Members of minority groups can experience unique challenges when it comes to mental health. Living with discrimination, marginalization, and racism on a regular basis can lead to trauma and even PTSD. Some researchers believe that generations of people who have endured racism may experience epigenetic changes that make them more susceptible to mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Being part of a minority group also increases your risk of addiction, anxiety, social phobia, and depression.
It’s vital that members of minority or marginalized groups get treatment for any mental health issues they experience, yet many face roadblocks to treatment. Some minority groups experience stigma within their community against seeking help for mental health issues. Others are concerned that therapists won’t identify with the kinds of struggles they experience, that they will have to explain their experience, or that they will suffer further discrimination in a counseling session.
More and more, mental health professionals understand the struggles and fears minorities face even in the healthcare space, and are educating themselves about how best to offer compassionate and judgment-free care.