Mental Health Care, China Style


The plight of a mentally ill man kept chained in a barn for 23 years by his elderly mother has lately been upsetting Chinese and non-Chinese alike.

The 40-year-old man has been kept chained up in a Chongqing barn for the past 23 years by his 74-year-old mother, who says he is mentally ill.


Perpetually confined to his barn with a 2m chain, his legs have withered and he can no longer walk.

He is not provided clothes as his mother claims he merely destroys them, and she maintains she cannot even afford bedding for him, so he sleeps on the bare floor.

According to his family, he was a healthy child and model pupil until advancing to middle school, where he lost interest in school and was eventually expelled. After that, he began to attack people around him, even attempting to set fire to their home, it is said.

Fear of further acts of arson and violence caused his family to chain him up like a ravening beast.

After 19 years of madness, in 2007 his family did have him seen by mental health professionals, resulting in them being granted an annual pittance with which to maintain him.

His mother, apparently concerned at what will become of her inmate when she passes away, tearfully explains his plight:

“I hope somebody can help me – I fear for the future for my poor boy when I am no longer here.

I have three children but although his brother and sister are normal he was never normal, and when he was 17 he became violent and smashed things.

We locked him in the barn and had to chain him to keep him there – and because he always ripped up his clothes we have to leave him naked.

Some kind neighbours donate food. Otherwise we wouldn’t manage.”


Similar incidents seems disturbingly common in China…

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    Comment by Anonymous
    18:52 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.9)

    If he wasn't insane at the time he was first chained, then he is, without a doubt, insane now.

    Ahh the irony of any kind of detention as a form of "treatment"; prison, mental assylum, or otherwise.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:51 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.5)

    to think ppl in prisons get better treatment then this poor soul. that family should be chained up.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:37 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    No, that mother should be shot.

    Avatar of TheBeast
    Comment by TheBeast
    19:08 27/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    @anon23:37,black witch, and shiroinoshishi.

    you guys are just like this woman, meeting fire with fire. he assaulted people, tried to burn their house down, and probably would have laughed after his family died in said fire. if history had gone down like that you would have said the same things your saying about the old woman to him. in a normal country the authorities should have been called. she didn't make the right choice, but neither is shooting a 74 year old lady in the face, or torturing an old lady by breaking her knee caps open and letting animals eat her alive.

    your sick.

    Avatar of Shiroinoshishi
    Comment by Shiroinoshishi
    14:02 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I like the eye for an eye punishment.

    Just chain her up for 23 years since she thinks it's acceptable and get the man some help.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:28 11/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Those sort of actions, and his apparent normalcy before ~15 seem to suggest schizophrenia, which usually develops in teenage years. The crime is that with treatment one can live a normal, productive life. TBH that man would probably have been better off being shot than kept chained up like that. I just couldn't imagine how anyone in any mental state could survive staring at the same concrete floor for 15 years.

    Comment by Anonymous

    like you have a better solution.. this is china people. Wanna try donating to the cause?

    23:55 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Shooting her is too nice I say make her do ferret legging but use honey badgers in place of the ferrets.
    Well maybe knee cap her as the blood would entice the badgers to feed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:48 28/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    clearly you've never been in prison

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:38 29/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yes , I have , and the conditions are far from what this poor soul had to endure ...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:25 11/05/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Prisons these days are actually very nice compared to the past.

    Comment by Anonymous

    the family should be imprisoned for being to poor to afford mental health services? What the fuck is this, United States?

    Avatar of Achiuakuna
    Comment by Achiuakuna
    09:18 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Come live in the US for a while my friend. You'll learn all about how much we feed and shelter losers like you so that you can go on TV and bark about how awful the country is. You're welcome.

    Avatar of TheBeast
    Comment by TheBeast
    19:09 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    well said achiuakuna.

    Avatar of Conduit
    Comment by Conduit
    05:11 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Wheres the goverment aid money going? Mother claims she has to rely on neighbors donating food just to keep him fed. The bitch is spending all the money on her self while throwing her dog, I mean son table scraps and pretending to give a damn about him so she looks better to the public.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:07 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I doubt the kid was insane in the beginning. The kind of mother who'd tether a grown man in a barn is the kind of mother who'd make shit up. Mothers who abuse their kids tend to exaggerate their kids' behavior problems to justify the abuse. Even if he really was a violent arsonist, maybe he was just lashing out after years of his mother secretly molesting him at bedtime.

    Parents with nothing to hide take their kids for psych evaluations immediately when symptoms start. Parents who don't do it are parents who need to control who their kids interact with so that family secrets don't get out. That's why alcoholics never take their kids to therapists.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:14 29/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    He was only around 17 when she locked him up. Maybe he did try to burn their house down, but maybe that's because he had a crazy mother who would lock her kid in a barn. It sounds like he dropped out of school and got in fights, so she locked him up as punishment. Or maybe he had those issues because his mother was abusive to begin with.

    In nearly any other country, this would get you sent to prison, but in China this gets you paid for his continued care. :|

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:19 29/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ... Alternatively, the physically abusive alcoholic parents don't let their young children go to see the therapists ALONE where they can tell the truth, or just say that the child is making things up.

