30 mln minors 'plagued by mental disorders'

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, June 10, 2010
Adjust font size:

Nearly one in ten young Chinese under the age of 17 have some sort of mental disorders, a recent survey suggests.

The Beijing Anding Hospital and the Chinese Medical Association hosted an international conference about the mental health of young people on Sunday.

At the meeting, Chinese scholars said that at least 30 million minors in China are plagued with mental disorders or behavior problems.

By the year 2007, China had 341 million minors, accounting for 26 percent of the country's total population.

"The number 30 million is based on regional researches in recent years. Since the mental health of children must have worsened over time, the real number could be even higher," said Cui Yonghua, a child psychiatrist with the Beijing Anding Hospital.

According to Cui, China has not carried out any nationwide survey on mental problems among children, but most experts agree with the estimation of 30 million.

"China is facing a severe challenge in terms of psychological health of children, which embodies in phenomenon such as unreasonable usage of Internet and mental issues of children who lag behind," said Chen Zhu, head of the Ministry of Health.

Two weeks ago, five high school students reportedly tried to relieve the pressure of studies by racing cars on the road in Yantai, Shandong province.

Last Friday morning in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, a high school senior beat the seat on a bus to ease his tension of the coming College Entrance Examination and scared other passengers.

According to a recent survey in Heilongjiang province, 96 percent primary school students don't get enough sleep as they are overburdened with schoolwork and are said to start having love affairs as early as 12 years old.

But Wei Hao, 17, does not think the problem is as grave as it is being made out to be.

"Less than 1 percent of students in my school are behaving abnormally. It is not a big deal," Wei said.

Experts said mental disorders and behavior problems among children were mild, and any kid could be a patient without drastic symptoms.

Mental disorder covers a wide range of symptoms such as emotional instability, obsession, and depression. And behavior problems include Internet addiction, smoking, destructiveness and early pregnancy.

The survey also said that mental health of young people needs more public attention.

"Child patients have been increasing sharply over the past years. Now we do not have enough beds for them," said psychiatrist Cui.

Cui said around half the patients at the Beijing Anding Hospital come from other cities and provinces. "It indicates that medical care for children's mental health might be inadequate in some regions," he said.

Child psychology is only a small branch of the department of psychiatry in Chinese hospitals. But the mental characteristics of children and adults are very different.

Patients of attention disorder, for instance, are mostly children below 6 years old.

"Change in environment change, growing pressure and sharper competition all play a part in the problem," Cui said.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter