• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Depression

  • By: Mariaelena Bartesaghi
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Depression is an emotional affliction and a psychiatric illness; its situated study offers health communication a glimpse of how medicine is socially embedded. At once a collection of metaphors that frame medical imagination; a multipart entry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM); a theorized chemical imbalance in the brain's neurotransmitters connected to pharmacological treatment; and a symbol of situated cultural judgments on the contested propriety of grief, depression intersects medical and cultural discourses, illuminating how notions of health and illness are institutionally and socially ordered. Approaches to the treatment of depression throughout history reveal an ongoing and mostly unresolved dichotomy between theorizing it as nonessential pain—fixable by medication—and essential suffering; that is, part and parcel of the human condition. Recent lawsuits ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles