I am going to make myself completely vulnerable here for the sake of kick starting the healing process from the often hidden hurt that Asian American males experience. Perhaps my open expression will hurt my businesses and cast a stigma on me. Well, I am not here to just build great money-making businesses. I am here on this earth to be great and I strongly believe Ghandi’s words “that man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow man.”
In Asia, if you receive therapy you might be branded as having mental illness or having some kind of terminal illness. Caring for mental well being (e.g., dealing with past hurt, overcoming anger, stress, anxiety, etc.) is not the same of curing mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, etc). That stigma is changing in Asia. But know this: America is totally different than Asia (thank God) and in America it is admirable to seek self-improvement (some women find that sexy as hell).
In America, people who do great things often seek the help of psychologists. Let me give you one of many great examples: Lakers’ forward Meta World Peace. He went from being one of the most hated players in the NBA to becoming one of the most lovable. He dealt with his anger and became a champion. Perhaps he’s just that special. Perhaps he got better cause he has a lot of money to afford the best therapy. Perhaps this, perhaps that. You will never know how special (or how not special you are- for you cynics out there) unless you allow yourself to attempt to reach your full potential. I’m not gonna give you all that crap about how special you are. I’m saying attempt to give yourself a fair attempt at reaching a higher potential (two steps removed from actually striving for your potential). You cannot say you are a slow runner if you never improve your physical shape. You cannot say you are just the way you are if you don’t attempt to improve your mental well being.
Let’s get something straight here: I am not one to give excuses. If you have emotional conflicts or mental blocks, seek help. Don’t use it as an excuse for your lack of growth or your failures. Keep pushing yourself.
Maybe you’ve got anger from being treated harshly as a child. Maybe you have anger from feeling racism and having to suppress that rage. Maybe you’re dad wasn’t around. Maybe you were mistreated by peers. Maybe you were belittled and now think you are what they say you are. I’m here to tell you- no, I’m here to testify- that you can speak up and speak out.
I’ve been there. All the above has happened to me. I overcame it by waking up one day and just fed up with where I was in life emotionally and emboldened by the fact that I knew I could be at least a little bit better than what I was. I wasn’t interested in being a lot better, I just wanted to get a little bit better. Not let the smallest insecurities throw off my day. So I sought help. Five years later, by doing something good for my mental well being a few hours a week adds up to more self-improvement than most people experience in their lifetimes.
There are lots of services out there. Another great thing in America is that we have strict laws to protect people’s privacy and confidentiality (e.g., HIPAA). If any healthcare provider breaks silence and your information is shared inadvertently or purposefully, you can likely sue their pants off. So relax. Besides if someone makes fun of you for seeking therapy, give me a call and I will set them straight. I mean it.
Below are some services that I think could help:
1. (FREE) SHARE LA: http://www.shareselfhelp.org
2. (LOW COST) Pepperdine University therapy program: http://gsep.pepperdine.edu/clinics/west-los-angeles.
3. (ONLINE RESOURCE) 10 happiness tips: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-happiness-tips-for-people-who-have-been-hurt
4. (ONLINE RESOURCE) A trusted non-profit resource http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_tips.htm
5. (ONLINE RESOURCE) How to cope with emotional pain: http://www.wikihow.com/Cope-With-Emotional-Pain
6. (VARIABLE COST) Specialized services: search for psychologists and people with “MFT” (or Marriage and Family Therapy) degrees.
NOTE: psychologists vs. psychiatrists. Psychologists are those with PsyD degrees and are NOT physicians. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who’ve gone to medical school and had special training; they often treat more serious mental health issues (e.g., Schizophrenia, developmental disabilities, etc.). If you do not have a diagnosed mental illness, psychologists tend to be good resources.
7. (VARIABLE COST) Primary care physicians. Look on your insurance card for your primary care physician phone number. They are sometimes the best people to go to for seeking resources for effective therapy. If you don’t have a physician listed on your insurance card, call your insurance company. If you don’t have insurance, there are several community groups that have free-of-charge sessions. Do a quick Google search for therapy and/or help groups in your area. Do it. Go for it. You have nothing to lose and only the world the gain.
Lastly, if you have any thoughts of hurting yourself and others, please please please give this number a call. It is completely confidential and you can be honest about your thoughts:
|Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255|
|National Suicide Prevention Lifeline|