Tag Archives: suicide

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.

In a World Without Meaning, Why Live? – Camus’ “The Myth of Sisyphus”

In my attempt to rebuild my philosophy from the ground up, I examined the most fundamental of questions: suicide. Per Camus, suicide is the most important philosophical question and thus I decided to read Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus and that is the book that will be analyzed/explained first.

Absurd Life

So I know this isn’t truly starting at “the big” question of whether humans actually exist, but for the sake of argument, we must assume that humans do in fact exist in the physical sense. I’m sorry Descartes (and to some extent Hume), but musing over those questions, while great for keeping one up at night, will get me nowhere in my search for a new value system. Thus I will start with a few basic assumptions, nothing more:

  1. Humans exist in a physical form
  2. Death is a real thing and, although the definition is debatable, there is a distinction between life and death (sorry Lanza)
  3. Humans have some sort of free will
  4. There is no god (This one is debatable but, I have written answers to The Kalām Cosmological Argument, twice, The Fine Tuning Argument, twice, and The Transcendental Argument, among others)

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