CBS Anchor Cindy Hsu Shares Her Most Personal Story About Mental Health Battle – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Psychological well being is extraordinarily private, and never one thing many individuals open up about, however yearly, tens of millions of People face the fact of dwelling with a mental illness.

Speaking in regards to the struggles and journeys folks undergo may help open doorways and break the stigma round it.

That’s precisely what our CBS2 anchor Cindy Hsu is doing.

Dana Tyler sat down with Cindy to speak about her psychological well being journey. She will get private about what she’s gone via, how she discovered assist, and the way she’s dwelling in a different way now.

A warning: Tyler and Hsu discuss some delicate subjects involving mental health and suicide. We hope Cindy sharing her story may help others know they aren’t alone.

Dana: You may have determined to speak about one thing very private, and the timing is not any coincidence.  First let’s simply speak in regards to the timing in perspective of what we’re all going via.

Cindy: Properly, [May was] Psychological Well being Consciousness month, and in addition what we’ve all been via for the final yr and a half with COVID and everybody feeling weak and remoted, so I felt this was an excellent time to share my story.

Dana: Your story – lots of people wouldn’t have the braveness to do that, however you are feeling it’s vital. And we’re going to return a couple of years, which tells us one factor: Having a narrative coping with psychological sickness, melancholy, nervousness, no matter you wish to name it, comes anytime, to anyone. It doesn’t decide a season. So clarify the way you led into it, and what made you notice there was an issue?

Cindy: I didn’t actually. Properly, it was in 2015, and I feel the primary signal to me was having bother doing my common job, on a regular basis reporting, going out into the sector. It’s very quick paced – my thoughts was transferring slower. It was simply tougher to do exactly the straightforward job I’d been doing for greater than 20 years. After which I keep in mind one story, a easy story, however my coronary heart began beating so exhausting within the truck, within the information truck, that I advised my digicam individual Mike Muskopf – I stated I’ve to go to the emergency room. And he took me instantly to the emergency room, they usually did all types of checks, respiration, and the docs couldn’t discover something unsuitable apart from excessive nervousness – which was sort of irritating since you really feel such as you don’t know what’s unsuitable.

There was actually nothing to do about it. I wasn’t advised there was something to assist with that, or what brought on it, apart from, I don’t know, generally I really feel the stress of our job, and the content material of our job – murders, speaking to youngsters who’ve misplaced household, simply something – it will get to you after a few years. And I simply assume one of many issues that was making my coronary heart race.

Net Additional: Dr. Donald E. Grant, Jr. Discusses Methods To Assist Break The Stigma:

Dana: The pressures of the job, the story – they all the time – we really feel what is occurring to the folks we interview. However there’s a time stress, and a time administration to get these tales on on a regular basis which incorporates the interviewing, and the writing, and the modifying, and no matter challenges there are that – and, I suppose, in our heads, approval – be it a boss, be it the viewers, be it your self. You don’t wish to let down your photographer. How a lot too was that a part of the stress of “Can I get this completed? Can I get this completed?”

Cindy: I feel all of it whirls into one large twister, and what occurred was I realized that I used to be in melancholy, I had melancholy.  The factor I realized is that it’s not one factor that causes it. It’s like an ideal storm of many, many issues, and it’s completely different for each individual.

Dana: If you went to work that day, the day earlier than, the week earlier than, what have been you feeling like then? I imply, it wasn’t a lightweight swap?

Cindy: No, no, wanting again now I used to be simply anxious, possibly not wanting ahead. me, Dana, we’ve recognized one another for 1,000,000 years. I’m, like, the completely satisfied individual at work.

Dana: All the time.

Cindy: So, to not really feel constructive, and simply to really feel very completely different than you usually do. That was one factor. But it surely wasn’t a lot that I felt like, oh, I have to get assist. I by no means skilled feeling like this. However I knew nothing about it, so that you simply hold pushing on, and pushing on, doing all your job and being a mom, attempt to hold your life collectively.


