Why specifically the Ethnic asian community?
Mental Health seems to be word of 2018/2019. But…it seems to have evaded ethnic cultures and this isn’t an oversight 🙁 . This is why I thought that I’d focus specifically on this; The Asian/ brown community and Mental Health.
Ever seen an ethnic person open up about feeling hashtag blue? January is … apparently most depressing month of the year. So is it something that we need to talk about? Yes! Yes. YES… It’s finally our culture owned up to how we view Mental Health. Our community needs a wakeup call. Why? Because if we don’t everyone becomes a statistic. It is okay to not be okay.
Lets talk SHARAM ( public pain brought to the family)
Culturally talking about mental health is akin to watching dirty kacchas (Men’s boxers type underwear .) being aired in the public. It’s just not done. You are labelled mad 🙁 . There is stigma attached to your family ( your genes are dirty, no one will marry you. Or so it’s assumed.)
So why am I talking about mental health?
I suffer with Mild Clinical anxiety. It took me 38 years to get here. Now two years on, I’m really loving how my life has literally changed. I am no more trapped in what felt like a slow derailing train. Looking back, I wish I had the skill set to have recognised what it is that I had. Looking back I wish I had a name for this earlier. Now, the person I am, is the person I’ve always thought I was deep inside. I am able to deal with… I am able to cope. I am able to compartmentalise “so called problems” . I do think that culturally I didn’t have a reference point. So I had nothing to compare it to 🙁 Now I want everyone to feel the way I do.
Strategies I find that help me cope
- Find your tribe…your group: It may not be your traditional friend set. This is okay. Now more than ever you need to get people around you who get you.
- Look after yourself too: Our culture ( but I think this may be true of most women especially) makes us martyrs to our family. We put ourselves last. This is how our mothers, grandmothers, their grandmas operated. This can mean that putting ourselves last can be a serious neglect of our mental health and its potential impact. We need to break this cycle. NOW.
- Get out of the house: Hopefully the first two mean that this is an automatic given. But in case it isn’t. Get out of the four walls you reside in. Take a walk, hike etc. A change of scene, fresh air is something that can make a great difference.( Plus exercise does release those endorphins and helps keep that serotonin level balanced.)
By not keeping it a secret, opening up our feelings and talking to our family, we help ourselves. The stigma needs to break. It needs to be spoken about. YOLO and all that. You deserve this to be your best life. ( you only have one shot at it!) Plus if they don’t pay your bills, its none of their business. The more the conversation is opened up, the more information we gather. The more we know, the better we do? There is hope.
Let’s talk about it
You’re not alone. There are resources. I’m listing a few down. This is not by any means a comprehensive list; but it’s a good place to start. And DM me, email me. I am just a email/ DM away!
Take care~~ Love Elle xx
The Mind Charity. There are a great bunch of resources on this site.
Mood Juice website which is recommended by GP’s etc in the UK. Again a great deal of resources are available on here to access for a variety of mental health issues.
If you live in the UK, contact your GP ( don’t self diagnose.) The NHS has a great online tool for this. But wherever you live- access your local health service if you can.