Okay to be Asian American and bipolar

It’s now public knowledge. My name is DJ Chuang and I have bipolar disorder. It took me a long time to seek professional care for my mental health. Here’s what the Orange County Register article, O.C. exports Asian American churches to the world, described:

Chuang has bipolar disorder. He has been successfully treated for the condition since 2001. But he attributes his numerous career changes and intellectual restlessness, in part, to manic episodes.

His periods of depression, he said, brought him near suicide. And they convinced him that helping Asian American churches become more culturally inclusive is tantamount to a life-or-death calling.

“It’s very hard for Asians to talk about their weaknesses,” Chuang said, explaining why he waited years before publicly acknowledging his condition and seeking treatment.

Chuang said traditional Asian American churches are especially inhospitable to painful personal problems because many Asian cultures prize a veneer of stoic hard work and moral respectability.

“I want to bring churches into a place to deal more honestly with the real person,” Chuang said.

“I would like to see Asian Americans become more healthy and whole as people.”

View/Download PDF version of the OC Register article

By posting here and on my personal blog djchuang.com, I am making myself available to you and to people you know who may be struggling with bipolar disorder or other kinds of mental illness. I am not a professional, but I am willing to offer a listening ear and to be an encourager and a friend. Contact me.

[cf. Julie J. Park]

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