Saturday, February 2, 2019

Saving Your Face - Asians & Mental Health Awareness



Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

 Have you ever struggled with depression?  I have.  I still do.  Some days it can feel heavy, like there is a weight that is sitting on top of you that you can’t lift off.  Some days it is the feeling that you don’t want to get out of bed because you feel so hopeless.  Even the daily routine seems tough, and doing things like getting dressed, taking a shower, eating, socializing, and putting on a smile to get through your day so that other people won’t notice your sadness feels extremely difficult.  Making other people uncomfortable by talking about our feelings can seem scary, especially if we were raised in a culture where we were socialized to always be polite, kind, and respectful by putting other people’s feelings before our own. 
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy


I understand this ideology because I am Asian.  My father is Okinawan Japanese and was raised in Hawaii.  Growing up I understood what it meant to “save face”.  We are taught that it is not okay to show weakness or any imperfections, and whatever you do, definitely do not cry in public.  In doing so, it could not only reflect poorly on you, but also on your own family members.

Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

If you are not familiar with this concept, here is the definition for you on Saving Face (according to Psychology Today):

Saving Face - The concept is a core social value in Asian cultures, among others. The meaning has remained stable across time.  Saving Face signifies a desire—or defines a strategy—to avoid humiliation or embarrassment, to maintain dignity or preserve reputation.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

So, what happens when “saving face” becomes more important than saving our own mental health?  At what cost?  It could literally mean saving someone’s life, or having a better quality of life, both of which are incredibly important.  In fact, too important to “save face” or to stay silent on this topic about Asians and mental health.  I’d rather see someone I love “lose face”, instead of lose their own life to suicide because they didn’t get access to the help they needed due to cultural stigma.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy

Have you ever tried to “save face” over taking care of your own mental health? Or do you know of any friends who struggle with talking about depression, anxiety, and other mental health related issues because they are trying so desperately to “save face”?  


It really is okay not to be okay, and it's okay to talk about it.  Talking about mental health saves lives.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Asian mental health awareness saving face saving your face losing face deression anxiety Japanese asian culture Asian mental health advocacy A Stylish Love Story Joanna Joy



Read more about Minority Mental Health Month here: 


If you need help, call the NAMI Help Line: 1-800-950-NAMI or  TEXT "NAMI" TO 741741


7 comments:

  1. Depression is becoming more widespread but people are still afraid to talk about it. We definitely need more awareness and education about it, both as society and as individuals. This is an important subject. I'm not sure have I ever suffered from depression. I had a lot of panic attacks these past months, literally sometimes as much as two a day. I'm still not sure what is causing them. It is possible they might be caused by extreme anemia I suffer from (the loss of iron means that oxygen can't get into blood which can cause problems with the breathing and cause anxiety) and other health problems, but they might also be a symptom of a mental issue. It is very common for people suffering from chronic/immune illnesses to also suffer from depression and I'm afraid I'm heading that way.

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    1. Thank you for sharing! Stay strong though. You're right to point out the correlation between depression and immune diseases though.

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    2. Thank you for sharing too. Have a nice weekend.

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  2. Oh darling thanks for share this amazing post you are very brave to share this post with us. I suffer of Generalized anxiety disorder and is pretty hard for me deal with so many stuff.
    xx

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    1. You're welcome! It's important to practice vulnerability, authenticity and sharing because it allows for a genuine connection

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Todo es estupendo! Feliz día! ♡♡♡

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