The Relationships In My Life Story

Table of Content

“Illness is rooted in a culturally constituted explanatory model that seeks to clarify the source of distress and to outline a course of treatment to be pursued by both the healer and the patient” (Baer and Singer, 79). Growing up in the states, I noticed the initiative taken into handling the presence of an illness, such as hospice care, prescription medication, and therapy. Coming from an immigrant family that placed an emphasis on “model minority,” there were often contradictions between what I observed and what I was taught regarding the concepts of experienced pain and treatment. In this paper, I will draw from my experiences as well as anthropological works to illustrate the significance of obtaining the necessary care upon diagnosis of an illness.

Seemingly, mental illness to my family was indicative of incompetency, or lacking capability. It was almost like mental health was a sign of inferiority, as my parents hardly brought up the topic, and if it ever did come up, the conversation would end with “you can just take a nap and rest it off.” My mother in particular was always concerned that a diagnosis of such an illness would “contribute to a sense of being singled out and stigmatized,” ultimately leaving us feeling weak and vulnerable to the everyone around us (Kleinman and Benson, 1675). I still remember the moment when I found out my younger sister was diagnosed with clinical depression. My parents had to let go of their self-dependent thinking and reach out to a specialist for the sake of her wellbeing. There was no avoiding treatment for her, as it had clearly affected her daily living habits, to the point that she didn’t even want to go to school. When she was asked about what potentially caused her to identify herself with such little value, she was unable to give one single reason. As it turned out, a plethora of issues had accumulated in the past few months, which resulted in an emotional and physical strain that kept her from living as happily as she once was. Had we not brought her to a therapist to determine these underlying reasons, she most likely would not have told us, if at all. Her life was falling apart, and it was time that she received the aid and support necessary to help her love herself again.

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Finding a solution for the both the sufferer and the helper to follow is a challenging task, and possibly difficult to undertake. Having both the perspectives of Asian and Western society pushed me to identify the importance of mental and physical illness, as well as the commitment required to improve the mindset and life. As of now, it appears that this model of illness is more apparent in my life, as well as those around me who once did not emphasize the significance of the mental aspect of it. It is clear that this model reconnected and healed the relationships in my life story, and I am hopeful that it does the same in another’s.

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The Relationships In My Life Story. (2022, May 13). Retrieved from

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