It’s difficult to deal with any kind of illness when it hits. But when it affects your emotional and psychological health, it’s often impossible to even describe.
“I think if I were to describe it, it’d be like being in a dream state and not feeling like anything’s real," says Danise Sugita, one of the estimated 57 million Americans who currently suffer from mental illness. "Whether I go through good things or bad things, the feelings of just like this darkness I still have.”
Sugita is fourth-generation Japanese American, and her experience is emblematic of the many issues Asian Americans face when it comes to mental health.
“I think with my family ... it’s a lot of keeping things within the family," Sugita says. "I think just reputation and not wanting to look bad to other people. When I was trying to get help with a psychologist and being on antidepressants, I remember my mom begin really disappointed with that: ‘Why can’t we just try to fix it on our own, why do we need to bring in other people?’"
Sugita spoke with KALW’s Erica Mu, who was awarded a California Endowment Health Journalism fellowship to take a closer look at mental health from an Asian American perspective. Mu spent six months reporting on this topic and brings us the series, “Asian American Mental Health: Inside Out.”To subscribe to the Crosscurrents podcast in iTunes, click here. To use another podcasting tool, click here.