Phenomenology and Mind 21:48-61 (2021)

Lucy Osler
University of Copenhagen
Individuals suffering from depression consistently report experiencing a lack of connectedness with others. David Karp (2017, 73), in his memoir and study of depression, has gone so far to describe depression as “an illness of isolation, a disease of disconnectedness”. It has become common, in phenomenological circles, to attribute this social impairment to the depressed individual experiencing their body as corporealized, acting as a barrier between them and the world around them (Fuchs 2005, 2016). In this paper, I offer an alternative view of the experience of social disconnectedness in depression, suggesting that rather than necessarily experiencing their body as object-like, the depressed individual’s bodily is saturated with experiences of lethargy, tiredness, heaviness, sadness, hopelessness and so on, to the exclusion of being able to bodily connect to others. I suggest that depression does not involve a complete social impairment but a specific impairment of affective forms of interpersonal experience.
Keywords phenomenology  phenomenological psychopathology  depression  bodily satuation  interaffectivity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2021
DOI 10.17454/pam-2104
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Nature of Sympathy.Max Scheler - 2008 - Transaction Publishers.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Depression, Intercorporeality, and Interaffectivity.Thomas Fuchs - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (7-8):7-8.
Depression and Motivation.Benedict Smith - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):615-635.
Varieties of Temporal Experience in Depression.M. Ratcliffe - 2012 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (2):114-138.
Getting Stuck: Temporal Desituatedness in Depression.Michelle Maiese - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (4):701-718.
The Transformation of Intercorporeality in Melancholia.Stefano Micali - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):215-234.
The Phenomenology of Depression and the Nature of Empathy.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2):269-280.
Affectivity and Narrativity in Depression: A Phenomenological Study.Anna Bortolan - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (1):77-88.


Added to PP index

Total views
148 ( #79,150 of 2,507,887 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
66 ( #12,098 of 2,507,887 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes