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asian parents don't understand depression | Terezia Farkas | Beliefnet | depression help

It’s true that Asian parents don’t like to talk about mental health. Why? Asians parents don’t understand mental health. They think you are doing fine as long as you have good grades, or are breathing.

Young Asians Suffering

The lack of understanding of depression by older Asians is hurting the younger generation. Many young Asians are suffering needlessly because they can’t talk to their parents about depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. When young Asians try to tell parents they are sad, they are told that it’s just “sadness”.  Or that their parents sacrificed so much, “How could you be depressed?”

Asian Culture Smoothers Depression Talk

Mental health is a topic that’s not openly discussed among proper Asians. Sometimes it comes down to a lack of words in the culture that properly describe depression. When “sadness” or “melancholy” are used to describe “depression” you get lots of mixed messages and confusion. Chinese is a language based on sounds – words are spoken as sounds. What sound fits “depression”? 

Stigma – that old adversary of truth – is very big in Asian culture when it comes to dealing with depression. Older people tend to think in extremes about depression. Being depressed means you’re mentally ill, which means you are unstable and prone to violence and harm.

Mental Health Isn’t A Priority

Generally, mental health isn’t a priority for Asian cultures. Job, work, school … simply surviving can be demanding enough. There’s no time to think about one’s mental health.

Parents were taught growing up that if you have some type of mental health problem, you failed life, or you weren’t trying hard enough. You are a failure if you suffer with depression. Something must be wrong with you that you can’t keep up with others. Maybe you’re not hardworking enough, and so you’re lazy not depressed. There is a higher idea of being stoic and just “taking your lumps” than perhaps in other cultures.

Asian cultures pride themselves on balancing the whole body. Homeopathic doctors are great at using natural remedies for healing the body and balancing out emotions. Hence, mental health falls in that grey zone. Is it emotional, physical, or spiritual? What herb balances the complete body in a way that depression is treated holistically?

It’s Important For Families To Talk About Mental Health

It’s important for Asian families to talk about mental health as a family unit. When families talk about mental health, a culture is being created that says it’s OK to say, “I’m not doing well.” It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to not be strong.

Starting a conversation about mental health in Asian families can be tricky. You can try by talking about something in the news, like the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, and how it made you feel.

Make sure you’re educated about mental health. If your parents don’t know anything about mental health, they are the worst people to ask for advice or help. Instead, by educating yourself first you can educate your parents, and thus create a support system that can and will help you when you need it. Educate yourself, check out your support systems, and then let your parents know what they can do to help you. That lets them be informed and so when they are ready, they know how to reach out to you.

You can’t force help on someone. You can only be there, ready to help, ready to talk as needed. It’s important to create that climate of, “I’m here for you when you need me.” A lot of times people are scared to ask for help. So be patient.

Find me on Twitter  @tereziafarkas

Visit my website http://www.tereziafarkas.com

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forgiveness | Jesus | Terezia Farkas | depression help

To free your heart from pain, you need to forgive others. And you need to forgive yourself! Forgiveness brings freedom to the heart and soul from pain. It’s a clarity of life, and understanding of others. Its grace given to humans so that they can go to the next higher level of being.

Forgiveness takes courage.

It’s not naive to forgive. It’s not the idea, “Forgive and forget.”

Forgiveness is the letting go of past suffering. It’s a release of pain and hate. But you don’t forget that pain or hate. Nor should you. Because once you’ve experienced those emotions, you have empathy and compassion for others who are in similar situations. You become unwilling to attack or harm others the same way you’ve been hurt.

Forgiveness takes time. Forgiveness isn’t easy, so it doesn’t happen quickly. There’s a process of grief, outrage, sadness, loss, and pain you must go through first. True forgiveness doesn’t paper over what happened. It’s not a suppression of pain. It’s a path through the pain to the other side. It’s the freedom of the heart once true forgiveness is achieved.

So don’t be stuck in anger and pain. Forgive yourself and forgive others.

You’re stronger than you  believe!

Find me on Twitter  @tereziafarkas

Visit my website http://www.tereziafarkas.com

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moon sun | mental health | Terezia Farkas | Beliefnet |depression help

 

Mental health IS health. You can’t ignore your mental health, or pretend it’s not part of your physical presence on earth. Here are 10 ways to look after your mental health.

Talk about your feelings.

Don’t keep your feelings bottled up. A healthy release of emotions is a good cleanse for the soul and mind. However, it must be a healthy release. This means talk that’s done in a healing, non-judgemental environment.  It does not mean temper tantrums, screaming at another person, or becoming physically violent.

Keep active.

Keeping active is no easy task when you’re depressed or anxious. But being active helps your body release chemicals that your brain needs to balance itself. Go outside and release some anxiety and stress by enjoying the calming effect of nature. Jog. Swim. Golf. Whatever makes you happy.

Eat well.

