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The condition that lost its name but gained a treatment: : experiences of depression and antidepressant use in a neoliberal context

Sandell, Kerstin LU (2015) 9th European Feminist Research Conference, Sex & Capital
Abstract
This paper analyses experiences of depression and antidepressant use within a neoliberal society. The paper is based on interviews with mainly women using antidepressants in Sweden and makes use of the post-political as conceptualized by Chantal Mouffe as a framework.

I find that depression is reduced to a state, a diagnosis. In comparing with Nancy Friedan who gave the depression and despair American women in the suburbs felt a name and a solution – curbed and isolated lives and emancipation, I argue that depression now has lost its name. This means that articulations of connections between living conditions and becoming depressed are mostly absent in the interviews.
In the second I problematize the treatment –... (More)
This paper analyses experiences of depression and antidepressant use within a neoliberal society. The paper is based on interviews with mainly women using antidepressants in Sweden and makes use of the post-political as conceptualized by Chantal Mouffe as a framework.

I find that depression is reduced to a state, a diagnosis. In comparing with Nancy Friedan who gave the depression and despair American women in the suburbs felt a name and a solution – curbed and isolated lives and emancipation, I argue that depression now has lost its name. This means that articulations of connections between living conditions and becoming depressed are mostly absent in the interviews.
In the second I problematize the treatment – antidepressants. First I highlight that the treatment seems to become permanent for many, resulting in long term antidepressant use. Secondly I problematize the underlying necessity that comes forward strongly in the interviews of functioning, to hold on to a job and keep family relations going.
Concluding I argue that the lack of a problem combined with a treatment that seems to uphold functioning, forecloses formulations of that something is wrong and/or could change. Linking to the post-political, I would argue that medicine accepts a significant role in understanding depression as a de-politicized health problem. This makes antidepressants a good neoliberal solution, since it makes it possible for persons to stay functioning without articulating any critique or demands for change.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
depression, experiences, antidepressants, neoliberalism
conference name
9th European Feminist Research Conference, Sex & Capital
project
After the success with the new generation antidepressants: Experiences, practices, discourses and changes in the self.
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cad273db-4d0a-4df1-828e-9685e39ef10b (old id 8259973)
date added to LUP
2015-12-04 09:23:28
date last changed
2017-03-15 16:37:29
@misc{cad273db-4d0a-4df1-828e-9685e39ef10b,
  abstract     = {This paper analyses experiences of depression and antidepressant use within a neoliberal society. The paper is based on interviews with mainly women using antidepressants in Sweden and makes use of the post-political as conceptualized by Chantal Mouffe as a framework. <br/><br/>I find that depression is reduced to a state, a diagnosis. In comparing with Nancy Friedan who gave the depression and despair American women in the suburbs felt a name and a solution – curbed and isolated lives and emancipation, I argue that depression now has lost its name. This means that articulations of connections between living conditions and becoming depressed are mostly absent in the interviews. <br/>In the second I problematize the treatment – antidepressants. First I highlight that the treatment seems to become permanent for many, resulting in long term antidepressant use. Secondly I problematize the underlying necessity that comes forward strongly in the interviews of functioning, to hold on to a job and keep family relations going. <br/>Concluding I argue that the lack of a problem combined with a treatment that seems to uphold functioning, forecloses formulations of that something is wrong and/or could change. Linking to the post-political, I would argue that medicine accepts a significant role in understanding depression as a de-politicized health problem. This makes antidepressants a good neoliberal solution, since it makes it possible for persons to stay functioning without articulating any critique or demands for change. <br/>},
  author       = {Sandell, Kerstin},
  keyword      = {depression,experiences,antidepressants,neoliberalism},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {The condition that lost its name but gained a treatment: : experiences of depression and antidepressant use in a neoliberal context},
  year         = {2015},
}