9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Drugs and Medication in a Europeam Context I Building I, 1E2

Should all citizens be treated with antidepressants? Explanation possibilities to the increasing antidepressant treatment. Antidepressant treatment in a modern society

Background: Since the late 1980s sales and prescribing of newer antidepressants have increased dramatically in most European countries. We will use usage development in Denmark as an example. (Rose, MN). However the prevalence of depression is expected to be rather constant.

Objective: The primary aim is to analyse possible explanations factors that could add knowledge about the increased usage of antidepressants.

Methods: We will describe the development in usage of newer antidepressants in the European countries in the light of the socio-economic societal development with the ideal of self-realisation and emphasising individual characteristics as flexibility, mobility, innovation, enterprise, willingness to change and adaption and vigourousness. The period we focus on is from 1988 and up to today, which correspond to the period characterised by increase of antidepressants.

The societal development in this period also encompass change in the way the depression diagnose is made, with respect to the criteria for the disease but also the development of diagnostic tools. The pharmaceutical industry have improved their marketing of the products and through disease aware campaigns a special picture of the disease and its treatment is communicated throughout society.

Further we will through three different sociological explanations, identify the explanations with the strongest explanation sturdiness.

First the concept of medicalisation. Throughout many years there has been a discussion on how powerfull groups in society such as the government, the industri, the professsionals and many other groups are influenzing the citizens and make them use drugs much more than needed. The article will redefine this concept to a more narrow definition used in this paper.

Second the biopolitical concept focusing on the modern medical science, molequalar biopolitics, the experts in social life and the capitalization of life itself.

Third the concept of governmentality in modern societies, how relationship between government and citizens, as well as health professionals and patients are changed throughout new theories of power.