Advertisement

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 701–718 | Cite as

Getting stuck: temporal desituatedness in depression

  • Michelle MaieseEmail author
Article

Abstract

The DSM characterizes major depressive disorder partly in temporal terms: the depressive mood must last for at least two weeks, and also must impact the subject "most of the day, nearly every day." However, from the standpoint of phenomenological psychopathology, the long-lasting quality of the condition hardly captures the distinctiveness of depression. While the DSM refers to objective time as measured by clocks and calendars, what is especially striking about depression is the distortions to lived time that it involves. But is there any relation between a) these disruptions to temporal experience and b) the tendency for depressive symptoms to persist and endure? To explore the connection between lived time and objective time, I investigate the embodied and enactive nature of intentionality among subjects suffering from depression. What I call 'affective framing' is a spontaneous, pre-reflective way of filtering information that involves bodily attunement and allows subjects to focus their attention on what they feel is important. I will argue that affective framing ordinarily has a forward-looking temporal structure and a "teleological direction" that is rooted in our embodiment. However, depression involves a distortion in future-directed intentionality, so that a subject becomes temporally desituated and cut off from the future. This contributes to many of the characteristic features of depression, including apparent lack of motivation, inability to imagine future possibilities, alterations in lived time, and a sense that one is "stuck." To gain a better understanding of this disruption to the futuredirected structure of affective framing in cases of depression, I look to concepts from complex dynamic systems theory and the notion of 'habit.' My proposed account aims to shed light on how a disruption to future-directedness impacts bodily attunement and reinforces depression as a long-term condition.

Keywords

Depression Time Future Intentionality Affect 

References

  1. Aho, K. (2013). Depression and embodiment: phenomenological reflections on motility, affectivity, and transcendence. Medical Health Care and Philosophy, 16, 751–759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bloc, L., Souza, C., & Moreira, V. (2016). Phenomenology of depression: contributions of Minkowski, Binswanger, Tellenbach, and Tatossian. Estudos de Psicologia, 33(1), 107–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Colombetti, G. (2014). The feeling body: affective science meets the enactive mind. Cambridge: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cuffari, E. (2011). Habits of transformation. Hypatia, 26(3), 535–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dreyfus, H. (2007). Why Heideggerian AI failed and how fixing it would require making it more Heideggerian. Philosophical Psychology, 20(2), 247–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fernandez, A. (2014). Depression as existential feeling or de-situatedness? Distinguishing structure from mode in psychopathology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 13(4), 595–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Freeman, W. J. (2000). How brains make up their minds. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Froese, T., & Di Paolo, E. (2011). The enactive approach: theoretical sketches from cell to society. Pragmatics and Cognition, 19(1), 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fuchs, T. (2005). Corporealized and disembodied minds. A phenomenological view of the body in melancholia and schizophrenia. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, 12(2), 95–107.Google Scholar
  10. Fuchs, T. (2013). Temporality and psychopathology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 12, 75–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jacobs, K., Stephan, A., Paskaleva-Yankova, A., & Wilutsky, W. (2014). Existential and atmospheric feelings in depressive comportment. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology., 21(2), 89–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Juarrero, A. (1999). Dynamics in action. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kalibatseva, Z., & Leong, F. (2011). Depression among Asian Americans: review and recommendations. Depression Research and Treatment.  https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/320902.
  14. Kelso, J. A. S. (1995). Dynamic patterns: the self-organization of brain and behavior. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Mackenzie, C. (2000). Imagining oneself otherwise. In C. Mackenzie & N. Stoljar (Eds.), Relational autonomy: feminist perspectives on autonomy, agency, and the social self. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Maiese, M. (2011). Embodiment, Emotion, and Cognition. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  17. Maiese, M. (2014) How can emotions be both cognitive and bodily? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13(4):513–531.Google Scholar
  18. Meynen, G. (2011). Depression, possibilities, and competence: a phenomenological perspective. Theoretical Medical Bioethics, 32, 181–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Minkowski, E. (1970). Lived time: phenomenological and psychopathological studies. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Owen, G., Freyenhagen, F., Hotopf, M., & Martin, W. (2015). Temporal inabilities and decision-making capacity in depression. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 14, 163–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Radden, J. (2013). The self and its moods in depression and mania. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 20(7–8), 80–102.Google Scholar
  22. Ratcliffe, M. (2005). William James on emotion and intentionality. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 13(2), 179–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ratcliffe, M. (2008). Feelings of being: phenomenology, psychiatry, and the sense of reality. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ratcliffe, M. (2010). Depression, deep guilt, and emotional depth. Inquiry, 53(6), 602–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ratcliffe, M. (2012). Varieties of temporal experience in depression. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 37, 114–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ratcliffe, M. (2014). Experiences of depression: a study in phenomenology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ridley, A. (1997). Emotion and feeling. Supplement to the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 71(1), 163–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Slaby, J. (2008). Affective intentionality and the feeling body. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 7, 429–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Slaby, J., Paskaleva, A., & Stephan, A. (2013). Enactive emotion and impaired agency in depression. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 20(7–8), 33–55.Google Scholar
  30. Smith, B. (2013). Depression and motivation. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 12, 615–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Straus, E. (1960). Das Zeiterleben in der depression und in der psychopathischen Verstimmung. In Ders (Ed.), Psychologie der menschlichen Welt (pp. 126–140). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Svenaeus, F. (2013). Depression and the self: bodily resonance and attuned being-in-the-world. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 20(7–8), 15–32.Google Scholar
  33. Thompson, E. (2007). Mind in life: biology, phenomenology, and the sciences of the mind. Cambridge: Belknap Press.Google Scholar
  34. Viswanath, B., & Chaturvedi, S. K. (2012). Cultural aspects of major mental disorders: a critical review from an indian perspective. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 34(4), 306–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. von Gebsattel, E. (1954). Zeitbezogenes Zwangsdenken in der Melancholie. In E. von Gebsattel (Ed.), Prolegomena einer medizinischen anthropologie (pp. 1–18). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Weber, A., & Varela, F. (2002). Life after Kant: natural purposes and the autopoietic foundations of biological individuality. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 1, 97–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wylie, M. (2005). Lived time and psychopathology. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 12(3), 173–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emmanuel CollegeBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations