Monday, July 25, 2005

Now I'M depressed!

One of the words we learned in my Chinese class fairly early on was "yali," meaning pressure or stress. "Xiandai Zhongguo de shihui you hen duo yali," my teacher would say, "modern Chinese society has a lot of stress."

Well, this apparently was not some empty vocabulary exercise. Reuters reports today that the number one cause of death among people aged 20 to 35 in China is suicide:
An estimated quarter of a million people a year -- or 685 a day -- take their lives, state media said Monday.

Each year an additional 2.5 million to 3.5 million Chinese unsuccessfully attempt suicide, which stood as the fifth major cause of death among the country's 1.3 billion people, the China Daily said.

Disproportionate rates of suicide and depression among young people appear to be a direct result of increasing stress in China's rapidly changing society.
And if that weren't depressing enough, the major causes of death in China for the population as a whole are lung cancer and traffic accidents.

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