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Sep 3, 2009

Black Women & Mental Illness

Maia Campbell, the bronzed beauty who once graced our televisions acting alongside LL Cool J and Debbie Allen has resurfaced again on blogs all over the internet. I read some time ago where BeBe Moore Campbell the NAACP Image Award winning author and mother to Maia admitted that Maia had Bipolar Disorder, a mental disorder. She went on to write a book about it, 72 Hour hold, where she had this to say in an interview with AOL Black Voices, "watching my loved one become violent and an incoherent stranger certainly tested my faith. My very close family member has bipolar disorder, which is a mood disorder - a disease of the brain."

At one time there was information that she was wanted by the police, for stealing a Jeep. The blogs were lit up with that info, as well as a video where she was half dressed, prancing around, and singing. Some blogs were reporting that she did the video in exchange for crack.

This time there is a video that shows her in a car, with a dead look in her eyes. She is clearly sick and needs help. I chose not to upload this video, instead I wanted to remember her the way she used to be, like in the pic I have posted here.

Let me just say this, it is sad that Maia has fallen from grace. Instead of us pointing fingers, laughing, and saying mean spirited things. Let us pray that she gets the help she needs and deserves. No one should have to live like this, in darkness. The woman lost her mother one day after her 30th birthday, and her father is dead also. She has one daughter, and I am unsure of what happened to her.

To the people filming her, laughing, thinking mental illness is a joke. I can assure you it is not, and it is a dreadful disease that anyone can subccumb to if it is in your genes. In the black community it is taboo. However, many black people suffer from mental illness.

If you know anyone who has Bipolar disorder, or any other type of mental disorder please encorage them to seek help. Like Bebe Moore Campbell stated, its hard enough being a black woman, but living with mental illness adds a whole nother' level. May God bless and keep Maia safe.

Stay Blessed & Happy Locing!


Mark Zamen said...

The points made in this post are completely valid, including in particular the need for competent professional help and the fact that this illness is indeed a "dreadful disease." The real-world ramifications of just what happens when a sufferer is denied proper medication, thorough monitoring, and adequate counseling can be readily seen within the pages of my recently released biographical novel, Broken Saint. It is based on my forty-year friendship with a bipolar man, and chronicles his internal and external struggles as he battles for stability and acceptance (of himself and by others). More information is available at

Mark Zamen, author

Writing Addict said...

Wow, Thank you Mark for this valuable information. I will indeed go and purchase your book because I am very interested in this story. Thank you again for offering your opinion here at On the Road to Queendom.

God Bless

PhePhi said...

thanks for posting this. i had no idea of what was going on with her. all i know is it just seemed she disappeared from the face of the earth. wow! bipolar disorder is such a serious issue. though not clinically diagnosed, i believe my husband suffers from it. again, thanks for sharing. i will definitely keep her in my prayers.

Writing Addict said...


I can only pray for you as I know exactly what you are going through if you feel your husband suffers from this illness. It is so serious, is your husband seeking help. Or is he in denial? If you don't mind sharing.

PhePhi said...

No, I don't mind sharing at all. My husband is not in denial. Thank goodness! I've been saying for years that I think he's bipolar & would often get offended. It wasn't until he went to a new dr. for back issues & they offered a psych eval. The hospital is great in that they want people to have overall good health. The results of his eval showed that he is bipolar & suffers from depression. Since then, he has gotten better. He's taking his meds & complaining along the way. But he knows how important this is for him.... & his family!!