in Human Services, it’s his personal story of battling depression and anxiety that has enabled him to connect authentically with youth and create a blueprint for personal and professional success. Edwards explains why black men face greater mental health challenges and the few steps they can take to turn pain into purpose.

Black Enterprise: Your father committed suicide at a young age and you battled anxiety and depression. When did you realize you could turn this pain into purpose? What are the first steps you took to share your story?

Edwards: I started realizing I could make the pain to purpose transition in college at Morgan State University. I not only found my voice as a writer, but I was also able to hone my abilities as a listener. By listening to my friends in a non-judgmental and empathetic way and then being unafraid to offer my opinion to those who would ask allowed me to see the power in empathy and how that led to healing. The journal entries, years, and numerous stop-and-starts later, my book was born.

If I had to say one event or moment that served as a next-level catalyst for me to share my story, I would have to say my therapy sessions (my therapist Akiami McCoy is incredible!). She did three things that made the book happen: She told me that I wasn’t crazy, she told me that my testimony had power, and then she told me how to publish my book. The biggest power in that is that I actually spoke to a therapist, which is not the most common route for black people, especially black men. It was a 10-year process and I’m thrilled to have it completed.

What holds black men back from sharing their story and seeking treatment?

The first is constantly being told “get over it,” “bounce back,” “no days off,” “stop acting like a woman,” etc. While it’s important to be resilient as our people are known for it (men and women both!), we have to find ways to allow people to come to terms with mental obstacles and embrace ways to cope with them without being told they don’t exist and/or forget about them.

The second thing is fear. Black men have trouble simply going to the doctor. While I do believe we’re actually getting better at identifying issues and seeking help for physical conditions, the stigma surrounding mental health is a real one and it will definitely take time and effort to loosen its stranglehold on the minds of my brothers.

When it comes to supporting men who are battling depression and anxiety, what do you believe is the most underestimated tactic?

Building a true support system. Friends, family, members of your spiritual community, therapists, etc. Again, as men, we’re still expected to be stalwarts and leaders at home, at work, and in the community and rightly so, but depression, anxiety and the like are seen as weaknesses as opposed to mental health barriers that can be embraced and overcome. This often leads men to become “pseudo-actors,” never letting anyone see them sweat. So when you have a true support system that understands the issues you face and are ready to reinforce the efforts we take personally to be our best selves, it speeds up progress.  Yes, it starts with you, but a true support system is priceless.

What is your favorite chapter of your book? 

Chapter 3, ‘A Product of Divorce and Depression.’ I talk about my father’s suicide and his battle with bipolar disorder/manic depression. This chapter pushed me to be open and honest about my own battles with depression. One of my ultimate goals with the book is to let others know that you can lead a happy, successful life despite the mental health issues you face and despite those who are uncomfortable with others having or talking about these issues. Yes, any struggle is a part of you, but it doesn’t define you.

What are three key messages you want people to take away from the book?

  • You are not alone.
  • Your story is valuable. Allow it to be heard and potentially save someone’s life.
  • You’re your own advocate when it comes to personal healing, so be your absolute best you and don’t let others dictate what that looks like.

The post This Author’s Advice for Black Men and Depression: Turn Your Pain into Purpose appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

17 Dr. Seuss quotes to use in an Instagram caption on Friday, the author’s birthday

17 Dr. Seuss quotes to use in an Instagram caption on Friday, the author’s birthday


17 Dr. Seuss quotes to use in an Instagram caption on Friday, the author’s birthday

It doesn’t matter how old you are or where or how you grew up — chances are, Dr. Seuss was probably a huge part of your childhood. Whether you were all about The Cat in The Hat or preferred The Grinch, you probably have a favorite book of his that you can’t wait to read to the kids in your life someday. And now that his birthday is almost here — on March 2nd — it’s the perfect time to honor him on social media. And just in case you’re looking for them, there are so many Dr. Suess quotes to use in an Instagram caption that it’ll be hard to pick just one.

If Dr. Seuss was still alive today, he’d be turning 114 years old. And if he’d never been born at all, how would any of us have survived childhood without the words of wisdom in Oh, The Places You’ll Go?

Here are some of the best Dr. Seuss quotes to use as a caption in an Instagram post today.

Whether you’re paying tribute to Dr. Seuss or just looking for an inspirational or fun caption for your pics, this man and his genius will never disappoint — and your friends will probably thank you for bringing back such great childhood memories.

