Home>News Center>Life

More people suffer psychological crises
Updated: 2004-04-21 09:53

Violence, murder, suicide, obsession with fortune-telling -- the Chinese have began to suffer the psychological problems that have plagued the West for decades.

The serial killer Huang Yong was escorted by police to the court standing the trial. [Xinhua/file]
A survey by the Sociology Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2003 shows that "living under heavy pressure" is the popular feeling towards life among Chinese people. As China experiences great changes, its people have to bear more contradictions, conflicts and confusions, which led to violence or mental illness in some cases.

Two serial murder cases in China shocked the world in 2003. Huang Yong, from central China's Henan Province, killed 17 adolescents within one year for no apparent reason. Yang Xinhai, another killer, was caught last year after murdering 67 people in three years.

Earlier this year, another murder case terrified Chinese people. Ma Jiajue, a 23-year-old college student from south China's Yunnan Province, killed four of his classmates over trivial squabbles.

"They murder not for money or sex, but out of long-time mental repression," said Li Meijin, expert of criminal psychology with Chinese People's Public Security University.

Statistics from the public security departments show that criminals in many serious violence cases since 2000 did not have obvious causes for committing the crime. They did it on psychological impulse. Figures from public security departments show the number of such cases is on the rise in recent years.

Murderer Ma Jiajue is escorted by police in the early hours March 17, 2004 to Kunming, Yunnan Province, where he allegedly murdered four students, to stand trial. [newsphoto/file]
Every crime has its social background and psychological background. The rapidly changing life and challenges and pressures brought by fast-paced life is considered one big reason for violence.

The social atmosphere was not good to people's mental health and modern people were indifferent to others, said Gu Nanyong, expert of psychology with China's Zhongshan University.

Many of the killers were in fact common people no different from others, but they were introverted and had experienced lots of setbacks.

"Murder becomes a way to release pressure for them," said a policeman who had interviewed Yang Xinhai.

Apart from violence, many people turn to superstition for psychological support. A survey on fortune-telling shows that nearly 30 percent of the surveyed had asked about their fortunes from fortune-tellers.

They were seeking psychological support, said experts.

Meanwhile, a high suicide rate is affecting Chinese people's lives. Statistics from the Ministry of Health show that at least 280,000 people committed suicide every year in China. The ratio ismuch higher than the world average.

Psychological crises have caused a series of social problems, such as a high ratio of divorce, excessive drinking and domestic violence.

The National Bureau of Statistics Thursday announced China's economic growth rate in the first quarter of this year rose to 9.7percent. The high speed of economic development has been the prideof China and enhanced Chinese people's confidence in front of the whole world.

However, despite the robust growth, the country is suffering a bigger disparity between its rural and urban areas. A survey conducted by the Economic Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences shows that the income gap between ruraland urban residents in China has kept growing in the past five years, and China has become one of the countries with the largest urban-rural gap in the world.

Statistics with the National Bureau of Statistics show that theGini Coefficient indicating the gap between the rich and the poor has risen from 0.3 in 1978 to 0.46 in China in 2003, indicating that less than 20 percent of the total population owns over 80 percent of the wealth.

The enlarged social gap endangered the balance of society and lack of a wide social security system caused anxiety among people,said Gu Nanyong.

According to a report of the World Health Organization in 2003,developing countries should give more care to the mental health ofits people when striving for fast economic growth.

The Chinese government has also adjusted its strategy of development to give more attention to human care.

To face life bravely and learn to ease pressure was the first problem to solve in the pursuit of success and getting rich, said Hu Xiong, a psychiatrist from Zhengzhou in north China's Henan Province.

  Today's Top News     Top Life News

Tough action to wipe out `killer' milk powder



Nation opposes Vietnamese islands tour



Forced demolitions blur rights



Mubarak: Arabs hate U.S. more than ever



Housing prices jump causes overheat worries



Iraqi tribunal to try Saddam


  More people suffer psychological crises
  Girl, boyfriend ran away several months ago
  AIDS scare sparks call for porn film probe
  City protects its East-West architecture
  The evolution of iconic figures in China
  Dreams of a village teacher
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Killer sentenced to death
Man who killed 67 people executed
Serial killer executed for murdering 17 children
Student killer prosecuted for murder
Ma Jiajue escorted to Kunming
Student killer an introvert who finally cracks
  Cui Yongyuan and his battle with "Cell Phone"