Studies of Depression

The essential problem with nearly all studies of depression is that we hear the voices of a battalion of mental health experts (doctors, nurses, social workers, sociologists, psychologists, therapists) and never the voices of depressed people themselves. We do not hear what depression feels like, what it means to receive an ”official” diagnosis, or what depressed individuals think of therapeutic experts. Nor do we learn the meanings that patients attach to taking psychotropic medications, whether they accept illness metaphors in assessing their condition, how they establish coping mechanisms, how they understand depression to affect their intimate relationships, or how depression influences their occupational strategies and career aspirations.

(David A. Karp, Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection and the Meanings of Illness, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996: 11–12)

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