How are minor mental health problems perceived by Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionChinese Medicine. 2012, 3 (2), 79-86. 10.4236/cm.2012.32013
The purpose of this study was to reach a better understanding of how minor mental health problems (MMP) are perceived in China by professionals practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and by well-educated people living in three urban locations. The results derive from interviews with three TCM doctors, three TCM students and eight other students. Psychological problems are separated into two different categories: “serious” and “not serious”. MMP are labelled not as disorders or illnesses but looked upon as ordinary problems in daily living or as “heart problems”. MMP seem to have less serious consequences according to the Chinese than from a modern Western perspective. “Problems of life” rather than sickness was the category that best summarized perceptions of MMP. TCM professionals’ advice to change lifestyle and most Chinese regulate by themselves less serious mental problems. Both lay people and TCM professionals associate serious problems with pathological mental function in a disease perspective. Some reasons for and consequences of these comprehensions are discussed.