I'll admit it; I'm a bit of a podcast addict. Ever since I've become a parent, the time I once allotted for reading books has significantly diminished (except for Go Dog Go, of course). Podcasts fill that void so beautifully though, allowing me to learn new things, shed a tear at someone's story, or laugh hysterically at a comedy routine all while doing the dishes.
Recently, I began listening to the podcast, Only Human, which focuses on health issues. This week, they are focusing on mental health, specifically regarding how families communicate these issues to one another. The story that unfolds is that of Rose, a 24 year old Pakistani American woman who has been struggling with depression since adolescence. She has never told her parents about the depression for reasons that sound familiar to the first generation children of immigrants I have worked with. Reasons such as cultural stigma, communication difficulties because of limited vocabulary for mental health issues in their language, and finally, diminishing their own experiences because they have not faced the same struggles as their parents.
Rose makes a brave move and decides to tell her mother. I won't spoil it for you, but I think it's a great reminder that sometimes we expect issues to be resolved in just one conversation because we've been building them up in our heads for so long. What is more typical is that the big reveal tends to open a small window that may not feel immediately good or worth it. But over time, it will hopefully pave the way for other conversations that build on each other and eventually result in a deeper understanding and appreciation for our loved ones.
So, next time you're washing dishes....download this episode and give it a listen. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!!
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Kelly is a licensed clinical social worker in South Jersey.
24 Lees Avenue
Collingswood, NJ 08108