Why Mental Illness Is Stigmatised in Asian Cultures: My Struggle With Anxiety

Mention metal illness in Asia and chances are you’ll get odd looks. It’s a topic usually unspoken here and within many Asian cultures, it’s a topic shunned and hushed.

I was born in Australia to stereotypical Chinese-Malaysian parents. No one in my household brought up the subject of mental health when I grew up. For a long time, I thought it couldn’t exist in the family. But earlier this year, I was diagnosed with both social anxiety and panic disorders.

Mental illness is one of life's curveballs, a time when you may feel alone | Weekly Photo Challenge: Curve.

Mental illness is one of life’s curveballs, a time when you may feel alone | Weekly Photo Challenge: Curve.

Anxiety is feeling stressed or worried on an ongoing basis. There are many forms of it, just as there are many kinds of mental illnesses – depression, anorexia, substance addiction and bipolar disorder for instance. Mental illness can affect anyone, and support towards overcoming it is all around today. But for someone from an Asian background, reaching out for that support doesn’t always come easy.

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How To Feel Less Stressed

A million things running through your mind. A million things you need to do. When you feel life is too much to handle, you stress.

When you stress, you worry about everything that’ll go wrong. Fret over how things might not get done in time. Feel over-worked.

The past three months have been rough for me. Juggling a full time office job and being a writer and a blogger hasn’t been easy: clueless as to why I’m doing the job I’m doing, emails waiting to be answered in my inbox, unhappy with articles I’m working on as deadlines loom, five hours of sleep at most each night. Being sick with the winter flu hasn’t helped either.

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