The Epidemic of Depression: When Science Doesn’t Correct Itself


Depression is a silent epidemic and both Millennial and Gen. Z generations are depressed. Those statements can be found in media but the idea underlying them is that we are facing an epidemic of depression. The perception of the epidemic of depression has generated social and academic drawback from psychiatry. Nevertheless, I will argue that depression is not an epidemic; rather, the next hypothesis can explain the current situation: the practical implications of the epistemic problems of psychiatry, which are grounded in the process of medicalizing depression, haven’t been reviewed. Epidemiological papers about the epidemic of depression and the perceived rise of depression cases hinder affirming that depression is an epidemic. Those papers search for alternative explanatory hypothesis that are related with psychiatric epistemic problems. That relationship originated through the non-epistemic values present in the process of medicalizing depression. The epistemic problems caused by such values haven’t been corrected yet. This overview allows me to propose that the process of medicalizing depression shares characteristics with the processes of pharmaceuticalisation and disease mongering. Those processes of medicalization are characterized by being rooted in lack of epistemic trust.
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