ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to reach a better understanding of how minor psychological problems (MPP) are perceived in China by well-educated Chinese. An exploratory qualitative design is used. The results are based on interviews with professionals and students practicing Chinese medicine (TCM) and lay people from three urban sites. Minor psychological problems have traditionally not been labelled as disorders or illnesses but challenges in daily living or as “heart problems” and seemed to have less serious consequences than we are accustomed to think from a modern western outlook. “Problems of life” rather than sickness was the category that best summarized perceptions of such problems among the Chinese. It points to a salutogenetic perspective reflecting perception of mental health and MPP as processes of adaption and interpretation of meaning rather than medical conditions or sickness. Due to the influence from the West these problems are, however, more often comprehended as a health problems or even sickness, and not solely natural problems of life.
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