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#Wellness or #Hellness: The Politics of Anxiety and the Riddle of Affect in Contemporary Psy-care

The Quantification of Bodies in Health: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

ISBN: 978-1-80071-884-5, eISBN: 978-1-80071-883-8

Publication date: 6 December 2021


The classification of psychological suffering stumbles on the challenge of quantifying the ‘un-quantifiable’ upon the systematic categorising and description of affective and mental states and their transformation into illnesses and disorders. In this chapter, the author will explore the affect of anxiety through a critical recent history of its diagnosis and treatment in the context of psychological care. By unpacking the strategies employed by mainstream psychiatry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association since the mid-twentieth century, it is possible to unveil the dynamics of a reduction of the subject to a productive-biological body in the last decades. This chapter thinks through what happens to the equation ‘body-world’ through the critical genealogy of affect and its relation to diagnoses and treatments of anxiety and depression. It grapples with the ethics of techno-scientific global financial capitalism – heralded by pharmacological corporations and governmentality – which replicates a modern scientific view of the body, affect and suffering in a world of renewed paradigmatic demands. The author argues that by consistently pathologizing and working towards the elimination of anxiety, the hegemonic clinic erases the possibility of such ‘subjective truth’, reducing the subject to the status of ‘dividual’.



Minozzo, A.C. (2021), "#Wellness or #Hellness: The Politics of Anxiety and the Riddle of Affect in Contemporary Psy-care", Ajana, B., Braga, J. and Guidi, S. (Ed.) The Quantification of Bodies in Health: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 137-156.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Ana Carolina Minozzo