Depression and Globalization

The Politics of Mental Health in the 21st Century

  • Carl Walker

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Depression

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Pages 3-30
  3. Globalization

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 59-59
  4. Mental Health

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 190-203

About this book


In the coming years the World Health Organization predicts that depression will rank just behind heart conditions in terms of the global disease burden. Yet, according to a provocative new book, mental health systems often reinforce the depressive disorders they aim to treat.

In Depression and Globalization, Carl Walker analyzes the human cost of recent political and economic events as main contributors to the rise of depression, particularly in the U.S. and Britain. Starting in the 1980s, income and educational disparities, financial and job insecurity—by-products of multinational business—have grown in parallel with increasing feelings of hopelessness and isolation. These sociopolitical stressors, Walker asserts, have not only added to the prevalence of depressive disorders, but have profoundly influenced their conceptualization and treatment. Balancing individual lives and societal health, the author identifies challenges rarely discussed in the mental health field, and steps the community can take to improve their outcome.

Included in the coverage:

  • The stigma of depression in the context of recent political and economic events.
  • The trickle-down mental health effects of global politics.
  • The "depression industry": its economic context, and how its biological and individual emphasis can contribute to patients’ core problems.
  • Public attitudes toward depression, and how they are shaped.
  • Community and society-wide initiatives for mental well-being,

Depression and Globalization opens the debate with considerable insight, and clinicians, researchers, and policymakers will find in Walker’s work a powerful and timely prescription for change.


Globalisation global health globalization health economics health policy social determinants of health

Authors and affiliations

  • Carl Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.The Royal Free and University College Medical SchoolW1W 7EJUK

Bibliographic information