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

Different cultures and different kinds of stigma change the way we experience illness.

Mabel Kwong

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

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9 thoughts on “Why Mental Illness Is Stigmatised in Asian Cultures: My Struggle With Anxiety

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I wrote this article with a lot of heart, and hopefully more of us will find the courage and speak up about mental illness.

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      1. Absolutely. Some people consider it inappropriate to use blogging to discuss these personal issues. I see the blog as a political tool and an open and personal discussion of how political decisions affect and degrade the quality of life for people with mental illnesses as a political act. I’m glad you’re blogging from your perspective.

        Ignorance is not an option.

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      2. Totally agree with you on your perspective on blogging. Blogging is a free space and we shouldn’t be afraid of talking about things that are not often talked about in the mainstream. And because of that, we can get so many more opinions and experiences about mental illness on here.

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