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Culture dependent constructs constrain interpretation and behavioural responses to psychopathology. Most transcultural research examining differences in concepts of mental disorder have been undertaken within a western medical paradigm. It is suggested that the dominant medical system of a culture determines conceptions of psychopathology. In Asian cultures, where indigenous medical systems' approach to psychopathology have a different orientation than the western biomedical model, differences have been found in experience of psychopathology. The classical Chinese models of various conditions, and psychopathology in general are examined. Differences from a western orientation are discussed in terms of theories of emotions, psychosomatic conditions, several categories of mental disorders. Issues related to mental health resources in China and for immigrants to the West are evaluated. Strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese and western approach to psychopathology are examined with emphasis on utilising the effective components of both systems for greater understanding of psychopathology and cultural reality.

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