Bipolar Disorders in Chinese Culture: From a Perspective of Harmony

  • Chanchan Shen
  • Yanli Jia
  • Wei WangEmail author


In Chinese culture, harmony, the core value, has influenced the thinking and behavioral patterns of Chinese people for a long era. Derived from the cosmological philosophy, harmony was initially a theory about material balance in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, and later permeated into describing social life in Confucianism. Under the value of harmony in Chinese culture, people with affective disorders display unique characteristics to bipolar disorder. Due to that harmony is an integration of an individual’s inner and cultural aspects, the symptoms of bipolar disorder vary in emotional fluctuations and interpersonal relationships. When harmony is disturbed, Chinese bipolar disorder patients present with high emotional status in their manic phase, or with pronounced somatic symptoms in their depressive phase. The variety of the Chinese culture-strained features offers insights into the psychoetiopathology and management of bipolar disorder in the Collectivistic context.


Affective state Bipolar disorder Chinese culture Emotional expression Harmony 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry/School of Public HealthZhejiang University College of MedicineHangzhouChina

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