Ignorance is Bliss in Korean Culture

Juliet Kim,
Irvine, CA

In Korean culture, mental health and awareness is not something that is openly talked about. Being a first-generation citizen of the United States, I grew up with both American and Korean cultures that have shaped me into who I am today. I feel that mental health and awareness is extremely important for all individuals to maintain. Because of my Korean heritage, I have never felt comfortable speaking about my personal mental health to my family. When I was experiencing anxiety and a mood disorder, I decided to reach out to a professional without the help of my parents. I didn’t inform them of my decision until years later. This fear of rejection from my family, instilled by the norms of Korean culture, kept me from informing them of serious mental issues. I feel that it is important for first-generation citizens to know that their personal state of mind matters and that it is more than okay to reach out for professional help.


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