Tag Archives: mental illness

The Phenomenology of Depression

Preface: This is a post I’ve been writing in chunks because I only have the ability to write it at various times. The overlap between motivation and level of depressiveness has to be just right in order for me to function in the proper state of mind to think this way while still being able to write. Some parts may sound as if they are stream-of-consciousness and that is because I opted not to change what I originally wrote during the editing process because I felt as if it captures the experience as best as words can. Finally, the tone may vary from section to section as my mood is the controlling factor in when I write certain parts of this post and seeing as that changes constantly, the tone likely will as well.

If you’ve ever talked to me personally or know me with some intimacy, it’s easy to see that I’m a restless and unsettled individual. I fidget, flip pens, tap my feet, or look at the floor. When I’m alone, my mind takes over and runs where it may…typically to dark places. All of this is because I have generalized anxiety disorder and depression. The former manifests itself as over-thinking or blowing things out of proportion, the latter as totalizing numbness and lack of motivation, and it is the depressive side that I wish to explore. Where other depressives write in a journal or keep a diary, I thought that the best way to confront the issue of depression and the change in mental attitude that it brings would be to analyze it. Specifically, in what follows I will attempt to provide a phenomenological account of how depression affects my interactions with the everyday life-world1)The everyday life-world being a term of art used by the sociologist Alfred Schütz to mean “…that province of reality which the wide-awake and normal adult simply takes for granted…”: Alfred Schütz and Thomas Luckmann, The Structures of the Life-World: Volume 1 (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1973), 3. and how that change might be a radically new mode of interaction with the world that is often glossed over, if not ignored entirely, in the major phenomenological works of everyday life.

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1. The everyday life-world being a term of art used by the sociologist Alfred Schütz to mean “…that province of reality which the wide-awake and normal adult simply takes for granted…”: Alfred Schütz and Thomas Luckmann, The Structures of the Life-World: Volume 1 (Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1973), 3.

Thoughts: Homosexuality and the Myth of Mental Illness

This post will differ a bit from what I usually write in that I don’t have a fully developed opinion on any of this yet, rather this is just a collection of ideas that, at somepoint (ie. after reading more Foucault and Szaz), I would like to expand upon and make into a full argument. Additionally, this post is, more a less, a stream of consciousness in that I’m not really revising it, rather I’m just getting my ideas out there. So take it as you will.

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