Depression and suicide among Asian-Americans


Although suicide rates among young Asian people are lower than those for the overall US population, the number has grown significantly in the past decade. For Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) aged 20-24, the suicide rate increased from 7.4 per cent to 13.6 per cent between 2011 and 2018, according to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Suicide was also the leading cause of death among AAPIs aged 15-24, according to CDC. Specifically, for those 20-24, suicide accounted for 33.1 per cent of AAPI deaths in 2017 – the highest of all ethnicities. By contrast, the number was 21 per cent among Caucasians in the same age group.

A recent Indiana University study found that school problems are twice as likely to contribute to suicides for AAPIs under age 25 as for their white counterparts.

And they place the blame mostly on pressure to succeed, refusal to discuss mental health, etc., but with a quick mention of Instagram culture and…

The rise of racist ideology and discriminatory rhetoric within and beyond the United States in recent years may also play a role, Wong said.

I suppose the Coronavirus thing doesn’t help. :cactus:

Hmm…suicide has been rising among all minorities in the US. IIRC, last year Native American teens had the highest.


There’s a particularly bitter streak of nihilism in zoomers.


Can we talk about that?

By Zoomers I’m assuming you’re referring to Gen Z and millennials. I’ve noticed a lot have anxiety issues and coping skills aren’t the same as Gen X.

I’m missing something here.

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Zoomers may refer to Generation Z (basically post-Millennial), but I can’t hear it without thinking of Moses Znaimer.

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Zoomers are technically just Gen Z. Millennials are their own thing.

I think one reason zoomers are so nihilistic is they’re told the world is ending within their lifetime so often that they just don’t really give a shit about anything anymore. Meanwhile millennials can still remember simpler, more idyllic times and are plagued by sentimentality and a desire to return to that. Just my observation.

I also think constant social media connectivity has fucked up a lot of zoomers’ mental health. It’s fucked up millennials too, but not to the same extent.


What’s the deal with Asian Americans wanting to go into film?

This is why I don’t tell my parents jack squat.

They want to control my life.

Whatever I’m doing, they’ll oppose because they’re paranoid.

Once this professor advising a Taiwanese baseball team gave me a chance to sign an NDA to help him out. Parents opposed.

I told my aunt I wanted to go to Costa Rica for dental work. Parents opposed.

They’ll make something out of nothing.

Does this include South Asians (e.g. Indians)? I’d be curious if there are other trends seen in pacific islanders versus East Asians versus South Asians versus SE Asians. I would also personally suspect - anecdotally - that rates are higher among those whose parents are immigrants, and stabilizes to the US norm with each passing generation. (Though I’m not sure using ‘norm’ is the right word given how ridiculously high US depression/anxiety/suicide rates are.)

I suppose the coronavirus thing doesn’t help

I’m assuming you’re joking here, but I would like to take this chance to point out that the article is from SCMP which is Chinese state-owned/backed. Since they are HK-based they do not always follow the party line as obviously as something like Xinhua but it’s still good to take their articles with a grain of salt.
I bring this up because crying ‘racism!’ is a classic wumao tactic. Not at all trying to dispute that Asian-americans are discriminated against and that racism has risen in the US in recent years, but if rising racism was contributing then I would assume we’d see increase in suicide rates in Black, Hispanic, Jewish populations as well.

Let’s be honest. They were right about his one.


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Costa Rica had dentists who are American board cetified. My mom was in Costa Rica for a work conference years ago herself and she said she had a great time.

When I brought this up, she said, yeah, Costa Rica is “落後。”

But what if something goes wrong? The legal system in CR is utterly corrupt.


That article also cites racism as a potential contributing factor to suicide, but it does not attribute the increasing suicide rates to an increase in racism (‘more research is needed’ to determine why rates are rising).
It gets a little confusing - from that article:

Researchers examined data from [a CDC survey] on rates of suicide ideation, planning, attempts and related injuries among U.S. public and private high school students by race, ethnicity and gender between 1991 and 2017. […] They found that self-reported suicide attempts among black students rose during the time period while it declined or did not significantly change among all other races and ethnicities in the study.

Yet the SCMP article also quotes the CDC, saying:

For AAPI aged 20-24, the suicide rate increased from 7.4 per cent to 13.6 per cent between 2011 and 2018

So what I’m getting from this is that AAPI < 20 years old don’t have increasing rates of suicide, which is when (I would assume) the pressure is highest for many of them, if that is indeed the cause. I personally think there are many other hard-to-define environmental factors such as a ‘culture’ of suicide where once one person commits suicide it is an implicit validation of other peoples’ ideations, and this could explain why some high-pressure areas (e.g. the area near Stanford) have more suicides than other areas with similar pressures.

Not sure what I’m trying to say… The young people in the US today are definitely feeling lots of economic pressure with the low pay and inability to buy a house, and many worry about the future of the environment and politics. I’m sure for any minorities the rise in racism can’t be helping either.

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did you heed parents’/aunt’s directives?

No. I haven’t gone yet, due to an uncertain work situation. Lucky because of virus. But still plan on it.

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Mixing up Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (this is a US census issue) is a problem. The issues facing Pacific Islanders are in many ways much more closely in line with those facing Native Americans.

Peace to all,


The percentage of suicides among Indigenous Americans is of a higher percentage than Asian-Americans because of the socio-economic disparities that Indigenous Americans are faced with. If the suicide rates are high among Asian-Americans, it would have to be specifically for those of Northeast-Asian backgrounds, such as Korean-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and Japanese-Americans. For Filipino-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, Thai-Americans and others of Southeast Asian ethnic groups, it’s not as high as you might think.

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Well how would you measure a rise in racism, given how much minorities are gaslit about their experience with it?

As for other external pressures, the study was on teens. So what teens do you know are worried about buying a house, politics and low pay?

Seems a bit of a bridge too far.

Asian teenagers…the push for excellence, success, and prestige can come at a price.

I think a major reason is that Asian culture doesn’t allow much room for mental health concerns. Nor are things like feelings and emotions well communicated and talked about openly. You are expected to carry on and do what must be done to succeed. This might have worked in a time of our parents where you didn’t even need a college degree to land a middle-class job and a good work ethic gets you through the door and far into a career.

I was just talking to my dad, he finally acknowledged how difficult it is to find a job to me recently as he is looking to go back to work. He never went to college and was a CEO of a major tech firm because he got in the right time risking it and had the work ethic of an ox plus excellent sales skills. Everyone has a master’s degree now, and that’s like the bare min now.


I never tell my dad anything because I know he’ll either get mad, emotional, and will likely be totally against it. Then he keeps wondering why I never tell him anything when things don’t go as planned.

This mad push for success is definitely hurting parent child relationship and it’s going to come around when the parents reach retirement age.

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