My life goal

This is a plan in progress. It will take a lifetime to get it started.

Preface:

There are nearly 25 million people living in Beijing.

There are only two small mental health hospitals in Beijing.

Each of these hospitals have few psychiatrists on staff. Of these few doctors, even fewer are properly trained to treat patients.

Medication is readily available.

Seeing a specialized doctor is extremely expensive. Each visit costs me 1500rmb plus medication. After my insurance runs out, I will have to pay out of pocket to see my doctor.

There are no support groups for people with Bipolar Disorder in Beijing.

A large percentage of Beijing’s population suffers from mental illness, from being different, from being sad, from feeling hopeless.

Disregarding rarer conditions, depression and anxiety is rampant in China. Mental illness is stigmatized not only in China but throughout the world. The United States has taken steps to de-stigmatize the notion of talking about one’s pains, but it is a work in progress.

China is bursting with energy. People are hungry for money, they are hungry for power. They do not face their personal problems. They run, and they are unaware that they COULD face their demons if they had the proper guidance.

Genetics and upbringing are crucial to how a person functions once they leave home to attend university. Mental illnesses predominantly onset during late adolescence—when children enter college.

The Ministry of Health needs to be aware of this. They need to understand that this is a massive problem that must be addressed. And they need to act on it. More people must study psychiatric medicine. More people need to initiate support groups. Celebrities need to talk about their mental health and personal struggles.

This is my goal in life.

~

People get a kick out of reading about suicides and people stabbing children in schools on ChinaSmack and the Shanghaiist.

It’s entertaining. How crazy people are.

When I read these articles

Every time I read a new article

I feel worse. I feel sadness for all the people who struggle on a daily basis but are afraid of talking about their issues. I feel sad that parents would be embarrassed to know that their child is depressed.

~

I am blessed. I have family and friends who are supportive of finding treatment and continuing it. I have never been worried about not being able to afford the outrageous costs.

But I think the vast majority of people who suffer from mental illnesses do not have the luxury of a supportive network and financial security.

The vast majority are afraid to speak out.

~

It is much easier to build a skyscraper. To allocate budget to building an impressive landmark.

It is much harder to tackle the monster of mental illness in a population of 1.35 billion people.

In a country that is changing as rapidly as China, the rates of depression and anxiety are elevated.

I want to do something about it.

Comments appreciated.

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