6_Healy - Shaping the Intimate - Healy: Shaping the...

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Healy: Shaping the Intimate Although it is now well-recognized that nervous disorders are shaped by history (for example, see Hacking, 1995) there have been few com- mentators within either the social sciences or mental health fields who have been prepared to contemplate the possibility that the Era of Depression we have recently been living through in the West has stemmed primarily from the need of pharmaceutical companies to market compounds such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. In the West, cases that would have been treated by Valium and Ativan were being converted into cases to be treated by Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. This situation is reflected in data on pharmaceutical sales, which show clearly that sales of antidepressants soared in the UK and the USA through the 1990s, while sales of tranquillizers flattened and dropped, so that by the middle of the 1990s the sales of the antidepressants had overtaken those of the tranquillizers (Rose, 2003). The overall volume of sales of drug treatments for nervousness remains, however, approximately constant,
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