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    This article examines the historiography of depression, with an eye to illuminating wider issues in the social study of psychiatry and depression. It argues that the advent of Prozac caused notable shifts in how scholars in the looked at depression. Far from solidifying the medical status of depression and psychiatry's treatment of it, the spread of pill-oriented depression treatment strengthened social researchers' emphasis on psychiatry's social nature. The article further argues that a depiction of psychiatry as mainly a social phenomenon both unduly diminishes its status as medicine, and implicitly underestimates the social in the rest of medicine. This matters if people can benefit from psychiatric treatment. Put another way, if people taking psychiatric medications are indeed ill, and taking medicines that can help them, social analysis should acknowledge this, even as it rightly investigates psychiatry as embedded in social and cultural contexts, as all of medicine is. Doing so means treating psychiatry, whatever its limitations, as a kind of medicine, not as a special case. © 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


    Jonathan Sadowsky. Before and After Prozac: Psychiatry as Medicine, and the Historiography of Depression. Culture, medicine and psychiatry. 2021 Sep;45(3):479-502

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    PMID: 34160737

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