1. When you want to remind people of his mission

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

2. One of the wisest things he’s ever said

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

3. It’s so important to live in the moment

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

4. A reminder to be thankful, even though your life isn’t perfect

“It’s a troublesome world. The people who’re in it are troubled with troubles almost every minute. You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot. For the people and places you’re lucky you’re not.”

5. On being yourself

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

6. On trying new things

“You’ll never be bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do!”

7. One of his most famous quotes of all

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

8. If you’re still growing (and all of us are)

“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”

9. On the importance of nonsense

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

10. Only you can control the way you think

“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.”

11. And only you are in charge of your imagination

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

12. A quote that feels especially relevant these days

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

13. Remembering that it’s okay not to be the best all the time

“Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. Because sometimes you won’t.”

14. On never giving up

“Don’t give up. I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

15. The only real way to come out on top

“You have to be odd to be number one.”

16. Oh, the places you’ll go

“You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting so… get on your way!”

17. On being intentional in everything you do

“Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss. We’ll never forget you.

HelloGiggles

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

15-Year-Old Author’s Book Series Becomes Mandatory Reading In Some Schools

Essynce Moore is the author of The Middle School Chronicles—a series of books preparing students as well parents for the roller-coaster ride of middle school—from conquering math and bullying to boy crushes and self-esteem. Recently, her book series became mandatory readings for some districts including schools in Hillside and Orange, New Jersey, and several charter schools in Brooklyn, New York. On top of juggling school and writing books, Moore is managing a career as an actress, teenpreneur, and motivational speaker. In the midst of her busy schedule, Black Enterprise caught up with her to learn more about her journey.

(Image: Essynce Moore)

 

Tell me about the moment that inspired you to write your first book, 6th Grade Middle School Chronicles: Where NO Secrets Are Kept?

Every day, after school, my mom would ask me how my day was. I’d always have some bizarre story to tell her about the crazy antics that occurred inside my classes. That’s when I started journaling and writing down all the events that took place and ended up creating a book in the process.

Why did you decide to turn your first book into a series?

At first, I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to continue the Chronicle series. Until one day I went skating and ran into this boy slightly younger than me who told me that he loved my book and hoped I’d write a book every year for the rest of my life. That was all the motivation I needed to continue the series.

What are the key takeaways that you want students to learn from your book?

I think it’s important for my readers to learn that you are never alone. There is someone out there who thinks and acts similar to you. However, it is our differences that truly define who we are.

How did you land the partnership with school districts?

People are usually very interested to hear about what really goes on inside a kid’s mind while in school. That was my hook. Also, my books provided my peers with an idea as to what to expect when going into the new school year. My mother and I contacted some schools and pitched the idea of using my books in their [curricula]. It was a success.

You can follow Essynce (@essyncecouturellc) on social media and purchase here.

Lifestyle – Black Enterprise

BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

The treasure; or, Hours in solitude. Being a selection of the best of pieces from different good authors; with a few originals

The treasure; or, Hours in solitude. Being a selection of the best of pieces from different good authors; with a few originals


This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1915 edition. Excerpt: … TREASURE CHAPTER I THE WISE MAN AND THE FOOt THERE is no justification for the idea that cousins ought to have similar tastes and aspirations any more than that they ought to be alike in form and feature. And yet when people were told that George Harvey and Thomas Ewins were cousins they would generally say: "What! Those two cousins! Well! Who would have thought it!" Certainly the cousins had a few things in common: they had no other near relatives and they lived together, sharing the same joint, the same dish of vegetables, the same pudding, the same loaf, the same domestic et ceteras, provided by Mrs. Bowers. They did not, however, share the same philosophy. They did not often discuss it–as philosophy. But every now and then they raised voices in scorn, each finely overflowing with contempt for the other. They had both had to make their way in life as they had been left fatherless at a tender age, and had sown and reaped for themselves almost from the early teens. Harvey was a printer and for some few years past had managed the business formerly belonging to Edward Gollam, but now the sole property of his sorrowful and not well-to-do widow. When Mr. Gollam died and left his widow with four girls and a printing business, Ewins told his cousin to ask for a partnership, or start printing on his own account. But Mrs. Gollam wondered so pathetically how she "could manage with four girls; if one had been a boy it would have been different, particularly if he had been old enough to step in his father's shoes, but girls . . . and how could she manage a business that she knew nothing of?" And when a woman (or man for that matter) looked pathetically helpless George Harvey was always touched. It was quite true that George Harvey might have made…
List Price:
Price: