Global Times - 01.08.2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1

BIZMETROPOLITAN


B8 Thursday August 1, 2019


 Surveys show that more and more Chinese


are at risk of depression


I


t was Jia Qi’s
(pseudonym)
third time par-
ticipating in
group therapy
conducted by
her doctor. The group therapy mainly
treats patients who are suffering
from depression, anxiety and insom-
nia. Jia was diagnosed with depres-
sion this May. She couldn’t work and
felt depressed all day.
“I lost interest in everything, even
food. I was afraid to talk to people
and didn’t want to participate in
any social activities,” Jia said, “I feel
much better now with the help of
the doctor and the support from my
family.”
Jia was afraid in the beginning,
but she was surprised that there are
a group of people who are suffering
from the same illness as her when
she sought some help from profes-
sionals.
Indeed, Jia was not alone. A sur-
vey conducted on Chinese people’s
mental health aged 14 to 35, showed
that nearly 30 percent of young
people surveyed in China were at risk
of depression. The China Youth and
Children Research Center conducted
the survey, in collaboration with the
Institute of Psychology under the
Chinese Academy of Sciences, ac-
cording to a China Youth Daily report
in April.
More than half of the respondents
in the survey have anxiety problems,
with people aged 31 to 35 and high
school students showing the highest
level of severe anxiety, according to
the report.
Financial pressure, career confu-
sion and academic pressure are the
main sources of stress, the China
Youth Daily report said.

Too shy to talk
During recent years, the rate of
college students in China suffering
from depression has increased each
year, the China Youth Daily reported
on July 25. The topic has sparked
heated discussions on China’s social
media platforms, with many netizens
saying that more efforts should be
made to help those people with men-
tal illnesses.
Adriana, 19, will enter her junior
year this September at Shanghai
University. She was diagnosed with
depression when she was in high
school.
Adriana said her family didn’t
give her enough support when she
felt depressed. “My parents discour-
aged me due to my bad academic
performance, which disappointed
me,” Adriana told the Global Times.
“My parents always blamed me as
being useless, which made me feel
stressed.”
When Adriana entered college,
she also didn’t know how to get along
with her roommates and she felt
lonely. She was shy to talk with oth-
ers about her problem. “Most of the
students will choose to [internalize]
their ‘secrets’, as they feel shame-
ful to be considered mentally ill,”
Adriana said.
Jia had the same feeling. She
asked her family members to keep
her condition secret and didn’t want
others to know about her illness.
“The symptoms of patients with
depression are subtle and not easy
to find in the beginning,” said a doc-
tor surnamed Chen from Yueyang
Hospital of Integrated Traditional
Chinese and Western Medicine,
Shanghai University of Traditional
Chinese Medicine.
“For instance, patients with

depression like to rub hands
or scratch their heads inadver-
tently when talking with others,
but they don’t know they suffer
from the illness,” Chen said.
Most people with depression
are too shy to talk, as they lack
knowledge of depression, Chen
noted. “They are afraid to be
misunderstood. Negative reac-
tions toward depression may
cause more mental or physical
illnesses.”

Understand and overcome
“For those people with slight
depression, they can seek psycho-
therapy. But for those with mid-level
or severe depression, they need take
medicine under the instruction of the
professional doctors,” Chen said.
Based on the cases he has treated,
some patients’ depression is caused
by other physical illnesses, and some
is due to the high career pressure,
and most of students’ depression is
caused by academic pressure.
Wang He (pseudonym), 40, from
Beijing who works in the real estate
industry said that the industry is
fierce and pushes people to work
harder and make more money.
In 2016, he was diagnosed with
depression. “I didn’t want to talk
and suffered from severe insomnia
during that time. I lost five kilograms
and I felt that I needed help.”
Wang also lost interest in every-
thing. “I’m a movie lover. But during
that time, I refused to watch movies.
Then I realized I had problems.”
In the beginning, Wang thought
career pressure might be one of the
reasons leading to his illness. He
changed his job, but he was still
unhappy.
He said he was lucky because he

has relatives who suffered from the
illness and he got the chance to know
more. “I don’t think it’s shameful. I
talked to my wife and tried to seek
professional help from doctors.”
Finally, he took medicine under the
instruction of professional doctors
for one year, and he feels better.
The depression problem among
young people is getting more serious
compared with the survey results in
2008, according to the aforemen-
tioned China Youth Daily report. In
2008, 75.8 percent of young people
were free of depression, 5.3 percent-
age points lower than in 2018.
“My suggestion is to see a doctor
once you feel the onset of depression.
Don’t be reluctant,” Wang noted.
“The good thing is that more and
more people begin to understand this
illness, and more encouragement
and understanding should be given
to those people who are suffering
from depression,” Wang said.

Global Times

Page Editor:
yuxi@globaltimes.com.cn

According to the China
Youth Daily, financial
pressure, career confusion
and academic pressure are
the main sources of stress.
Photos: VCG

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