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By: Anonymous

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When I was 20, I was diagnosed with a mild form of schizophrenia. Of course, this was nonsense to my 1st-generation parents. They refused to believe it. Medicine is bullshit, and doctors are only out to get your money. They knew for a fact that what inflicted me wasn't an illness; it was the result of substance abuse. Knew for a fact! Maybe they had a point.

Ten years later, I look back and I still don't know for sure what caused the onset of mental illness, however slight. Maybe it was because of the stress of juggling three jobs and going to school. Maybe they were right and it was because of the rampant use of drugs. Maybe it was because of the following disowning and the struggling to make it on my own. Or maybe, just maybe, it ran in the family.

There's no way to know. Asian immigrants are notorious for their lack of trust in Western medicine. My parents were, and are still, no different. My dad had to collapse before he finally went to the hospital where he was treated for dehydration... which he dismisses and says that the real reason he fainted was from a lack of sleep. My mom can't raise her left arm above her head without debilitating pain--but that's just what happens when you get old. And it isn't just medical diagnoses they disagree with--I can't tell you how many times it seemed like I was talking to people living in a different world. A fantasy land. What's that you say? That doesn't even make sense.

Chalk it up to age differences. Chalk it up to cultural differences. Chalk it up to language barriers. Chalk it up to whatever seems most convenient. But what strikes me even now, as I write this, is how similar we really are. Sure, maybe I'm crazy-biased as I look through my crazy-eyes at the crazy-memories crammed inside my crazed mind--but that doesn't change the fact that they are just as crazy, if not more...

Crazy like me.

 
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At The Laundromat is a supportive online community that exists to challenge the taboo of talking. We welcome you to air your dirty laundry – your past, your emotions, your fears, and your questions – in a safe space. ATL is also an online extension of Vanessa A. Yee’s documentary featuring young Asian Americans breaking the silence that takes hold of their lives and their families. So speak. Write. We’ll listen.
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