Suicides due to depression in China
Three prominent Chinese journalists committed suicide within 10 days of each other, noted a May 8, 2014, report. All suffered from severe suicidal depression. On May 6, 2014, Hunan Xiangxiang city TV station’s deputy chief He Weixing hung himself in his office and left two notes saying “pain, pain, pain, work pressure is too great..” He was 49 years old. A Shenzhen newspaper mogul committed suicide on May 8, an assistant editor of the City Express News (Hangzhou) committed suicide at age 35 on May 4, and deputy chief of Xinhua news agency’s Anhui branch committed suicide on April 28 by hanging. He said in his suicide note that he had “lost interest in life”.
This makes four journalists who committed suicide within 10 days.
According to a 2008 Beijing municipal health association survey of 23,640 journalists, 97.5% of them were unhealthy. The major reason was over work and extreme work fatigue. In 2007, health checks of 5,890 journalists showed that 90% were unhealthy.
The death rate among print and television journalists is very high and the ages of death are young. One died at age 28 from myocardial infarction, one died at age 36 from stomach cancer, one died at age 44 form liver cancer, another died at age 28 from liver cancer, still another died at age 25 from myocardial infarction, another died a age 43 from cancer, still another died at age 31 from liver cancer, and another died at age 40 from liver cancer also.
A survey of 1,182 Beijing reporters by the Chinese Physicians Association showed that 84.2% feel tired, 72.1% complain of work pressure, 62% do not get regular sleep.
An editor of the People’s Daily committed suicide by jumping to his death from atop a building, a female editor committed suicide by jumping into a river and drowned, still another took poison and killed herself.
In China, some 200,000 people commit suicide each year due to depression. The highest number of suicides are committed by officials and white collar workers.
The 200,000 some people who commit suicide each year due to depression in China was calculated based on a 2007 Beijing psychological crisis study and intervention center’s data showing that each year, 287,000 people die by committing suicide, and 80% of them suffer from depression. Based on this, 287,000 x 80% = 229,600 people who commit suicide due to depression.
According to this 2007 study, the first cause of death among those between 15 and 34 years old is suicide.
According to Zhao Huihua, secretary of the Jilin provincial psychological counselors association, a survey by hospitals in Jilin province showed that those 25-49 years old and those 50-70 years old are more inclined to commit suicide.
According Yan Lijuan, deputy head of the Changchun psychiatric hospital, social, family and marriage pressures are the three main causes of depression. “Social pressure affects government officials and white collar workers”, family pressure affects married women of 40 years old, and middle aged men and women are affected by “marriage fatigue”.
Yan Lijuan said that a depressed person makes irrational and erroneous decisions.
Deputy director of the Kangning Hospital in Changchun city Li Xuesong said that the “Chinese style enclosed education has created generations of youths with weak personal character who cannot overcome difficulties independently, and they easily become depressed.”
[Master Chen says]
“Enclosed education” describes the educational systems based on national entrance exams, creating exam zombies, as in Japan, south Korea, and China, where student suicide rates are very high, especially following failure to pass the national exams.
A popular way of committing suicide by government officials involved in embezzlement and students has been jumping from tall buildings to their deaths.
On May 13, 2014, the 21st century educational research institute issued its 2014 report on educational development in China. It said that suicide among elementary and junior school students has become a social phenomenon. In 2013, there were 79 cases of suicides by elementary and junior high students. Among them, the most number of suicides occurred with junior high students. The reason was the pressure placed on them by teachers and parents facing the national exams. Among the adult population, more women than men commit suicide. Among the junior high students who have committed suicide, more male than female students have done so.