Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 203 of The New Family Podcast, where we talk to a writer about growing up in an Chinese-Canadian family with a history of mental illness.
It’s said that something like one in five people will be affected by some level of mental illness at least one point in their lifetime. There have been times when I’ve wondered if that figure might not be a little low.
In many cases, family history plays a part, and that was certainly the case in the family of my guest for today’s episode, Lindsay Wong. Lindsay is a writer with a distinguished academic career including an MFA in literary non-fiction from Columbia University. But as you’ll learn in our discussion, the road that got her there was am extremely bumpy one, complicated by her elder’s unorthodox approach to the mental illness that ran in their family, and their deep distrust of Western medicine. Lindsay writes about this in an at once page-turning and darkly comedic new memoir called The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons and My Crazy Chinese Family, which is out this month.
Here are some resources related to this episode:
What Lindsay hopes people will get out of reading the book
“If we can normalize mental illness, it’s not a stigma. I know it’s such a taboo topic, and people don’t talk about it, specially in Chinese families. So I’m hoping that people will get a sense that this is an issue that is going on. It’s not shameful to say ‘I have depression’ or ‘I have anxiety.'”
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