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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 Aug 2022 - 12 Aug 2022

Human Studies

2022 Aug 11

Med Health Care Philos

Chronic pain as a blind spot in the diagnosis of a depressed society. On the implications of the connection between depression and chronic pain for interpretations of contemporary society.


One popular description of current society is that it is a depressed society and medical evidence about depression's prevalence may well make such an estimation plausible. However, such normative-critical assessments surrounding depression have to date usually operated with a one-sided understanding of depression. This understanding widely neglects the various ways depression manifests as well as its comorbidities. This becomes evident at the latest when considering one of depression's most prominent and well-known comorbidities: chronic pain. Against this background, we aim in this article to substantiate our leading claim that the phenomenal interconnection between depression and chronic pain must be acknowledged in the global diagnosis of a depressive society. Thus, we argue here for a complementation of the dominant interpretation of a depressed society. This would support the overcoming of oversimplified images and estimations about depression in current society and further, help to recognize chronic pain properly on the larger scale of assessments that address society as a whole.