• Emergency Psychiatric Companies: (800) 854-7771

• Psychological Well being Sufferers’ Rights: (800) 700-9996


Dana: Did you assume asking for assist was, like, no!

Cindy: I didn’t even take into account it, as a result of, initially, I didn’t know I used to be affected by melancholy. I had no concept, and it wasn’t till… it was a course of, you realize, from the emergency room to I feel a number of weeks later, simply persevering with to do your job, however anxious inside, however attempting to not present it.

Dana: Had been you ready to do this? I’ve to say, I don’t keep in mind, however you do isolate your self at work, if you wish to. So there, your co-workers, your teenage daughter, how did you cope with that there’s a pretend face you’re placing on?  Or crying, when you may run someplace personal?

Cindy: I feel it’s simply coping with it by your self, I’ve to say, generally is a cultural factor as properly. , coming from an Asian household, we don’t discuss issues like this. You don’t sit there and say “I’m not feeling properly, I really feel down.” It’s extra such as you don’t wish to be a burden to anyone, so that you simply sort of hold it inside. My daughter was 11 years outdated, so she and I in fact aren’t going to speak about it. I’m not going to share with my little one what I’m going via.

However what occurred was, I imagine, weeks after that first go to within the emergency room, I simply saved going again to work after which in the future, one in all my colleagues, she stated “Are you OK?” And it will need to have proven on my face, you retain attempting to cover it. I’m fairly good at it. I’m fairly good at placing on the completely satisfied face. However I suppose she noticed, and he or she stated, “Can I speak to you within the hallway?” And went to the hallway and he or she stated, “Are you OK?” I used to be like, “No,” and that was the primary time I truly let down the wall. And that’s when she stated “Do it’s good to take a while off?” And I stated sure.

And I left work, and I left work for months, and nobody knew why. After that I requested my mother to return. I’m a single mother, so it’s simply me and Rosie, and I began feeling like I used to be struggling at dwelling as properly, not being the great mother that I usually am. , desirous to go dwelling and simply fall asleep, and pull the shades down, get in mattress.

Dana: Keep there –

Cindy: Yeah.

Dana: 24/7, for those who may.

Cindy: Precisely. So she got here to stick with me, and nonetheless we didn’t, what it was, we nonetheless weren’t open about, speaking about it. It’s simply that I wanted a break from work, I wasn’t feeling that properly, after which I simply saved getting worse.

Backside line, I tried suicide weeks after I had left work.

Dana: Had been you by your self?

Cindy: I used to be on my own.

My daughter was away at camp, my mom was at a museum, so I knew I used to be on my own, and I tried. And the hope was I wouldn’t get up.

My mom discovered me and I used to be… I’ve no reminiscence of her discovering me or something like that. My first reminiscence is waking up within the emergency room and realizing I wasn’t lifeless.

Net Additional: Dr. Christine Yu Moutier Discusses Suicide Warning Indicators:

Dana: Had been you relieved, have been you unhappy, confused?

Cindy: I used to be confused, most likely embarrassed. As a result of it’s one thing I hadn’t talked to with household.

After which stayed within the emergency room, to return again to life, went to a hospital to bodily get higher, after which I ended up going to a psychiatric hospital and that’s the place I actually discovered the assistance I wanted. They’ve psychiatrists and group conferences, the place you’re with different individuals who have suffered the identical points you endure from, and you may speak brazenly.

I can’t inform you how a lot it helped to have group conferences, the place you’re sitting subsequent to individuals who say “I understand how that feels.”


• Emergency Psychiatric Companies: (800) 854-7771

• Psychological Well being Sufferers’ Rights: (800) 700-9996


Dana: As a result of whenever you assume you have been alone all through this, even the little bits of knowledge you may need given, however you’re giving that to folks, as a lot as they will have compassion and empathy, do they actually know? And whether or not or not they do, “No person understands me, and I’m simply going to soldier via this.”

What was it about sitting subsequent to an individual who’s saying “Howdy, my identify is, and I’ve x, y or z? How did that make you are feeling?”

Cindy: Made me really feel higher, made me really feel such as you’re not alone. There’s this complete group of people who find themselves going via some psychological well being situation, whether or not it’s melancholy, or regardless of the situation is. Most of them had tried suicide as properly. It’s only a secure place, it’s  a secure place that you just really feel such as you’re not judged, and you may open up, and also you’re in a spot the place you may get assist.

What occurs with melancholy, for me, it’s like a black cloud takes over your mind, and it tells you that the world could be higher with out you. And for me, it advised me my daughter could be higher dwelling life with my brother, who has a spouse and three youngsters, and a extra conventional household, versus simply me and Rosie. That’s what melancholy does. It sort of warps what you’re pondering, and it actually makes you imagine that in case you are gone it is going to be higher for the folks you like. In order that’s what it felt like.

Dana: Did you are feeling that, I do know that you just felt it will be higher, that she would have a  gap in her coronary heart? And the ache, did you not assume you have been  value it? Your life was value it to her. How did you reconcile the ache that she would dwell with?

Cindy: I feel the facility of melancholy, tells you adamantly your daughter will higher off, so sure, you assume there can be just a little ache, clearly, however you’re not pondering straight, so that you’re pondering my little one may have a greater life with out this tousled mother who has melancholy and may’t climb out of the darkish gap, that’s what it feels such as you’re in a darkish gap.

Dana: What about, I’m questioning, we’re on TV, we’re telling tales of all ranges, however simply from the sight of it, we’re there, our faces. The presentation is vital so we get the story. In a way you may cover behind that, however clearly that gave method, did that play into it, the duties of your job, or failing, or changing into clear?

Cindy: I feel a part of it’s we’re in a really aggressive enterprise, and I feel I all the time had behind my thoughts the worry of dropping my job if I wasn’t at 100%. And if I lose my job, I cannot maintain my little one. After which all the pieces falls aside.

And that’s what was taking place. It’s a worry, which I feel is the melancholy that creates this worry behind your head about all the pieces falling to items. In order that’s the best way I feel the stress of labor related.

Dana: You spoke earlier about being Asian American, and speaking about it, not speaking about it. You’re concerned within the Asian American neighborhood.  A way of duty that you’ve got, I do know. And I’m questioning too about that, and being open to them, how large a call that was. I imply, you might have begun to share this earlier than this interview right here. When was it that you just realized “I’ve to say one thing?”

Cindy: I made a decision on a panel, it was an Asian American journalists panel, to share this story, as a result of we have been speaking about learn how to make it via this enterprise, which is hard.

And what I discovered was, after I first opened up, so many individuals talked to me afterwards about how both they’d felt that method, or they’d a member of the family who had been via psychological sickness points. It opened a door. It opened a door that had been shut, proper now, to so many individuals. That’s one of many causes I’m speaking, as a result of we have to open the door.

Then I began to get entangled with the American Basis for Suicide Prevention, they usually have a stroll, so I took half of their stroll with my daughter and a buddy. And that felt wonderful, to have so many people who find themselves going via the identical factor. Whether or not it’s they’d gone via melancholy, or somebody they knew, or a buddy, and even how do you deal with it whenever you assume any person else may be going via this.

After which, the subsequent yr they’d requested me to, they requested completely different folks to go on stage, and maintain sure bead colours. The beads imply, like, white beads imply for those who misplaced somebody to suicide, and inexperienced means for those who’ve skilled it your self. That was a giant factor, to get on that stage and maintain these beads up ,and to see all these folks. But it surely felt such as you have been doing one thing. You expertise one thing. You return in your gap, simply hold it a secret. I felt prefer it didn’t actually assist anybody. As a result of what you be taught whenever you undergo that is that so many individuals are going via it, however they’re doing it in secret. After I used to be within the hospital.


• Emergency Psychiatric Companies: (800) 854-7771

• Psychological Well being Sufferers’ Rights: (800) 700-9996


Dana: How lengthy have been you there?

Cindy: I used to be within the hospital for I imagine 2 weeks

Dana: One location or –

Cindy: One location, and it’s one which, it’s a lockdown. You don’t get to go dwelling. You sleep there, you –

Dana: Telephones?

Cindy: No, no. They take your telephone. There’s a telephone on the wall you could name, however it’s scary. It was scary entering into there. That’s one of many causes I feel we have to discuss this. After they stated we predict it’s good to go to a psychiatric hospital, in fact, as a journalist, you wish to say, “OK, properly what’s it like there?” You’ll be able to’t discover any details about what it’s like there. You’ll be able to go on web sites for various hospitals which may be psychiatric hospital, there aren’t any footage, there’s no description.

It’s principally, you’re introduced in and also you’re left there, and you need to keep there, and you may’t simply go away, which is basically scary. I used to be very lucky to go to a hospital that I really feel actually helped due to all of the consultants, the psychological well being consultants, and in addition all the opposite folks that have been there that have been going via the identical factor have been simply as useful.

Dana: Was it additionally, the start although, you’re simply alone with all of your ideas, and boy, you may construct – I tousled this, I tousled that, I don’t assume I can do this. That line between beating your self up and being compassionate, give your self permission to like your self, how was that? It took these consultants that can assist you to get there? Yeah?

Cindy: It took the consultants to clarify that psychological well being is simply as vital as bodily well being… whether or not it’s most cancers or diabetes.

Dana: We do one thing instantly proper?

Cindy: Proper, however psychological well being nobody talks about it, so lots of people are struggling in silence.

So it takes the consultants, it takes remedy to get higher and to get better which I’m doing, I’ve completed. It was treatment, it’s speak remedy and I proceed to do this. I proceed to see a psychiatrist each month. I’m nonetheless on treatment, and I would like that.

However I really feel nice, and I really feel so many people can get better from melancholy and psychological well being diseases.

Dana: Did Rosie know and the way did she react?

Cindy: Rosie didn’t know. Once more, she was 11 years outdated, and after I went into the hospital, I might name her from the telephone we have been allowed to make use of generally and we might speak. However I might simply inform her that mother’s at a spot, I‘m taking artwork programs as a result of there was artwork remedy, and music remedy, and issues like that. She was so small, she didn’t actually ask these probing questions, thank goodness, to inform you the reality.

So I simply sort of pretended mommy was away for just a little bit, however after I had completed with the hospital, after the hospital, you go to a sort of a step down program, the place you proceed with the group and also you proceed with completely different docs, however you get to go dwelling. And that was for weeks, and weeks, and weeks.

In the midst of that I had requested them how do I deal with this with Rosie? They stated it is determined by what your relationship is together with your little one, it’s completely different for everyone. I’ve all the time been a really open father or mother… simply lay it on the market. So I acquired recommendation from little one psychologists about learn how to inform her.

And in the future we simply sat down… she didn’t even ask that many, you realize, I stated do you might have any questions? And he or she stated no. It was bizarre. I feel generally, as an grownup, you assume it’s going to be, your little one goes to have extra questions than they really do.

I additionally stated if you wish to speak to an knowledgeable about this, or if there’s anytime you might have questions. They usually additionally advised me to guarantee that she is aware of that my sickness isn’t her job to treatment, that I’ve  group of docs, and I’ve so many individuals working to make mommy higher, that your job is simply to be a child. ? And we’re getting higher.


• Emergency Psychiatric Companies: (800) 854-7771

• Psychological Well being Sufferers’ Rights: (800) 700-9996


Dana: We have been speaking about Rosie, and as she’s gotten older, although I simply keep in mind you telling me one thing and I can’t keep in mind the precise circumstances, that she stated one thing like, it is a complete instance?

Cindy: She’s grow to be an advocate.