    I've been in a mental asylum twice, both for vindictive reasons by aforementioned abusive parent. When I got out of that situation, suddenly my symptoms clear and all I'm left with is some shitty PSTD manic/depressive bipolar shit that I try to cope with...

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:26 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would give your comment a plus. But I'm too lazy to register an account.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:07 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    They stole it from us!

    My preciousssss....

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:09 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    LOL i was thinking the same thing too!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:46 26/08/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    i see no humor in this. simply sad.

    Avatar of Surrender Monkey
    Comment by Surrender Monkey
    02:42 27/08/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Confess! You stifled a laugh or you wouldn't be here. :P

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:02 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    thats a fucken good one!

    Avatar of Erzfiend
    Comment by Erzfiend
    22:49 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I laughed at that, and I almost don't feel bad.

    Goddammit, internet.

    Avatar of kazaza2
    Comment by kazaza2
    23:16 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    @ Anon 17:07

    Excellent! Lol.

    (Now I feel bad).

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:41 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    And you call 2ch scum! The irony!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:36 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Because making fun of a chinese guy half way around the world that will never read these jokes is the exact same as 2ch repeatedly harassing seiyu's thru twitter directly

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:44 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I swear it wasn't me! It was Anonymous!

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous
    17:43 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Really? I laughed.

    In any case, taking into account what goes for food in China, I'm not surprised things like this are starting to become more common.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:16 26/08/2011 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    there is a special place reserved for you in hell my friend

    Comment by Kudeh
    22:14 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    There is a special place in hell reserved for faggots with no sense of humour.

    Comment by Anonymous

    @ shoganai: i like humour who doesn't, but that wasn't a funny joke, it was just fucking slack. i bet you're the kinda people who laugh at jokes aimed at mentally retarded people. am i right? you low-life homophobic son of a filthy whore?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:51 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hell is for the easily manipulated weak masses who need something to believe and direct their lives.

    Avatar of Erzfiend
    Comment by Erzfiend
    01:21 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You've pretty much described every Wednesday night for me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:18 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ... said the lemming shortly before he reached his goal ...

    Comment by Anonymous

    Your life is what YOU make of it, not what some imaginary being tells you to make of it.

    Comment by Anonymous

    You keep telling yourself that following a death cult is a worthy goal of your life.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:50 26/08/2011 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    Hahahaha! Keep telling yourself that as people with a goal in life and something to focus on pass you by as you stand still, stuck in the same rut and shouting obscenities in a vain effort to look like you're making something of yourself and are above the masses.

    It's so adorable.

    Avatar of aLoadOfChode
    Comment by aLoadOfChode

    You're a sick fuck

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:36 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    While it disgusts me that anyone was kept like that, I must give the mother at least an ounce of respect for not having him suffer an 'unfortunate accident'.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:44 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Pretty sure his life would be better if he did suffer an "unfortunate accident".

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:12 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Agreed some things are worse than death, though who are we to say that for him, he should decide to live or die himself.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Nobody wants to die, Anon, our brains are wired with a very powerful self-preservation instinct.

    Avatar of IhaveNoName
    Comment by IhaveNoName
    18:30 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Agree, he is suffering way more chained like that.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    19:05 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can't say death is a better escape but this is arguable.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:22 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    don't think china govt will care anyway if ever the mother will pass away. Wish the author of site feature the actual mental institute of china not from one sided case from a slum but if it china i might think. is like gulag a communist prison in USSR.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:48 26/08/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    You know.. In Soviet Russia the prison is in YOU.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:07 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    If he suffered an infortunate accident he would have no life either.
    I assume you meant death would be better than this.

    Avatar of MK 7 DUDE
    Comment by MK 7 DUDE
    19:40 26/08/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Holy, I just hope that poor dude just have a better life after his death.
    Srsly, he needs more humane respect than that.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    18:34 26/08/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I am not sure I can agree. At that point, death sounds like a reasonable and perhaps even a merciful outcome. As sad and crazy as that may be..

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:10 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Most likely...

    23 years in a decrepit barn tied to a wall with a short chain, no clothes, a stone floor to sleep unto with no blanket, and probably little to no food.

    Where's the respect here ?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:49 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    sad to say, but i'd have to agree. total ignorance by the family. death would be the humane choice. so sad.

    23:29 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I know the region is subtropical but it still gets down in the 40s in January.
    How did he not die of exposure is a mystery.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:14 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    We all die. It's not like we live forever as long as we aren't stabbed or shot. We all die so I don't see what's "sad or crazy" about something that's inevitable. You WILL die. Learn it, accept it, embrace it, then fucking kill yourself.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:03 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Respect for that bitch ? Clearly you dont know what you are talking about.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:27 26/08/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Amen to that. The only "Ill" person here is that psychotic mother who kept her son chained up in a barn.
    The guy is white as a sheet, for fuck's sake, he doesn't even get proper sunlight. The fact that someone could do this to a cognitive person... Prison wouldn't do this woman justice.

    It's almost as bad as that Australian fellow who kept his daughter as a sex-slave in his basement.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:18 27/08/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I see what you did there.

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