AsianFilipinoImmigration News

From the FilAm: “The Asian American in Isolation”

Ryan Gajudo Macasero is a freelance reporter who contributes to various community and ethnic news sites, including Philippine News, Power ng Pinoy TV and The Patch.  (Photo: The FilAm)

This article by Ryan Gajudo Macasero was originally posted on The FilAm, an online magazine for Filipino Americans in New York.

Through the years I tried to find various ways to cope with fear and depression. I turned to alcohol. I felt numb and indifferent to anything around me when I was drunk, and I forgot about how sad I was. When normal people say they are depressed, they most likely mean that something made them sad, but they know they will get over it soon. When depressed people say they are depressed they have difficulty eating, sleeping, or focusing on being productive because of their condition. This is why I did not do well in school. I would hide my report card under the bed, and if my parents found out I would just promise to do better the next time. My mom would usually forget all about it because she worked 12 hours a day six days a week.

There were times when I felt like no one, not my family or even God, could help me. I contemplated suicide, but never had the guts to do it because deep down I was concerned for my family and didn’t want to cause them grief or embarrassment. But I made it a point to hold back tears until I got to a place where no one would see me.

In many Asian cultures, depression is not openly spoken of or acknowledged as an actual condition. My relatives would tell me that it was “only in your mind.” To this day, my parents didn’t know the severity of my condition then.

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Fi2W is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation and the Sirus Fund. 

AboutFeet in Two Worlds
Feet in Two Worlds brings the work of immigrant and ethnic media journalists from communities across the U.S. to public radio and the web. Since 2005, this award-winning project has expanded the diversity of voices and stories on public radio by presenting the work of journalists representing a broad spectrum of immigrant communities including Arab, Bosnian, Brazilian, Chinese, Haitian, Indian, Irish, Latin American, Pakistani, Polish, and Russian immigrants. Feet in Two Worlds reporters appear on nationally-distributed public radio programs including PRI’s The World, Studio 360, and The Takeaway, American Public Media’s Marketplace and NPR’s Latino USA, as well as on public radio stations WNYC, New York Public Radio, and WDET in Detroit.