#BDOBookshelf: For Black Women Battling Depression ‘Strong On The Outside, Dying On The Inside’ Is A Lifeline [EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT]

Lisa Brown Strong On the Outside Dying On the Inside book coverBehind the smiles, nice clothes, fancy job title and the seemingly got-it-all-together appearance, many Black women are barely holding on. We are dying on the inside, a sad reality Lisa Brown Alexander brings to light in her book Strong On the Outside, Dying On the Inside (Xulon Press). Brown Alexander, author and CEO of NonprofitHR, delves deep into the silent shame many Black women carry; a silence that echoed in her own life.

“I am a successful career woman who has battled with depression for five years. It was time to speak out openly about my struggle and share my healing journey with all women, particularly black women,” said Brown Alexander.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), research reflects that only 15% of affected women seek help and treatment. “Many African American women do not get treatment because of a widespread belief that depression is evidence of personal weakness and not a legitimate health problem,” stated Brown Alexander.

Her book, Strong On the Outside, Dying On the Inside, can be used as a resource and call to action for healing and combating the stigma of depression, which many Black women view as a lonely and debilitating disease.

Read on for an exclusive excerpt. To order, click here. 

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I’m A Strong Black Woman! I Got This.

Okay, so let’s deal with this strong Black woman thing. As Black women, we take great pride in our ability to bear the burdens of our children, families, communities and sometimes our entire race without stumbling or falling, no matter the weight that is pressed on us. After all, we endured the vicious passage from our ancestral homeland of Africa to the shores of America, the Caribbean and Europe; survived the horrors and brutality of slavery; persevered through segregation and discrimination; and achieved unprecedented economic, political and educational heights against all odds.

If you’re a Black, Christian women, you have the added blessing of an unwavering belief that God will hold us up on every leaning side regardless of the valleys and circumstances that we find ourselves in. As part of our Christian ethos, we’re taught from an early age that God will not give us more than we can bear. We’re taught to count it all joy when we encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance. I believe that. I really do. But that same belief can sometimes lead us to believe that depression and long periods of emptiness and sadness are necessary conditions of life to be endured and not overcome.