Emotions and Mental Health Terms in Chinese

In Chineseby Gwilym James

October 10th is World mental health day, so in this blog and video post, we’re today gonna teach you some ways you can ask how someone is feeling, as well as terms of comfort and basic emotions.

As well as the blog and video, we have also created an official list over on Skritter.com to commit these terms to memory.

Some Basic Emotions

Asking If Someone is Okay in Chinese

Are you okay? 你还好吗?| 你還好嗎?| Nǐ hái hǎo ma?

You look upset. 你看起来很难过。| 你看起來很難過。| Nǐ kànqqilai hěn nánguò.

Are you feeling down? 你心情不好吗?| 你心情不好嗎?| Nǐ xīnqíng bù hǎo ma?

Is there anything I can do? 有什么是我能做的吗?| 有什麼是我能做的嗎?| Yǒu shénme shì wǒ néng zuò de ma?

Answering Them…

I‘ve recently been feeling [Insert Emotion] 我最近很 […]。Wǒ zuìjìn hěn […].

I’ve not been doing well recently. 我最近过得不太好。| 我最近過得不太好。| Wǒ zuìjìn guòde bú tài hǎo.

I’m not bad. 还不错。| 還不錯。| Hái búcuò.

Some Mental Health Conditions

Here are some common mental health disorders. These are all medical conditions and therefore all contain the character 症 zhèng which means illness.

Since they’re all nouns you can say: I have 我有… | wǒ yǒu…

Depression 抑郁症 | 抑鬱症 | Yìyù zhèng

Another term for depression used more in Taiwan is: 忧郁症 | 憂鬱症 | yōuyù zhèng

Panic Attacks 恐慌症 | kǒnghuāng zhèng

Anxiety 焦虑症 | 焦慮症 | jiāolǜ zhèng。

If you do not have a medical condition but rather the shorter term feelings of the above, you can just remove the character 症 zhèng, and say for example:

I’m feeling depressed right now. 我現在很忧郁 | Wǒ xiànzài hěn yōuyù.

Expressing Sympathy

Seeing you go through this upsets me.
看到你发生这样的事,我很难受。
看到你發生這樣的事,我很難受。
Kàn dào nǐ fāshēng zhèyàng de shì, wǒ hěn nánshòu.

I can’t imagine how painful this is for you.
我无法想像这件事该有多痛苦。
我無法想像這件事該有多痛苦。
Wǒ wúfǎ xiǎngxiàng zhè jiàn shì gāi yǒu duō tòngkǔ.

I want you to know, If and when you need any help, I will do all I can to assist you.
我希望你知道,你需要帮助的时候我绝对会尽我所能的陪你。
我希望你知道,你需要幫助的時候我絕對會盡我所能的陪你。
Wǒ xīwàng nǐ zhīdào, nǐ xūyào bāngzhù de shíhòu wǒ juéduì huì jǐn wǒ suǒ néng de péi nǐ.

I am willing to listen to you at any time, but if you don’t wanna talk, that’s also fine.
我随时都愿意听你说这些,但如果你不想说也没关系。
我隨時都願意聽你說這些,但如果你不想說也沒關係。
Wǒ suíshí dōu yuànyì tīng nǐ shuō zhèxiē, dàn rúguǒ nǐ bùxiǎng shuō yě méiguānxì.

I feel so sorry that you’re going through this.
我很心疼你发生这些事
我很心疼你發生這些事
Wǒ hěn xīnténg nǐ fāshēng zhèxiē shì

We hope you got some use out of the video and blog post, and we welcome you to study the full list over on Skritter.com

Talk about this post on our forum!