Oh, you're depressed? Just drink more water. You'll be fine.
R: You have food, a job and a place to live, what’s there to be depressed about? Just drink tea. Do yoga. There's a traditional Indian fix for everything, right? And if we are ever vocal about mental health struggles, we are told to “be strong,” implying that having any mental health conditions means that we are weak. But the truth is many South Asians suffer from perfectionism, anxiety, and depression. And this can bleed into all aspects of our lives. For example, maybe you have finally found your significant other, but you suffer anxiety and cannot commit to them because you know your parents will not accept them. You may even want to marry a South Asian, but then there is another problem because they aren’t the “right kind” of South Asian. Maybe you are working a job you hate with long hours, and you ended up there because your parents pushed you into a specific career.
S: Our parents’ beliefs were frozen in time when they immigrated and it's difficult for them to understand the pressures that we grew up with when they had to deal with so much more. Oftentimes, they live insulated from American or Western culture, whereas for us, reconciling the two cultures is our reality. It’s difficult for older generations to accept that taking care of one’s mental health is crucial and that it impacts everyone. But just because they don’t understand does not mean we should not take care of ourselves. We have to do this to ensure the future of our community is thriving. It starts with acceptance.