Podcast Episode 203: My Crazy Chinese Family

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:

The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons and My Crazy Chinese Family

Lindsay Wong’s website

Related Episode: The Difference Between Western & Eastern Parenting

Related Episode: Depression the Comedy with Jessica Holmes

Related Episode: Rethinking Self-Care for Parents

Related Episode: Parenting and Mental Health: How You and Your Kids Can Thrive

Related Episode: A Journey with My Sister

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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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by