For China’s Middle-Aged Women, Depression Is an ‘Invisible Killer’


SHANGHAI — It took less than two months for menopausal depression to push Xu to the brink of killing herself. The 55-year-old, a teacher from the southwestern Yunnan province, first began feeling unwell in May 2018. Initially, her only symptom was a loss of appetite, and she assumed she simply had a stomach problem. She... Continue Reading →

The Broadway Show Trying to Change China’s Tune on Mental Illness


SHANGHAI – It’s Thursday evening, and there’s a long line snaking around the ticket office at Shanghai Culture Square Theater. People are waiting to collect their tickets to see a Chinese adaptation of the Broadway musical “Next to Normal.” Among them is 25-year-old Liu Mingzhu, who has bipolar disorder, and her best friend, for whom... Continue Reading →

The Chinese Couples Going Dutch on Literally Everything


JIANGSU, East China — Long before Hu Xing and her husband tied the knot, their families had already planned out their life together in minute detail. Over a series of meetings, the two sets of parents agreed their children’s union would be a marriage of equals. There would be no dowry, bride price, or betrothal... Continue Reading →

China’s Left-Behind Kids Repeat Their Parents’ Tragic Choices


Fang Tiantian still recalls the pain she felt as a young child when her mother and father packed their bags and left her in her village in southwestern China. The 30-year-old understands why her parents did it. In the early ’90s, her home region of Guizhou province was bitterly poor, and the only route out... Continue Reading →

In China’s Voguing Houses, Queer Millennials Strike a New Pose


SHANGHAI — When he’s hanging around campus, Zhao Zixun often blends into the background. A pimply 19-year-old with a neat buzz cut, he usually dresses simply in baggy pants and tattered sneakers. But on a Saturday night in early December, Zhao transforms into an exuberant, stiletto-heeled diva. The student has entered Millennium Storm — one... Continue Reading →

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