Thursday, 21 November 2013

China turns to antidepressants as awareness spreads

By Jonathan Kaiman
Zhang Jin's breakdown began with insomnia, and quickly spiralled into loss of appetite, inability to focus, and long mornings spent sitting weeping on the edge of his bed. So in March 2012, the 40-year-old deputy editor of Caixin, a prestigious Chinese magazine, went to Beijing's Anding hospital, the country's top mental health facility, for treatment.
Zhang's months-long battle with depression took him through three failed antidepressant prescriptions and two doctors – he ditched the first after he recommended electroshock therapy. At one point, he grappled with thoughts of suicide. But eventually, things began to improve. He mustered up the energy to check his text messages; he rediscovered his appetite. Now he's back at work, taking a delicate combination of six antidepressants. It's not a perfect arrangement, but it reduces the risk that he'll relapse.
"In the past, nobody [in China] knew what to do about depression," said Zhang, who recorded his experience in a blogpost. "And now, people might not know what to do immediately, but there are so many more channels for them to learn – friends, the internet. More and more people need antidepressants, and more and more people know what they are."
Read full article at The Guardian

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