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The Faces of Depression in Literature

Edited By Josefa Ros Velasco

The Faces of Depression in Literature brings together some of the best-known specialists and scholars on the topic of depression in literature worldwide to offer a multidisciplinary approach concerning the philosophical, theological, and literary narratives of depression over time and their approximations to the current, clinical understanding of Major Depressive Disorder. The authors clarify the background of depression by paying attention to its representation through these narratives and revalue them as a means of acquiring knowledge in an interdisciplinary way. This pioneering initiative fills the knowledge gap that still exists concerning the nature of depression from a multidisciplinary perspective that takes into account some cross-cutting narratives. The authors give voice to the forgotten manifestations of depression found in literature, philosophy, theology, and even early medical works. The Faces of Depression in Literature is for graduates and researchers on depression from a cultural and social point of view, including philosophers, historians, cultural theorists, literature and art experts and enthusiasts, as well as artists and writers themselves, specialists in mental health and cognitive psychology, and anyone interested in a better understanding of the human condition.
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9 Unclean Subject(s) of Depression within the Singaporean State (Hannah Ming Yit Ho (University of Brunei Darussalam))


9 Unclean Subject(s) of Depression within the Singaporean State

Hannah Ming Yit Ho

University of Brunei Darussalam


In Singapore, any threat to the family structure is taken seriously. With its well-documented moral crises (Kuah 2018, 63), the government has taken to systematically administering its interventionist approaches to counteract any damage to the nation’s carefully constructed image as a “clean state.” (Trocki 2006, 137) This cleanliness translates across domains that are not limited to physical environs, but also bureaucracy, health, family and personal life. As one of Asia’s “Four Tigers,” (Chia et al. 2007) Singapore enjoys great economic wealth that supports a world-class health care system. To instantiate, the Institute of Mental Health offers a broad range of clinical services, including treating depression (“Clinical Services”). With the nation’s industry at preserving cleanliness through its committed focus on first-rate services for the family, it is no wonder that its reputation has preceded it. Praise has been heaped on the Singaporean state for its “miracle [systems]” (Klein 2017; Zarina 2015) that ensure effective politics, economics, and health services. Ultimately, the nation’s focus on sustaining cleanliness is aimed at fully supporting the unit of the happy family—“an anchor [that is firmly] situated in the nation’s development narrative.” (Teo 2010, 329)

However, a social crisis has recently begun to reveal itself through the city-state’s increased rates of depression and suicide, thus upsetting the public narrative of a clean state. Between...

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