Eating well is important when you’re anxious or depressed. There’s two ways you can swing with food – indulging too much or starving yourself. Keeping a proper, balanced diet prevents your body from having to deal with sudden weight gain or loss. Important brain chemicals and hormones that regulate mood function best when you eat healthy, nutritional food.

Take a break.

Stressed out? Take a break. Whether its 15 minutes or 2 hours, a break helps you refocus and get back to concentrating on the task at hand. A break refreshes your mind, body, and soul. Anxiety is reduced because heart rate goes down. Nutrients have a chance to be properly absorbed and processed by your body. Muscles relax and breathing becomes deeper, allowing more oxygen into the body and to the brain.

Drink sensibly.

Too much stress and anxiety can drive any person to drink. Sometimes that drinking becomes too much. Too much alcohol in the blood is bad for you, because the alcohol molecules bind to protein bases that do important tasks. Alcohol also depletes oxygen levels in the blood, and creates more carbon dioxide waste. It’s that waste overflow that gives an alcohol headache. Thus drinking sensibly is good for mental health.

Keep in touch.

Keep in touch with people you know. This helps keep you connected to life. In depression, a person feels disconnected and alone. Friends, family, even co-workers can be the lifeline keeping a depressed person alive. Friends can help bear some of the load if you’re stressed out. Non-judgemental friends also give you a safe space to clear your head of negative thoughts.

Do something you love.

Being active and taking a break are great ideas. But you have to do something you love when you’re active or taking a break. Otherwise, it’s just another chore, a task to be completed. If you love running, then jog. When you do something you love, your mental health improves because in those moments you are enjoying life.

Love who you are.

Loving who you are is the most important thing in having good mental health. Not the self infatuated type of self-love. But the self-love that says you’re a good person, one who deserves love and kindness. Focus on the good in you. Love who you are now. Accept that the past is over, so let it go. Release guilt because that’s holding onto past pain.

Ask for help.

It’s not a big deal asking for help, even though many people are raised to believe the opposite. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It doesn’t mean you’re not a man, or you’re damaged goods. Asking for help means you realize your limits. Someone can help you past that point you believe you can’t go past. Once you go past that point, you’ve learned a new skill to process pain and realize that you are more powerful than you think.

Care for others.

Taking care of your own mental health shouldn’t mean that you can’t help someone else who is struggling. Be compassionate. After all, you’ve been there where this person now is. Be non-judgemental. Simply tell the person how you got through your pain, if the person wants to hear about it. If not, then let the person know you are there as support.

 

You’re stronger than you  believe!

Find me on Twitter  @tereziafarkas

Visit my website http://www.tereziafarkas.com

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innertalk | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

You learn how to speak to others. What you’re never taught is how to speak to yourself. What is healthy inner talk? After all, you are listening. What do you need to say, and what should you say, when your head space is overflowing with negative thoughts and emotions?

Learning to speak to yourself.

First you need to realize that speaking to yourself isn’t weird, or something that makes you “different” from other people. Every human being talks to their self, either at the conscious or subconscious level. Many of us don’t know what healthy inner talk is about. You just hear your inner self talk, and go with it. You believe the negative words repeating inside your mind, and soon you are living out a self fullfilling prophecy.

The first step of learning to speak to yourself is learning to listen to your inner chatter. Hearing it and listening to it are two different things. Listening to what you tell yourself means being aware of your thoughts and feelings, much like you do when you listen to someone else. You need to listen to your thoughts the same way you would listen to a friend who is talking to you. What is being said? What is the meaning behind the words? Is there any emotion attached to what is said? How does the tone make you feel?

Challenge what you tell yourself.

You need to challenge thoughts that are negative or destructive. Notice when you snap at yourself. Be aware of when you beat yourself up, or when you call yourself “dummy”, “waste of life”, or worse.

Usually there’s a pattern to one’s negative self image. There are triggers like people, places, and calendar anniversaries. Triggers teach you to think a certain way, and to react to yourself in a negative manner. Over eating, drinking too much, excessive partying, physical violence – these are some coping mechanisms people use when a trigger sets off negative inner talk.

By noticing what you’re saying to yourself, you can realize that you are reacting to a trigger. That the problem really isn’t you. It’s something external to who you are as a person. Deliberately listening to your negative inner talk will help you realize what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Noticing your thoughts is a gift to yourself.

A thought or feeling doesn’t have to become embedded in your mind. You don’t have to try to be positive. Noticing what you say to yourself and how it makes you feel is a gift to yourself. A gift that lets you see the thought or emotion for what it is – a moment in time passing by. You don’t need to grab that moment, and press it into your heart. That moment doesn’t need to become a part of you. Even if you feel guilt, that guilt is about holding onto a moment that passed by long ago and has nothing to do with who you are right now.

Be careful how you talk to yourself. You are listening.

 

Find me on Twitter  @tereziafarkas

Visit my website http://www.tereziafarkas.com

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