Later on, Schizophrenia diagnosis was used to condemn blacks to further poor mental health diagnoses. Before the civil rights, movement schizophrenia which was largely a white disease was described as a docile and harmless condition with the 1920s to 50s magazines presenting it as a neurosis disease attached to middle-class housewives. However, in the early 1960s, American citizens and scientists began defining schizophrenia as a brain dysfunction disorder afflicting ‘Negro men’ and manifesting through rage, volatility, and aggression. In the end, researchers further associated civil rights protesters with protest psychosis (schizophrenia) which blacks developed after listening to delusional anti whiteness antiques which pushed them into aggressive feelings (Perzichilli). Quite like scientists had used science to justify slavery, so did they to justify systemic racism. Scientific racism at its best play. The subsequent alignment of schizophrenia with race would work to deflect the black mental health issues. According to Jamie Rose Hackett, scientific racism which continues to impact African American mental health for generations is manifested in Black mental health misdiagnosis seen today (5). For instance, in what is racial misdiagnosis, blacks men, who are four times likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than white men, and are over-diagnosed with schizophrenia and underdiagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorders and mood disorders (Perzichilli). As a continuation of the resistance against black mental health issues, Schizophrenia which was promulgated by civil war scientists as a racial disease, continues to ensure black mental health misdiagnoses and poor treatment.
However, an acknowledgment of the existence of significant black mental health concerns through history suggests that something should be done to confront it appropriately. Prominent medical practitioner and a leading medical authority after the American Revolution, Dr. Benjamin Rush, disputed Galt’s hypothesis and noted that many enslaved individuals suffered from abnormal behaviors including negritude, an irrational desire to become white. In fact, Rush noted that Africans became insane immediately after entering perpetual slavery in the West Indies (Umeh). Evidently, black Americans were genuinely facing extreme distress under the disguise of systemic racism. Furthermore, a social-economic disparity that African Americans experience today is rooted in slavery, sharecropping, and race-based exclusion, and is linked to poor mental health (US Department of Health and Human Services 57). Therefore, the racially driven socioeconomic status disparity continues to subject African Americans to poor mental health and shows more needs to be done.
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