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The reasons for the high rate of suicide among chinese women

Disclaimer Women and suicide in rural China Suicide in China accounts for about a quarter of all suicides worldwide. In contrast to western populations, in China more women than men kill themselves. It is a gloomy picture, but there are signs that the situation may be improving. In the days leading up to her suicide attempt, Zhang Xihuan was becoming more and more depressed. An attractive woman in her mid-40s, Zhang scrapes a living by farming a tiny plot of land in the village of South Sanguanmiao, in Shandong province, supplementing her income by picking up coal that falls off trucks from the nearby mines.

A recent boundary dispute with neighbours, after she built a house for her 25-year-old son, was adding to her anxieties. Things came to a head on 11 May 2009. What she did next, she did without any kind of plan or thought for the consequences. She was acting purely on impulse.

Zhang swallowed it when she attempted to commit suicide. It is the fifth leading cause of death in the country overall along with injuries, poisoning and falls, and it is the leading cause of death for young women in China. People are two to five times more likely to kill themselves in rural areas than in cities.

In contrast to western populations, the suicide rate in China is higher among women than men and this was highlighted in a World Health Organization WHO report Women and health: In China, as elsewhere, people with mental illness are more likely to attempt suicide than the rest of the population.

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When we saw her body in the morning, it was too late. After the divorce, he gained custody of their daughter and Dong went into hospital.

She is only five years old. Every day I wonder how she is. In a study that included follow-up interviews, Su and his colleagues looked at 240 cases of attempted suicide in counties including Wenshang, Yanzhou and Jiaxiang in Shandong province.

  • When she grabbed the bottle behind the staircase, Zhang was doing what many women had done before her;
  • The report states that exposure to the chemical could also be implicated in the development of depressive and anxiety disorders, and in deaths ascribed to mental disorders;
  • It is a gloomy picture, but there are signs that the situation may be improving;
  • In contrast to western populations, the suicide rate in China is higher among women than men and this was highlighted in a World Health Organization WHO report Women and health:

He cites the departure of migrant workers from the area as an example. For example, according to Su, divorce has become a more acceptable way of dealing with family problems, including domestic violence.

Women and suicide in rural China

Women may be less trapped than they used to be, but many difficult situations persist. Women like Chen Liping name changeda 40-year-old mother of one who is receiving treatment for manic depression at Daizhuang Hospital, carry not only the burden of maintaining a household and raising a family, often under the critical gaze of their neighbours, but must also work full-time to survive. Chen worked in a local wool textile factory before becoming a waitress in a restaurant, then took over the running of a Hot-Spicy-Hot food stand.

She was hospitalized in June after her sister found her beating herself in the face with her shoes. Like Zhang, she has also attempted suicide. Ironically, this crushing double burden of work results in shorter hospitalizations in mental health units for women than for men. Therefore their family often needs or demands them to be discharged sooner. All that is required is the impulse and the means to satisfy it.

Zhang found the means for her release behind a staircase. It was in a bottle marked Yang Hua Le Guo — the name of a liquid pesticide, which she and her husband had bought seven years earlier to kill the pests damaging the cotton crop they were growing.

  1. It is a gloomy picture, but there are signs that the situation may be improving.
  2. Zhang swallowed it when she attempted to commit suicide. The report states that exposure to the chemical could also be implicated in the development of depressive and anxiety disorders, and in deaths ascribed to mental disorders.
  3. An attractive woman in her mid-40s, Zhang scrapes a living by farming a tiny plot of land in the village of South Sanguanmiao, in Shandong province, supplementing her income by picking up coal that falls off trucks from the nearby mines.

At the time of her suicide attempt the couple no longer grew cotton but kept the pesticide anyway. Yang Hua Le Guo is an organophosphate pesticide of a kind widely used in China. Organophosphates are of particular concern not only because they are often used in suicide attempts, but because exposure to them may actually increase the likelihood of a person developing a mental disorder.

According to a recent study examining the link between organophosphate pesticide and suicidal ideation published in the October issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization this year suicide rates are higher in areas where organophosphates are used, while exposure is also a possible risk factor for Parkinson, and Alzheimer diseases.

  • In contrast to western populations, in China more women than men kill themselves;
  • In China, as elsewhere, people with mental illness are more likely to attempt suicide than the rest of the population;
  • A recent boundary dispute with neighbours, after she built a house for her 25-year-old son, was adding to her anxieties;
  • In contrast to western populations, the suicide rate in China is higher among women than men and this was highlighted in a World Health Organization WHO report Women and health:

The report states that exposure to the chemical could also be implicated in the development of depressive and anxiety disorders, and in deaths ascribed to mental disorders. In 2006, WHO published a report on community interventions for safer access to pesticides and, in 2008, a document entitled Clinical Management of Acute Pesticide Intoxication to disseminate this information as widely as possible, particularly among policy-makers.

Bulletin of the World Health Organization

When she grabbed the bottle behind the staircase, Zhang was doing what many women had done before her. I went there and swallowed a mouthful. Then I lost consciousness. As for the likelihood of future suicide attempts, she dismisses it out of hand: