Enjoy reading stories like these? Consider donating to Empowering Everyday Women Ministries, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

We distribute inspiring free content worldwide to edify the faith of believers and share the gospel with the broken and hurting. Our staff also launches initiatives and campaigns to benefit those who are overlooked, misused, forgotten and in need.

Learn more about who we are and why you should give today.

You can save lives. Learn more about EEW's advocacy and efforts to bring awareness to the epidemic of Autoimmune diseases that affect 50 million people, mostly women, in the U.S. Learn more here.

EEW Magazine's Founder, Dianna Hobbs, is yet believing God after incurable diagnoses MORE

Join intercessors as they rally around EEW's Founder Dianna Hobbs, believing God for totaling healing Sunday, March 26th at 6 PM. Get details at 50WomenPraying.com.

Dr. Tony Evans reveals divine purpose in detours MORE

5 qualities in biblical women to imitate MOREGoing through? Stay connected to God MOREFeeing frustrated? Read these 7 verses MOREBattling depression? Michelle Williams has great advice MOREMedidate on these scriptures & stop complaining MORE5 scriptures for your season of waiting MOREHow to be a woman of purpose MORE7 ways to be more confident in your calling MOREChristian and depressed: My journey to understanding MOREBattling sickness? 5 scriptures to declare MOREHow to love those who are sweet as lemons MORE

 

Cling by Kim Cashh Tate shares wisdom from biblical examples and the author’s personal experiences to help you cultivate an ongoing closeness with the Lord through prayer and Bible study. MORE

Dianna Hobbs is founder of Empowering Everyday Women Ministries. Her Facebook inspirations inspire thousands within  the Body of Christ daily. To read what she has to say and be inspired, head on over to her Facebook page by CLICKING RIGHT HERE. 

Got News Tips? Our award-winning editorial team wants the buzz. Send it to buzz[at]eewmagazine[dot]com!

Join thousands within our faith community who receive inspiration from Dianna Hobbs’ “Your Daily Cup of Inspiration” podcast! LISTEN HERE

Jonathan McReynolds' social media tips

Top charity forced out

Kim Burrell breaks her silence

T.D. Jakes' preaching tips

Erica says this about promotion

Tasha cobs weds

Hezekiahs' $80 Million deal

Advice for blended families

CeCe empowers women

Cherisse Stephens inspires

Kierra honors grandmother

The Franklins' marital advice

Tina, Teddy regret premarital sex

Cora's social media advice

CeCe responds to Grammy mixup

William McDowell releasing new music

Famine declared in South Sudan

3 lessons from #HurtBae video

Fantasia sustains injury

Dianna Hobbs returns to social media

Tamela wins Grammy

Priscilla says make a gratitude list

Tasha says be humble, apologize

Erica says stop judging

Donnie says pray, don't protest

Activist, 12, lands book deal

Viral baby dances to Mary Mary

Eddie Long's successor

Tina's open letter to Trump

Tasha Lockhart defends Kim

Read our statement of belief HERE.

How to receive Christ MORE

Get to know Dianna Hobbs HERE.

« DAILY INSPIRATION: Rest! God Has A Plan | Main | DAILY INSPIRATION: When God Speaks, Circumstances Shift »
Thursday
Jul302015

Mental Health & The Black Church: Richard Smallwood Opens Up About Past Struggle With Clinical Depression 

Singer Richard Smallwood performs onstage during BET Celebration of Gospel 2014 at Orpheum Theatre on March 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (GETTY)Article By Angela Beckham:: EEW MAGAZINE NEWS

Slowly, by degrees, more and more people within the black church are opening up about their struggles with mental health.

Among them is Hall of Fame inductee and multiple GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer/composer/arranger, Richard Smallwood.

In a recent interview with Chicago Tribune, the 66-year-old revealed that, once upon a time, "I had no desire to live. I was consumed with suicide most of the day."

Before being diagnosed with clinical depression in 2002, Smallwood wasn’t aware of the source of his angst. In the late 90s, at his worst, he could hardly get out of bed, couldn’t find motivation to bathe, shave, write music or leave the house.

“I just thought I was unhappy a lot," Smallwood explained. "It was debilitating. I knew Jesus probably longer than some folks have, and I suffered.”

After seeing a Christian psychiatrist and receiving the professional attention he needed, Smallwood now has a deeper understanding of depression.

It is “an illness, like cancer, or diabetes,” he explained. “You can't just say, 'Pray about it.' You gotta get help."

After undergoing treatment, inclusive of prescription drugs, Smallwood was able to minister. But after exiting the platform, he would go back to his room and into that place of despair.

"I felt like a fraud,” he said. “I would get up and talk about Jesus being the center of my joy, but as soon as I got offstage, I would go into a dark hole.”

There are millions of women and men of faith and color who battle depression. Unfortunately, for some, there is a stigma attached to mental illness, forcing them into a closet of shame.

“A lot of times in the past, African-Americans have viewed severe depression and other mental illnesses as indicating a spiritual weakness,” said Tamara Warren Chinyani, an instructor with the “Mental Health First Aid” program.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 20 percent more likely than non-Hispanic whites to report instances of serious psychological stress.

Christian psychiatrists say, the more the issue is discussed, the less taboo it will become for affected persons to admit they need help.

Smallwood’s psychiatrist, also a minister, saw him two to three times a week. The faith-filled professional not only used drugs and therapy to aid Smallwood’s treatment, but also encouraged his faith in God’s power to heal.

That healing, according to Smallwood, came in 2010 after having a dream.

In it, he was walking down a street with his stepfather, from whom he was estranged in his youth, and heard the sound of music coming from a massive building. The two sat together and listened.

After walking away, Smallwood said his stepfather offered to carry him.

When he awakened, he broke down crying.

Somehow, the dream took away the pain he was carrying from that strained relationship and also wiped away his depression.

"At that point, I never had to take another pill," he told the Chicago Tribune. "It was God's way of healing me of some of the things I was dealing with."

RELATED: Brandy rebounds from depression with renewed faith in God

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>