You are currently browsing the archives for July, 2012

The End of July Is Only The Beginning Of Mental Health Awareness

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Across the board among minority groups in the US, stigmas surrounding mental health and treatment are much greater than they are for whites. So while July is almost over, I hope this is only the beginning of the Asian American community and other minority communities championing a shame-free discussion about our mental health.

To kick off this month, my friend, Nigerian American poet and mental health advocate Bassey Ikpi, who started The Siwe Project to raise awareness of mental health issues in the African diaspora, declared July 2 “No Shame Day.” No Shame Day was designed to encourage people to share their stories and struggles with mental illness openly via social media. I’ve talked about my depression in the past–though upon reflection, not nearly enough given how much I care about destigmatizing mental illness–so I of course had to participate. (Plus, I want to be more like Bassey when I grow up. You would too if you knew her.)

It occurred to me, though, as I was participating in No Shame Day, how much shame still colors my view and my experience of my own depression, much as I’ve tried to rid myself of it. Even after 15 years of treatment. Even after 15 years of being honest and open about it with my family, my friends, NPR listeners even, and, most importantly, myself. I’m a depressive? I live with depression? I suffer from depression? I struggle with depression? Sometimes the hardest part was simply finding the right shorthand with which to describe it when I brought it up, which was not infrequently.

And yet, for all the time I’ve spent trying to own it, I still catch myself trying to disown it, too. I only ever do this with one person–myself. But man, do I try. When I feel better, I like to pretend that depressed person never existed. Ding dong, the witch is dead. I think I’ve eulogized her at least a dozen times. When I start to feel worse, I immediately go for the quick fix. Do I need more sleep? Do I need more exercise? Should I drink less coffee? More coffee? Do I need to start yoga again? Should I eat more kale? Should I eat more cake? All perfectly valid questions, but a defensive smoke screen I put up nevertheless in order to not ask the question I really need to be asking myself: am I depressed (again)?

Continue reading The End of July Is Only The Beginning Of Mental Health Awareness

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet The First Asian American Gold Medalist, 91 Year-Old Sammy Lee

The last time the Olympics were in London in 1948 was also the first time an Asian American won a gold medal in the Games. That distinction belongs to 91 year-old Dr. Samuel “Sammy” Lee, who was born in Fresno, CA and is of Korean descent.

From Time Lightbox via Wired:

Dr. Samuel “Sammy” Lee, 91, was the first Asian-American to win an Olympic gold Continue reading Meet The First Asian American Gold Medalist, 91 Year-Old Sammy Lee

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are You “Asian For Romney”?

Apparently these ladies are:

Fun times.

[via Reddit]

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , ,

For Better Or Worse, “K-Town” The Reality Show Is Finally Here

After two years of hype surrounding every aspect of the so-called “Asian Jersey Shore,” K-Town premiered today on YouTube. The reality show was so thoroughly dissected before it ever saw the light of day–Is this good or bad for Asians? Does it promote or break down stereotypes? Is this something to be ashamed of or to celebrate?–the 12-minute pilot is, inevitably, something of a letdown. It’s not quite the trainwreck it was originally touted to be, and without something to really rubberneck in the pilot, the whole thing feels a little bland, actually. The guys and girls kind of blend one into another, a cheesy, homogeneous mix of muscles and eyelash extensions. The teaser for the rest of the season doesn’t give you much to hang onto either: They drink, party, have a few fakish conflicts, rinse and repeat.

Let’s hope the next ep has more to gawk at, or, at least, offers clearer stakes–how very fuddy-duddy of me to want them, I know–because a show like this that once promised to be new and “groundbreaking” could get really old, fast.

[YouTube: K-Town Episode 1]
[The Leaked K-Town Sizzle Reel: Mystery Revealed]

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BABEWATCH: Meet My Olympics Boyfriend, Swimmer Nathan Adrian

NAME: Nathan Ghar-jun Adrian

AGE: 23

HEIGHT: 6’6″

WEIGHT: 220 lbs. of man meat

HAILS FROM: Washington state

ETHNICITY: Caucasian and Chinese

OLYMPIC EVENTS: 100-meter free and the 4×100-meter freestyle relay

FUN FACTS: Adrian’s Chinese middle name means “Little Pony”; he won a gold medal in Beijing for the 4×100 freestyle relay even though he didn’t swim in the final; he drinks chocolate milk while he showers (oh to be that chocolate milk!)

It happens every four years. No, I’m not just talking about the Olympics. I’m talking about Continue reading BABEWATCH: Meet My Olympics Boyfriend, Swimmer Nathan Adrian

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian

Baby pandas! Baby pandas! Baby pandas! On a slide! [YouTube via Jezebel]

July 2 was No Shame Day, which was started by The Siwe Project’s founder Bassey Ikpi to promote support of mental health care and encourage people to to seek treatment. Many folks (including Jen) took to social media to share stories and show support. [The Siwe Project]

This is critical for Asian Americans, as a recent study has shown that Asian Americans tend to shun treatment for mental health issues. That same study also revealed that Asian American teenage girls have the highest rate of depression across race and gender. [PsychCentral]

Much to my chagrin (and H-Town native Jen’s delight), Jeremy Lin may be on the verge of signing a 4-year, $31 million dollar deal with the Houston Rockets. As a limited free agent playing with the Knicks, Jeremy may yet see a matching offer from his team. [ESPN]

The average age of China’s women’s gymnastics team for the 2012 Olympics is 19.5, which seems positively ancient compared to the 2008 squad of supposed 16 year olds. [The Atlantic Wire]

Lia Neal became only the second African American woman to make a U.S. Olympic swim team last weekend. Her 4th place finish in the 100m final at the Olympic trials earned her a spot on the 400m relay team. A native of New York (holla!), Lia is of African-American and Chinese descent. [WP - thanks, Rome!]

China has lifted a ban preventing lesbians Continue reading Intern Jasmine’s Links Of The Daysian

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,