- Area of Lived Experience: Suicidal Ideation
- Focus: Asian-American families/communities, finding a therapist, suicidal thoughts, suicide prevention
- Resourced Used: Therapy, EMDR, Peer Support, Crisis Lines
"As an Asian American woman, I grew up in a household that associated mental disorders as crazy. It affected my ability of reaching out to others for help and did not allow me a safe space to disclose my personal thoughts."
Have you ever experienced stigma?
Yes; I was told that having suicidal thoughts meant you were crazy and/or selfish. It caused me a lot of stress in the past and was a result of termination of several relationships.
How has your life been affected by your illness?
Things that are emotionally easy for others are not emotionally easy for me. This has negatively affected the way that I communicate with others, my coping skills, and deal with life on a daily basis. However, it has positively affected the way that I help others, and my increased my sensitivity to others.
Early on, why didn't you seek help?
When I was undergoing stress and suicidal thoughts, I didn't know where to seek help. Financially, I couldn't afford it either and my parents didn't want to help. They thought seeking therapy meant you were crazy.
What type of reactions are not easy for you to hear? What reactions do you appreciate when sharing that you live with a mental illness?
I don't like it when people say "suicidal people are selfish," "retard," "crazy" or "you're overreacting." I appreciate it when people take the time to empathize, understand and listen non-judgmentally without sounding as if I am crazy for feeling a certain way about something.
What do you wish people would understand in regards to mental health/illness?
It is very important to your health overall. It is alright to feel sad, upset, confused or have any other negative emotions in general. It doesn't mean you're weak at all.
What treatment or coping skills are most effective for you?
I surround myself with good friends and family.
What are a few goals regarding your mental health?
My goals are to be less anxious about my future/myself and become less afraid to hear criticism/rejection. I also am trying to balance my own personal needs with others'.
What does progress look like to you?
Progress is when someone makes the conscientious decision to go towards a positive change. It can be difficult, and many times people will regress, but as long as they are aware of such pattern, I see it as an attempt nonetheless. Recovery is when someone has finally reached a point where they completely accepted the positive change in their life.