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[China-health]China faces up to depression challenges - Lifestyle[Page:1]

Wang Meng (pseudonym), a billionaire from southwest China's metropolis of Chongqing, has not slept well for the past eight years.
Wang, 50, a successful businessman, has been annoyed by myriad of daily trifles to deal with.
"I want to put aside my job, but I could not find one to handle it," complained Wang.
While in his driver's eyes, Wang is too picky. A stain on the car or foul smell at the toilets would make Wang agitated. He was diagnosed with depression.
Unable to escape from lingering anxieties, Wang has been visiting a psychiatrist for eight years.
"Depression is a top cause of suicide," said Qu Wei, director of the clinical psychology department with the Southwest Hospital in Chongqing.
"Some 15 percent of patients with serious depression have engaged in suicidal behavior," said Qu.
It is estimated that China has millions of people with depression and the number is rising all the time.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 350 million people with the disorder worldwide. It is estimated that by 2020, depression will become the second most common disease in the world.
Depression is a frequently occurring mental disorder with symptoms including sadness, a loss of interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and feelings of tiredness and poor concentration, according to Wang Gang, deputy head of Beijing Anding Hospital, a leading hospital for mental disease treatment.
Medically, it is considered a disease caused by genetic, biochemical, environmental and personality factors, Wang said.
In China, where competition to outperform others, especially in education, can be intense, depression among adolescents is on the rise, according to Zhu Zhuohong, a psychology professor with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"My parents always tell me my classmates are competitors. So I take them as my enemies and feel upset whenever I see them," said Xiao Min, a 13-year-old sufferer of depression.
Active treatment needed
Although depression can sometimes be fatal, few patients go to hospital for treatment as seeing a psychiatrist is taboo, and many sufferers and their parents view it as as shameful.
Only 30 percent of people with depression in China have been identified as having the condition and just 10 percent of them resort to medical treatment, according to an official survey.
According to plans for 2016-2020 released by the State Council in August, the government is moving to enhance screening for mental illnesses that may cause disability, including schizophrenia, depression and autism.
Qu, who opened a psychological clinic more than 20 years ago, said only two to three patients visited the clinic each day in the 1990s, but 72 visited in the morning of last Sunday, many accompanied by their parents.
Thanks to the development of antidepressants in the 1980s, depression can be relieved to a degree. Yet the current clinical cure rate for depression is only about 30 percent, which leads to many sufferers quitting treatment, said Qu.
The more understanding and care parents can give to sufferers of depression, the better therapeutic effects they will receive, she said.
Meanwhile, the psychiatrist also called for more public attention and financial support to the treatment of depression as well as training medical personnel in the fields.
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create time:2016-10-09 20:23:51 
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