Neoliberalism and the Commodification of Mental Illness in Surveillance Society

  • Kyle Shea Minta


Neoliberal ideology has been widely criticised for its focus on the individual and lack of focus on the social (Brohman, 1995). This is true in many ways, but in this essay, I will examine how neoliberal ideology has individualised mental illness, and obscured social causation. In this critical reflection I will explore the commodification of mental illness and how this is justified by neoliberal ideology. I will also explore how information technologies are increasingly being used by individuals to check symptoms, and how this selfsurveillance may be a factor in the rising prescription of medicines. Finally, I will reflect on whether the preference for medicines is in the interest of the individual or profit.