Depression and anxiety among young people in Denmark: Depression and anxiety among young people in Denmark

Julie Malou Brinch Schmidt, Andrea Stubkjær Nissen, Sofie Bermudo Østerskov Christensen, Mollie Theilgaard Christensen & Svandis Rafnsdottir Rafnsson

Student thesis: Basic Project


Recent research in Denmark reveals a drastic rise in depression and anxiety, especially among young people. This report will examine which causal factors in our society causes an increase in these two specific mental health disorders. More specifically, the study attempts to discover whether or not the phenomenon can be explained with the use of theories developed by the sociologists, Anders Pe-tersen, and Alain Ehrenberg.

The methodical approach is based on the gained knowledge throughout the report, where the concept of the ‘idealperson’ is introduced and compiled of an interpretive analysis of the theories. Three ‘ide-alpersons’ have been created to compare the theories and connect them to the real world. Finally, the comparative method was applied to oppose and discuss the disparities, as well as the similarities of the two separate theories.

Thus, it was concluded that A. Petersen’s theory is the best way to explain the increase in depression and anxiety. According to his theory, the increase is a result of the constructed præstationssamfund, which is a constant strain to the individual. This means high expectations which can be impossible for the individual to fulfill, if not acceded this will lead to depression and anxiety. However, the theories are limited and cannot explain the whole phenomenon. Therefore, other causal factors are discussed as well in the report. The criteria in the diagnostic system have evolved over time and are now based ex-clusively on the symptoms. The diagnose depression has likewise changed, and nowadays contains more sufferings than before. These developments have a possible impact on the increase but are up for debate. In order to understand the whole phenomenon, other causal factors must be analyzed. To in-corporate all causal factors, would be extensive and therefore this study only illustrates a limited area.

EducationsBasic - Bachelor Study Programme in Humanities, (Bachelor Programme) Basic
Publication date17 Dec 2018
Number of pages52
SupervisorsFinn Guldmann