From Chris Lighty to Don Cornelius: 5 Signs of Depression in Black Men

From Chris Lighty to Don Cornelius: 5 Signs of Depression in Black Men

5 Signs of Depression in Black Men

Chris Lighty was a master of his craft. From outside appearances, Lighty enjoyed the best of both worlds, he was well known in the industry, and worked with the biggest acts in music, but he didn’t suffer the blaring lights of the paparazzi or the unforgiving gossip blogs that dog his famous contemporaries.

From outside appearances, Lighty fit neatly into the packaged lies that far too many Black folks believe about depression and suicide:

The strong black man does not become depressed. He would never feel so hopeless that death is his only salvation.

The successful black man has it all together, from the top of his head to the heel of his expensive shoes, and surely he wouldn’t end his own life over financial woes.

The fallacy of the black man’s superpower and super-ego, traits believed to shield him from suicidal tendencies, has been shaken once again now that we are faced with the unthinkable: Chris Lighty, much like Don Cornelius before him, reportedly ended his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

At the core of this tragedy is a teachable moment about Black men and suicide and the tell-tale signs of depression.

5. He complains of unusual physical aches or pains.

In her presentation, Recognizing Depression in African American Men, DiAnne Bradford, Ph.D. professor of clinical psychiatry and director of the Minority Mental Health Research Program, notes that medical professionals are not asking Black men the right questions when it comes to depression. Also, black men who are depressed are less likely to seek treatment. Dr. Bradford states that depression can manifest in

“Trouble with headaches, stiff neck, achy shoulders; feeling bloated, or sick to the stomach.”

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