Dana: No kidding! No, I’m not stunned, she’s your daughter, in fact she is.

Cindy: She’s gone on the walks with me, she noticed me maintain these beads up. I share together with her something that I’m doing so far as speaking about this.

And the factor is… now she’s 17 years outdated, she’s in highschool, and he or she’s been coping with this for the final 5 years. She has now been capable of assist her associates, her teen associates, discuss angst and points. Youngsters, and particularly throughout this time, so she’s now the listener.

As a result of I feel one of many greatest issues you are able to do is pay attention, and pay attention fastidiously, to folks’s ache, and don’t simply swat it away so she is now a powerful psychological well being advocate.

Dana: You should be very proud. One more reason to be so pleased with her.

Cindy: I’m pleased with her and I simply am so grateful that she’s my daughter.

Dana: I wish to additionally get again to being identified, and a few will – “What a stigma, I’ve acquired melancholy, I can’t let anyone know.” It’s not a stigma.

Cindy: It’s not, however whenever you’re going via it you assume it’s. Once I was within the step down program, so I used to be nonetheless gone from work, no person knew from work what was taking place with me. I used to be simply, poof, I’m gone.

Dana: I can attest to that. I had no concept,

Cindy: I didn’t talk with anyone. And within the step-down program, we’ve been via remedy, we’re all getting higher.

All of us had an entire workshop on what are we going to say after we return to work, as a result of none of us are going to return to work and say “I used to be going via melancholy and I tried suicide.” Nobody’s going to be trustworthy about that. It took me years to have the ability to discuss this brazenly, and it’s a rising course of and I simply hope that different folks will open up as properly, as a result of going via psychological well being points isn’t a weak spot.

When you have a bodily ailment, it’s not a weak spot. And it’s the identical with psychological well being. It’s simply you may’t see the scars.

Dana: And now so many individuals coming via this pandemic, whether or not somebody has died, been sick. Died, you didn’t get to have a funeral. Sick, you couldn’t, no matter downside at hospitals or afraid to make the decision, simply talking culturally, “I’m going to do that at dwelling.” After which all of the job stuff, and the shutting down of all the pieces. It’s troublesome, that’s such an understatement.


• Emergency Psychiatric Companies: (800) 854-7771

• Psychological Well being Sufferers’ Rights: (800) 700-9996


I feel for all of us, and I feel there’s that, “Oh properly, I don’t actually have it dangerous,” as a result of that individual, that shifting on a regular basis. Once more, give your self permission to say “I have to take higher care of myself.”

I’m certain that makes you extra empathetic now. Do you discover that whenever you have a look at folks, otherwise you’re having conversations with folks, I’m simply questioning with what you’ve realized, are you – it’s not being a choose, passing judgment – however it’s your compassion, your coronary heart is greater.

Cindy: I’m extra conscious, you realize, I pay attention for – if any person says to you “I simply wish to disappear” or “I’m such a burden” or “I simply wish to quit.” , simply various things. Now a pink flag goes up, and I speak extra about it. I wish to hear what they need to say, as a result of on the surface, even after I was going via this, I feel all the pieces appeared fantastic.

You’re one in all my dearest associates and also you didn’t know. I feel most individuals are actually good about hiding it, and that’s additionally what I realized via that is that irrespective of how good any person’s life seems to be from the surface, they may very well be going via hell inside.

Dana: We talked about whenever you hear sure issues, what about life-style, too? Recognizing issues. Possibly not displaying up for work, or not exercising, not consuming properly, since you don’t care?

Cindy: Properly for me, it’s completely different for everyone, however having gone via remedy, and now having the ability to acknowledge my indicators that I’m not doing properly.

It might be I ended exercising. I used to train 4 instances per week. I used to be a spinner like loopy, I liked it. I ended. I wished to sleep on a regular basis. If you pull the shades, you simply wish to be at nighttime, and also you wish to shut all the pieces out.

And also you see large persona modifications, additionally. one in all my favourite issues is to eat, and I wasn’t consuming that a lot. I truly misplaced… I feel I misplaced one thing like 20-30 kilos, and I didn’t even know. It wasn’t till I went into the hospital they usually weighed me, and also you, oh my gosh!

There are plenty of indicators. We simply want to have the ability to acknowledge them.

Dana: Your phrases once more, it’s so value it, of why you might be sharing this? And who’re you talking too?

Cindy: I’m talking to everyone. I’m talking to those that are struggling, however I’m additionally talking to the family members round these people who find themselves struggling. As a result of we simply have to have the ability to brazenly discuss this.

There is no such thing as a disgrace in going via psychological sickness. There isn’t. I feel so many individuals are, and as you stated with COVID particularly, some folks have been locked up of their house for a yr and a half, seeing no person, communication down. It’s been a very troublesome time. That’s why it’s extra vital than ever to speak about what can occur for those who don’t maintain psychological well being.

Dana: The whispers. Individuals can whisper, whisper, whisper. If you talked about for those who see any person you like, and that individual, you could say “Cindy is all the pieces okay?” And also you say, “Oh I’m fantastic, I’m fantastic, I’m completely fantastic.” However so, for the opposite caring individual, don’t quit, don’t quit in your assist.

Cindy: Sure.


• Emergency Psychiatric Companies: (800) 854-7771

• Psychological Well being Sufferers’ Rights: (800) 700-9996


Dana: As a result of your instincts are nearly all the time proper, that there’s one thing unsuitable.

Cindy: You’re so proper, and generally you don’t notice that till it’s too late. So you need to hearken to your instincts and for those who assume there’s an issue.

That’s the opposite factor: there are such a lot of sources. There are additionally so many sources which are low-cost and free, as a result of some folks really feel like, relying on their socio-economic standing, they received’t have entry to assist. However there may be free assist, and there may be low-cost assist, you simply have to achieve out for it. Or, for those who’re the liked one in all somebody who’s going via this, the liked one can attain out.

Dana: No disgrace in asking for assist.

Cindy: Sure.

Dana: It’s essentially the most easiest of sentences, not essentially by far the best factor to do: No disgrace in asking for assist.

How is figure now? How has it been?

Cindy: Work is nice, and the opposite factor is… after I was at my worst, that is what it felt like, visually. Like, you’re in a darkish room and also you’re smooshed in opposition to a nook, and the darkness is simply coming nearer and nearer, till you virtually disappear.

Now I notice what’s vital in life, and that there are such a lot of folks on the market which are educated that can assist you open your life again up, and get better, and discuss it, after which be capable to others about it, and assist them as properly. So work is nice.

Dana: Time administration? I imply, for those who really feel these buttons pushed ,you might have an entire completely different talent set to say “I’ll get this completed” or “I’ll clear up this situation, there was no tape.” That’s not what life is about, even when I have been to lose my job, and all these belongings you’re afraid of taking place: it’s OK. You’re going to outlive, and that’s whenever you get higher, whenever you notice that you just’re going to make it, you’re going to get via this with assist. However whenever you’re within the midst of a critical melancholy, you assume there isn’t any hope, however there may be.

Cindy: Once I was leaving the hospital, you make an emergency plan so that you identify three folks you’re going to name for those who’re having these emotions. In order that it’s like a system arrange, I do know I’ll name my mom, I do know I’ll name this individual, and this individual. So you might have a  security internet. And I feel that’s a part of the method is to ensure you have these folks in place who may help, or be these individuals who may help, be any person’s security internet.

Dana: It’s life. It’s a plan. It’s OK. Despair, no, it’s a brand new a part of your life. It’s not a cloud since you’re managing it?

Cindy: Sure.

Dana: And much more I see for you, you’re serving to others.


• Emergency Psychiatric Companies: (800) 854-7771

• Psychological Well being Sufferers’ Rights: (800) 700-9996


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