In this conversation, I speak with Michelle. Michelle is a writer, a mental health advocate, a partner, mother, an immigrant, a takeout kid. And, she was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder in her early 20s.
We talked about her family dynamics, the legacy of trauma and abuse she experienced, how the mental health system failed her and what can go wrong in the therapist / client relationship.
We also discussed the difference between treated and untreated mental illness and why it’s so important to separate trauma from culture.
It is a very honest conversation and I so appreciate Michelle for her openness and vulnerability.
I hope this conversation helps to normalizes mental health, mental illness, being in therapy and/or taking medication. #AsiansDoTherapy #NoStigma
Michelle Yang (she/her) MBA, is a mental health advocate who speaks and writes about the intersection of Asian American identity, feminism, and mental health. Tired of the stigma, she is empowered to humanize and normalize mental illnesses as another part of the human condition. Born ethnic Chinese in South Korea, Michelle immigrated to the US at the age of 9, therefore straddling different cultures and navigating identities is her default. She is a proud "takeout kid," who grew up working in her family's Chinese restaurant honing a scrappy, entrepreneurial spirit. Her articles have been featured in InStyle, Reader's Digest, HuffPost, Shondaland, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and more. Michelle is also busy at work on her memoir, How a Fat Asian with Bipolar Found Love.
Michelle identifies as a body-positive, cis-gendered woman. She is in a fulfilling and committed opposite-sex marriage with her grad-school sweetheart. They are raising a hilarious 7-year-old nature wizard and an incorrigible rescue pup.