A new study carried out shows that a high number of sailors living in Chinese submarines that operate in the South China Sea have mental health issues. The Chinese sailors are regarded as one of the Chinese military's most important assets.
The research was carried out by China's Second Military Medical University and Navy Military Medical University. The results of the findings were published in the British journal Military Medicine. The study was carried out among 580 male submariners in the PLA Navy's South China Sea fleet.
Chinese submariners have higher rates of mental health issues than other members of the People's Liberation Army
The study also showed that submariners reported serious psychological problems at much higher rates compared to the rest of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces as a whole. PLA Navy submariners showed chart-raising rates of anxiety, phobias, and paranoia.
The researchers involved in the study concluded that the study perfectly shows that soldiers and officers operating in the South China Sea are at a high risk of suffering mental health crises and serious psychological problems.
The researchers added that conditions and the military tension in the South China Sea are also to blame for the high rate of mental issues in the sailors.
The south sea is filled with political tension
The Chinese South Sea has become an area of high military tension since 2010. Beijing claims to own most of the 1.3 million square miles south of the China Sea, but Washington doesn't recognize their claim and regularly sends its warships and military aircraft to pass through the region.
This has led China to increase its military presence in the south sea. In most cases, sailors in submarines spend more than four months immersed in tight, loud confined spaces that lead to sleep deprivation and insomnia which can impact their mental health.
The study also added that the manner in which the job demands submarine isolates from society and also living in a noisy cabin threatens their sanity.