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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Adolescence as a second generation immigrant

Topic: Adolescence as a second generation immigrant

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. op1996
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Vietnam
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    op1996 avatar
    7 posts
    10 December 2017

    Hi guys, I will be talking my high school experience in Australia- how I adapted & coped with cultural difference. As an adolescent my mental health was at risk due to social and hormonal change, as well as the high need for a sense of belonging. I first came to Australia when I was 15 year old (year 10) on my own for school. Not going to lie, it was very hard at the beginning as my English was still not proficient and I was one of the few Asians in a mostly caucasians school. I was extremely insecure of my English and that was one of the reason and that was one of the reason why I developed social anxiety & a irrational fear of people. I was too scared to even talk because I feared that my peers would judge my English so I was a very quiet kid. My lack of self esteem led to a whole lot of loneliness, self loathing and eventually it led to other problems as well. My grades started to drop because I could not concentrate in class, I started having insomnia, gained a lot of weight which did not help my crippling teenage insecurity. I did not have any friend whom I could talk to and I did not want to make my parents from Vietnam worry so I would lie and told them that I was having a good time. I also did not seek any sort of professional help.

    Eventually I started having suicidal thoughts and that was when I realised that my symptoms were more severe than just teenage blues. I researched and educated myself on depression/ anxiety & started to form a list of coping strategies that I forced my self to stick to. I had a journal of all the positive 'to do' things in the list each day and rewarded myself with compliments every time I completed the lists.The strategies consists of improving my overall health such as exercising and having a better diet. It took me about a month to started having better self care habits and the positive reinforcement from accomplishing the every day list made me feel much more confident and better.

    Towards the end of high school I had a much more positive mentality and my life tended to have an upward spiral from there. I got over my language insecurity & became more assertive, which led me to get out of my shell and experience the positive things in life. I will have another post focusing on my coping strategies and how I shifted my mind set from negativity to positivity. I regretted not seeking professional or social help because I reckoned that It would made my recovery a lot easier.

  2. james1
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • China
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    james1 avatar
    3043 posts
    13 December 2017 in reply to op1996

    hey op1996,

    Your experiene has been pretty similar to mine.

    I was born here and was one of 3 asian people (I'm chinese) in 100 kids at kindergarten. I don't remember much, but apparently I was so shy that they put me in ESL to learn English because I never spoke, despite me being completely fluent. I've always felt like an outsider in both cultures, and this probably had a lot to do with it.

    Over 25 years, I also never sought professional help and never told anyone about how I struggled. Last year I started seeing a psychologist for the first time and while there's been a lot of changes already, I know there's a lot more I need to work on in terms of figuring out who I am culturally.

    It sounds like you did develop a lot of good self-care strategies which is wonderful! From someone who knows how hard it is, just wanted to send you a quick congratulations on doing so much on self-development!

    James

  3. J.M.12345
    Multicultural Correspondent
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    • Lebanon
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    J.M.12345 avatar
    46 posts
    13 December 2017 in reply to op1996

    Hi op1996,

    Wow, that's actually quite a remarkable story, and it's really inspiring to see that your mental health is now a lot better. It must have been very tough for you going through high school AND having to deal with the struggles of migration. I think you will find that those strategies you learnt will stick with you through life, and will be a toolbox that you can use whenever things get tough again.

    Again, really inspiring to read your post.

    Josette xx

  4. op1996
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Vietnam
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    op1996 avatar
    7 posts
    13 December 2017 in reply to james1
    Thanks James! Good on you for making a decision to seek professional help & I am glad that you're seeing changes! It is a slow process but it looks like you have a positive mentality about it. All the best (:
  5. op1996
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Vietnam
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    op1996 avatar
    7 posts
    13 December 2017 in reply to J.M.12345

    Thanks Jossette!

    It wasn't easy at the start but I am coping well as of now. I am becoming more confident everyday (:

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