Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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One in Three Science Workers in China Suffers from Depression


(Photo : Getty Images) Chinese medical researcher.

China's scientific community is aghast at news one in three science workers in China exhibit signs of depression while over four percent have considered suicide.

A survey conducted by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) reports that 30 percent of all science and technological workers suffer from symptoms of depression. Of workers under 45 years of age, 33.1 percent have had symptoms of depression. Another 8.6 percent are severely affected by depression and in need of more diagnosis and clinical treatment.

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The survey also said the likelihood of these knowledge workers suffering from depression rose to 6.52 points from 5.26 points in 2009.

It revealed that male respondents are more susceptible to depression compared to their female counterparts. Young knowledge workers with less education suffer more frequently from depression compared to those with higher education. The question is "Why?"

External pressures and an inability to adapt to their jobs seem to play major roles in degrading the psychological health of science workers, said Chen Zhiyan, lead researcher from the Psychological Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He noted that the disturbing statistics might also indicate the improved awareness of depression among people who used to mistakenly identify the disease as a nervous breakdown or fatigue.

Experts also emphasized the importance of healthy sleep in mental health.

"As sound sleep is an important factor for the convalescence of brains, people with bad sleep patterns are usually unable to control their moods and withstand pressure," reported Dr. Wang Qian, a consultant at the Chinese Committee of International Psychoanalytical Association.

"Consequently, the lack of sleep will dent people's confidence and drive them to doubt regarding their values and positions."

The survey revealed the longest work day for scientific and technological workers extends to 16 hours.

During their research, Chen and her teammates found that there are few psychological consultative platforms available to scientific and technological workers to combat depression.

Therefore, the researchers are calling for an online platform that can assess and treat psychological problems.

Medical experts say untreated depression can lead to suicide and data from the United States shows that some 40 percent of suicides result from depression.

The survey consisted of 7,959 respondents and is a follow-up to a 2009 survey on the psychological conditions of the workers in scientific and technological sectors.

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