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Lesson 4.1: The Art of Telling. To Tell or Not To Tell

The provision of mental health care for expats in China is not adequate. In the capital alone, there are over 200,000 (Xinhua Net, 2012) expats. Many are facing the constraints of a limited number of qualified, English speaking psychologists in Beijing. Mental illness in China is heavily stigmatized, and people’s ignorance of depression prevents the majority of Chinese nationals from seeking help.

One of the great fears for those living with mental illness is that in revealing their struggles to others, even close family and friends, it will result in incomprehension at best and severe judgment and social derision at worst. To open up to someone near to you and then be judged as weak, melodramatic, crazy or even worse is certainly a terrifying proposition. But what is so easily forgotten is that discovering the compassion of others is how we truly know friendship, and how we discover who our true family are, both in blood and heart. This fear may also hold us back from an even more amazing experience: the opportunity to show compassion to others.