Betegnelsen lykkepiller er et Dansk og problematisk fænomen

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Introduction: The term happiness pills was originally coined by the media to refer to tranquillizers and since has been carried over to include today's antidepressant selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Subsequently this term has become synonymous with "SSRIs" in the media and as a consequence in the public consciousness. This article looks at the extent to which the term happiness pills is a Danish or an international phenomenon. The consequences for patients of the use of this term are also discussed. Materials and methods: A search of media databases in Danish and English was done to identify the frequency of the use of the term lykkepiller/lykkepille (in Danish) and happiness pills/happy pills (in English). For the Danish media the database Danske Medier 1992-2003 was used, and for the English-language media the database LexisNexis 1970-2003 was used. Results: The search included the period 1994 to August 22, 2003. During this period t, and he terms lykkepiller and lykkepille were used a total of 2,795 times. In the English-language media the terms happy pill and happiness pill were used a total of 1,332 times during the same period. Discussion: The results of this study show that the use of the value-laden word happiness pills as synonymous with SSRI products is mainly a Danish phenomenon. A recent Danish study has shown that the use of the term lykkepiller (happiness pills) might have a negative outcome on the therapeutic regime. On the basis of these findings, the authors appeal to professional ethics and recommend that professionals refrain from using the term happiness pills not only in the professional media but also in communications with the popular media, as it can have negative consequences for users of SSRI products.

Original languageDanish
JournalUgeskrift for Laeger
Volume167
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)2282-2285
Number of pages4
ISSN0041-5782
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2005

ID: 228774015