Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women by Inger Burnett-Zeigler

Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women by Inger Burnett-Zeigler

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On the heels of Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and Shonda Rhimes’ The Year of Yes comes a highly engaging work from a respected clinical psychologist which turns the conventional cultural myth of being a strong black woman on its head.

Many black women have endured physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, domestic violence, pregnancy-related trauma, loss, and abandonment. Rather than admitting their pain—seen as a sign of weakness—black women mask their troubles behind the fa ade of being "strong" and ever capable of handling everything for themselves and those around them. Nobody Knows the Trouble I Have Seen helps women understand the high price they pay for wearing a mask of strength and provides a framework for healing.

Black women deprive themselves of experiencing a full range of emotions and tend to hang on to anger and hurt which simmer. This leads to feelings of shame, loneliness, and other negative emotions that test their mental health. In addition, black women are less likely to acknowledge their mental health needs or to seek mental health treatment, increasing their risks for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and suicidal thoughts which can lead to debilitating physical problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

Combining the latest research with her personal story and those of family members and clients, Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler reveals that a life of joy is possible, and discusses outlets for support, including mental health treatment, the church and spirituality. Her illuminating work gives the phrase, "I am a strong black woman" a whole new meaning, while letting women know they are not alone in their suffering.