Bipolar disorder and the experiences of the Chinese community within New Zealand

Ying Wang*, Marcus Henning, Emmanuel Manalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Bipolar disorder (BD) affects people irrespective of race or ethnicity. Those affected include ethnic minorities and immigrants in multicultural societies - groups that have had very little coverage in the research literature as far as this mental illness is concerned. Over the past few decades, Chinese immigrants have made up an increasingly significant percentage of the New Zealand population. In line with such increases have been increases in admission rates for psychotic disorders for this Chinese cohort. This chapter explores experiences of BD from the perspective of New Zealand Chinese immigrants, focusing on issues relating to diagnoses, causes, and treatments. The authors draw from a qualitative study, earlier carried out by the first author, in which the views and experiences of nine Chinese immigrants were investigated. The section on -"diagnoses" in this chapter identifies a key issue about the high frequency with which errors appear to occur in diagnosing BD in this group. The section on -"causes" highlights commonalities and differences between the ways in which the causes of BD are viewed from the Chinese and the Western perspectives. Finally, the section on -"treatments" discusses some crucial differences in attitudes toward medication adherence in the Chinese immigrant group - differences that appear to be strongly linked to the value they place on the construction and maintenance of interpersonal relationships. These and other findings are considered in terms of how it may be possible to improve mental health support services for Chinese immigrants in New Zealand. The issues raised in this chapter are likely to be relevant also in developing mental health support services for other minority immigrant groups in other multicultural societies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBipolar Disorder: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781611229554
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Bipolar disorder and the experiences of the Chinese community within New Zealand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this