IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Problematising depression: young people, mental health and suicidal behaviours

Listed author(s):
  • Bennett, Sara
  • Coggan, Carolyn
  • Adams, Peter
Registered author(s):

    The published literature provides strong evidence for connections between mental health issues, such as depression, and suicidal behaviours. However, in spite of this, no investigations to date have explored young people's perceptions of the interconnections between depression, and suicidal behaviours. This article presents discussive analyses of discussions of the contributions of depression to their suicidal behaviours of young people in New Zealand. Two dominant discourses of depression emerged: a medicalised discourse, and a moral discourse. The medicalised discourse was accessible to the majority of participants, and constructed depression as a disease. This discourse prioritised the voices of health professionals and suggested that depression was difficult to resist. The moral discourse was an alternative to the medicalised discourse, and constructed young people who experienced depression and suicidal behaviours as failures. Both discourses were informed by a mechanistic cause-and-effect relationship between depression and suicidal behaviours: attempting suicide was seen as an inevitable outcome of experiencing depression, and suicidal behaviours were inevitably undertaken by young people who were depressed. Resistance to either of these dominant discourses was problematic, and was best articulated during discussions of the stigma associated with mental ill-health and depression.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 57 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 289-299

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:57:y:2003:i:2:p:289-299
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:57:y:2003:i:2:p:289-299. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.