“If You’re a Parasite, Then You’re Not Normal”
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Sociología y Tecnociencia; Vol. 8 Núm. 2 (2018): Evolución cerebral, salud mental y sociedad pags. 41-66
Previous research in sociology has shown that what is considered as sanity or mental health is described according to a social ideal. Mental health problems have been theorized as a deviance from such norms. Depression, in particular, has been the object of sociological contemplation due to its divergence from a Western social normativity focused on functionality, adaptation and productivity. This research adds to this body of work on depression as a deviation from social norms. It seeks to address a gap within the literature, by exploring the ways in which the “post-depressive” state may be defined in accordance with social norms. As such, it analyzes the links between “post-depression” and normality, from the perspective of individuals having lived with depression. 46 semi-structured interviews were conducted with Canadians individuals who have experienced depression. Results from our content analysis show that the absence of depression was often synonymous with normality and characterized by the following dimensions: a positive attitude; the potential to take action; functionality and performance; self-management; a positive relationship with others; and the notion of meaningful projects. Our results show that participants do not define the absence of depression following psychiatric or clinical indicators, as recorded in the DSM, and that they do not consider it to be a return to an anterior, pre-depression, state. Rather, post-depression is idealized, perceived as a state of unfailing conformity to social expectations and norms.
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