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China and Mental Illness. Lynette Flickinger. Quote On Mental Illness.

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china and mental illness

China and Mental Illness

Lynette Flickinger

quote on mental illness
Quote On Mental Illness

"Mental health has become a major public health problem in China, accounting for 20 percent of diseases in China,not only affecting the life and work of the patients and their families, but also bringing heavy economic burden to society"

-Zhu Qingsheng

  • A high proportion of people who committed suicide in China suffered from mental illness before committing suicide (97% to 100%)
  • The two most prevalent psychiatric disorders were depression and alcoholism
  • The most common pattern was depression with substance use disorders.
  • The risk for suicide was significantly associated with psychiatric conditions and a family history of suicide and depression.
  • 51% of all suicides had consulted psychology therapists in the previous month.
schizophrenia and suicide
Schizophrenia and Suicide

Unlike almost every other country in the world, schizophrenia and suicide in China is higher in women than in men.

  • 4.25 million people in China have schizophrenia
  • 284,614 suicides yearly – of those 28,737 people have schizophrenia
  • The proportion of all suicides attributable to schizophrenia was 9.7%
  • Schizophrenia is higher in women than men, and greater in urban areas than rural areas. Risk of suicide is greater in women than men.
  • Risk of suicide in residents with schizophrenia versus those without was higher in women than in men

Also known as “semen-loss syndrome”

* A Fear of losing positive male energy and a severe anxiety over the discharge of semen or whitish discoloration of the urine.

* Symptoms include dizziness, backache, fatigue, general weakness, insomnia, frequent dreams, and complaints of sexual dysfunction (such as premature ejaculation) and feelings of weakness and exhaustion.

* Symptoms are attributed to excessive semen loss from frequent intercourse, masturbation or nocturnal emission.

* Excessive semen loss is feared because it represents the loss of one's vital essence and can thereby be life threatening.

koro g enital retraction syndrome
Koro: Genital Retraction Syndrome

This is an intense episode of sudden anxiety that the penis (or in the rare female cases, the vulva and nipples) will recede into the body and possibly cause death.

A typical episode will occur when a man goes to urinate in the cold or while emotionally upset and observes that his penis is becoming smaller.

(Reason for getting emotionally upset include guilt over masturbation or frequenting prostitutes, being concerned about his sexual performance, or a fight with his wife)

Remembering the dangers of a shrinking penis, the man grabs his genitals before they can retract into his body, and calls for help.

If no one is around to help hold onto his penis, the individual may use mechanical devices to keep the penis from retracting, including cords, chopsticks, clamps, or small weights.

koro case study
Koro Case Study

A 34 year old Chinese male was at a cinema show when he felt the need to go to the bathroom. He went out to the bathroom, and as he was easing himself, he suddenly felt a loss of feeling in the genital region, and straightaway the thought occurred to him that he was going to get penile retraction.

Sure enough, he noticed that the penis was getting shorter. He suddenly felt cold in the limbs, and was weak all over, and his legs gave way under him. So he sat on the floor, all this time holding onto his penis crying for help.

qi gong psychotic reaction
Qi-Gong Psychotic Reaction

An episode characterized by paranoid or other psychotic or non-psychotic symptoms that occur after participating in the Chinese folk health-enhancing practice of qi-gong. Especially vulnerable are individuals who become overly involved in the practice.

Symptoms Include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Heavy breathing or loss of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of weakness
what is qi gong
What is Qi-Gong?

- Qigong is an popular aspect of Chinese medicine involving the coordination of different breathing patterns with various physical postures and motions of the body.

- It is mostly taught for health maintenance purposes, but there are also some who teach it for therapeutic interventions. It is similar to Chinese martial arts

- There are currently more than 33,000 different styles and schools of qigong.

- It relies on the traditional Chinese belief that the body has an energy field generated and maintained by the natural respiration of the body, known as Qi.

- Qi means breath or to breathe in Chinese, and by extension the energy produced by breathing that keeps us alive.

- Gong means work or technique. Qigong is then "breath work" or the art of managing the breath to achieve and maintain good health and to enhance the stamina of the body

pa leng frigophobia

The fear of being cold or the fear of cold things

  • Panic Attacks
  • Shortness of breath / rapid breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Feelings of dread
  • Fear of dying from coldness

Hughes, Charles C. (1985). The Culture-Bound Syndromes: folk illnesses of psychiatric and anthropological interest. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: D. Reidel Publishing Company. p. 156.

Phillips, Michael R. (2004). Suicide and the unique prevalence pattern of schizophrenia in retrospective observational study. Vol 364(9439), pp. 1062-1068

National Library of Medicine Online. (1995). Mental illness and suicide. A case-control study in east Taiwan. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 52(7),594-603. Information retrieved on November 8, 2005 from:

Hall, Timothy M. (2001). Culture-Bound Syndromes in China. Information retrieved on November 8, 2005 from:

Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia. Qu-Gong. Information retrieved on November 8, 2005 from: