Susan’s Story

Facing stigma and discrimination, overcoming hardships such as abuse, homelessness and traumatic memories can be difficult, but it can get better. Finding inner strength and connecting with the right people or local programs can make all the difference. Visit to view personal story movies created by San Diegans to inspire, offer hope and challenge stereotypes.

“In my Asian culture, mental illness is taboo. When we’re sad, we say we don’t feel well or have a headache because you certainly would never say the word “depressed.” We don’t want to embarrass or bring shame to our family.

I struggled with body image issues from 9 years old through high school. Every day I felt I wasn’t pretty enough, skinny enough, not good enough. When I got accepted to college, I became nervous, anxious and overwhelmed. I lost interest in the things I once loved, slept all day and isolated myself from the world. I considered ending my life.

My family noticed the changes, but didn’t understand what was happening. So they took me to the hospital. Treatment included support groups and art therapy, which reconnected me with my love of drawing and painting. I don’t know where I would be without the help and unconditional support of my family.

I’m blessed to still be breathing and know I’m strong, beautiful and I love myself.”– Susan 

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