Black Girls Have Anxiety Too

February 1, 2017, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Before that, I struggled with anxiety and depression for YEARS without getting the help that I needed. Extreme worry, restlessness, and irritability became the new normal for me. I thought it was something I could handle on my own, not realizing that trying to handle everything on my own is how I got here in the first place.

black girls have anxiety

Growing up in a black home with a Christian mother, I was always told that there was nothing that prayer and going to church couldn’t fix. Imagine my frustration with my mom and God when neither of those worked for me. I was going through something that I didn’t understand and no one around me took it seriously. Throughout the years, there were plenty of times when I tried to tell my mom and a few friends about what I was feeling. I was called dramatic, told that I was worrying about things that all adults worry about, and offered marijuana to help me calm down on more than one occasion (insert eye roll). It wasn’t long before I gave up confiding in others all together. After all, it’s hard to understand something you’ve never experienced and it’s even harder being the one misunderstood. It took two trips to the emergency room, two prescriptions for Hydroxyzine, and a referral to a therapist before anyone took me seriously.

I said all of that to say, when someone is crying out for help, be there for them. I believe wholeheartedly that if someone would’ve taken me seriously and been there for me in the beginning, I wouldn’t need a prescription to help me calm down today. Anxiety and depression is real and it’s something that no one should have to go through alone. Just listening to someone vent for a few minutes can make a difference. Lucky for me, I do have a friend now that I can call when I’m having a “moment.” I’m not comfortable talking to a therapist yet, so he’s the next best thing. He doesn’t know this, but his superhero complex is what saved me. I’ve never been suicidal, but I was definitely in a dark place when he came into my life.

To anyone currently struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. I know how frustrating not being able to control your thoughts and emotions can be and a pill can only do so much. Don’t try to handle it on your own. If you’re feeling depressed and nervous, talk to someone. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, my contact information is all over my blog. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I’ve felt for years, so I’m more than willing to lend an ear. It’s still a struggle for me. Some days are definitely better than others. I’m still coming to terms with everything and hopefully one day I can say I’ve conquered this. I hope that by telling a smart part of my story, people realize that even the strongest person needs a shoulder to cry on and it is okay to not always be okay.

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Hi, I’m Chantal. I’m a mom of two, self proclaimed naturalista, and Author of Growing Girls With Curls: Short Stories For Girls of Color. Being a mom is hard. Pair that with being a single, black, millennial in America and it’s a whole different monster. Feel free to join my mailing list and follow along as I blog through this crazy thing called life.

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    • Chantal
      January 15, 2018 / 4:06 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  1. January 11, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I too, believe that I may suffer from anxiety. I actually feels like it runs in my family, but I also come from a christian home and there for no one got help so no one has been diagnosed. I agree with you, that we need to learn to be there for each other more, and understand that there are *real* things that require a trained professional.

    • Chantal
      January 12, 2018 / 12:44 am

      Thank you so much for reading. The first step is going to talk to someone. Don’t find out the hard way like I did.

  2. January 11, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    Towards the end of 2017 I realized I suffer from anxiety and have for years. For awhile I just thought I was paranoid or overthinking. But now looking back over my life I can point out times where I had panic/anxiety attacks. I definitely think it’s something that needs to be talked about more, especially among young women of color. I’m happy you found someone to confide in. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Chantal
      January 12, 2018 / 12:46 am

      Thank you so much for reading. I did the same thing after I was diagnosed. I looked back and realized that I’ve been having anxiety attacks for years and they got worse because I tried to handle them on my own.

  3. Margo
    December 5, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate. It is so important to speak up and talk to someone.

  4. November 3, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story! I understand this struggle personally. Your story lets me know Iā€™m not alone and gives me strength to keep sharing my experiences

    • Chantal
      November 3, 2017 / 2:28 pm

      Aww thank you for reading. I’m hear if you ever need to vent !

  5. August 18, 2017 / 12:34 am

    You are so brave to share your story. Hope it inspires others feeling the same anxiety. You are wonderful!

    • Chantal
      August 18, 2017 / 7:57 am

      Thank you!

  6. Karen Lizarraras
    August 16, 2017 / 11:56 pm

    This is such a powerful post. Thank you for being so open about all this. I myself grew up with a frustration that prayer didn’t fix it. It helped to have faith but anxiety is not something you can pray away. Thank you for sharing

    • Chantal
      August 17, 2017 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you for reading !

  7. August 16, 2017 / 6:26 am

    I love reading articles like this. Why? Because I, too, suffer from anxiety! And I’ve actually been thinking of writing about it on my blog. It is NOT easy having anxiety, some people might say we’re just exaggerating, but we’re definitely not. Some days/weeks are better than others, definitely. I’ve actually found a workbook that’s helping me if you’d like to know the name of it =)

    • Chantal
      August 16, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Thank you for reading. I definitely want to know more about the workbook!

  8. August 16, 2017 / 3:12 am

    Putting yourself out there while offering help is a great thing. You will help many who might not feel as courageous as you. More power to you.

    • Chantal
      August 16, 2017 / 11:17 am

      Thank you šŸ™‚

  9. August 16, 2017 / 3:09 am

    How brave of you to post this! Aneixty is so common but often not talked about enough! Thanks for sharing xo

    • Chantal
      August 16, 2017 / 10:57 am

      Thank you šŸ™‚

  10. ENGER
    August 4, 2017 / 10:12 pm

    This took a lot of courage! MANY young women will be inspired and motivated to come out of hiding and share their story because of your transparency. You are not alone. SO PROUD OF YOU!

    • Chantal
      August 5, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Thank you !