Asian Americans with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a type of mental illness that affects people from all ethnic groups in comparatively similar proportions. Mental illness is a part of the human condition and no respecter of persons. What’s different is how a particular ethnicity or culture would react or respond to seeking professional help to treat and care for those who struggle.

For instance, Asian Americans are 3 times less likely than their white counterparts to seek treatment for their mental health concerns. That’s a big problem. And I don’t have an easy solution.

But, I do think it is helpful to know that someone who is an Asian American struggling with mental health is human, s/he is not alone and there’s no shame to having a struggle. Don’t let other people heap shame on someone for being human.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness diagnosed for around 2.8% of the American population. (This means there are more people who have this disorder but are not diagnosed.) Here are some people who’ve publicly made known their diagnosis and how they’ve managed to live a meaningful and productive life:

Michelle Yang michelleyangwriter.com + erasingshame.com/how-high-achievers-can-mask-mental-health-issues/ + huffpost.com/entry/asian-american-mental-illness_n_5cacad09e4b02e7a705dae97

Alia Joy, author aliajoy.com and twitter.com/AliaJoyH/status/1204582639035772928

“celebrity chef David Chang opening up about his bipolar I disorder” cf.
www.bphope.com/recipe-for-hope-david-chang-asian-american-inspiration-bipolar-disorder/ + Celebrity Chef David Chang Talks about Bipolar and Anger

Tiffany Romito – How My Experiences as an Asian American Trigger My Bipolar

Rebecca Le – life of a bipolar Asian-American woman rebeccale.com
www.facebook.com/therebeccale
Authored “Sweet and Sour: The Life of a Bipolar Asian-American Woman”

Jon Chang: Living With Bipolar Disorder jonchang.co
www.gorocktheboat.com/post/episode-24-jon-chang-living-with-bipolar-disorder-spreading-mental-health-awareness

Diana Chao, founder of Letters to Stangers
www.asianmhc.org/advancing-asian-mental-health/humanity-distilled-into-ink-fighting-mental-health-taboos-through-letters-to-strangers

David Chow – A Slow Climb to Stability for a Lifetime of Hope

Coby – www.asianmhc.org/-myasianmentalhealth/coby

Vivian Ho twitter.com/VivianHo
www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jul/27/bipolar-disorder-mental-illness-health

Bharat Sharma, in “Love Goes Through Your Mind”
www.indianfilmfestival.org/films/love-goes-through-your-mind/
medium.com/betterism/slowing-down-on-sundays-the-simplest-happiness-hack-you-can-follow-in-life-f028541df616

M.K. Ansari – Coming Out of the Closet — Yes, I’m Bipolar

Luna – Up & Down & Over & Back & Repeat

Kelsey twitch.tv/bipolarasiangirl/about

Asians Elsewhere

Ng Jes See 黄洁诗 instagram.com/ngjessee + clubhouse.com/@ngjessee (London, UK)

Amanda Rosenberg – British Chinese. Bipolar II. amandarosenberg.org + “Amanda Rosenberg: Shaking Off Shame” (bphope.com)


updating this list

I’ve also found several other Asian Americans with bipolar disorder via searching on the internet. But they may or may not want to be linked on this blog post. If someone does (or doesn’t) want to be listed here, please add a comment or contact me and I will edit promptly.

furthermore …

And, I (DJ Chuang) personally went public with my diagnosis of bipolar disorder for the first time in 2013, and shared my story on several occasions in 2017, and since.

Recently, in the summer of 2021, I’ve completed training as a mental health coach. That means I’m able to provide some level of support and encouragement for those who struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of mental health struggles. Please contact me confidentially to discuss how I might be of help.

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