Self-fulfilment or Self-erosion?

Depression as Key Pathology of Late Modernity Bert van den Bergh
Abstract According to the World Health Organization the mental disorder named depression will soon be the second leading cause of disability worldwide. This calamity is frequently referred to as ‘the depression epidemic’. Some stage this epidemic as the materialization of a fundamental experience of late modern man. French philosopher Dany-Robert Dufour, for instance, in his stirring studies on the ‘liberal cultural revolution’, presents the current intensifying discrepancy between the omnipresent incitement to ‘be oneself’ and the extreme difficulty to ‘be a self’ as a fatal clash that manifests itself in a rise of the phenomenon of depression. According to Dufour our world today has an increasingly Sadean character. Liberalism, he states, is Adam Smith along with Marquis de Sade. At present the Smithian ‘invisible hand’ has difficulty in guiding the Sadean ‘isolist’ subject in such a way that the latter can be free from major discontent. On the contrary, so it appears in view of the ‘depression epidemic’ and allied aberrations. How should we deal with these late modern disorders? If we try to grasp the depression epidemic as an existential phenomenon, the question arises how we can come to understand it in a way that is radically different from the prevailing DSMbased one. Since the dominant approach of mental disorders is reductionist, biologistic, highly unphenomenological, we run the risk of losing contact with the phenomenon. How can we avert this? How can we gain access to this key experience? Dufour interprets our current situation as that of an ‘anthropological mutation’. And depression according to him could be seen as a sign of resistance to this situation. So where then is this fundamental turn leading us? And what does the phenomenon named depression show us? What happens if we, instead of bluntly attacking it, lend this phenomenon our ears? Key Words: Depression, mood disorder, late modernity, self-fulfilment, anthropological mutation, attunement, dysrhythmia. ***** 1. Heroic melancholy, prosaic depression

2 These works are all highly personal accounts of the troublesome victory over a crippling darkness. Prozac Nation by the American journalist Elisabeth Wurtzel and The Noonday Demon by the American writer Andrew Solomon. Against Depression –. One of the most successful works written on the use of psychopharmaca in the battle against mood disorders is Listening to Prozac by the American psychiatrist Peter Kramer. set the tone for similar Dutch memoirs. Wellbutrin. Zyprexa. One could name this genre the ‘automelangraphy’. This book.’5 This message fell in extremely fertile ground. and Boddé finally discovered Anafranil and thereby rediscovered life. six years after the introduction of Prozac. written in the late eighties.3 Kuiper used Tylciprin and started painting. Six examples. was a certain kind of reservation that emerged regularly when people in the audience started to ask questions. raised in all sorts of variants by all sorts of people. Van Buuren’s turn and return was enabled by Seroxat. A new promising concept was added to the psychiatric dictionary. Problemata XXX. Remeron. involves an interpretation of . or both? Could we use these ‘mood brighteners’ to alter our personalities and become ‘better than well’?4 We are on the eve of a revolution in medical thinking. like the following two recent works: Froggy Goes for a Ride! Or on the Suffering that Is Life by professor of modern French literature Maarten van Buuren and Pill by cabaret performer Mike Boddé.6 The success of Listening to Prozac made Kramer start a grand tour around the globe to explain his ideas and elicit responses of all kinds of audiences. the distinguished psychiatrist Piet Kuiper wrote a much-praised automelangraphy entitled Far Gone. Is Prozac a medication or a drug. 1 Well-known examples are Darkness Visible by the American writer William Styron. And in all of them a particular ‘pill’ has a special part in the story.2 Self-fulfilment or self-erosion? __________________________________________________________________ In the last decades of the preceding century a new nonfiction genre seems to have entered our world: the autobiography as a personal portrait of a depressive episode. Namenda and Ranitidine. ‘What if Prozac had been available in van Gogh’s time?’7 This question. We now have means of ‘making the hesitant decisive’. explores the status of the successful novel SSRI antidepressants. Solomon experimented for six years till he found the right mix of Zoloft. published in 1993. Styron was prescribed Nardil but re-entered the light because of his state of isolation in a hospital. Wurtzel obviously used Prozac but in the end needed psychotherapy as well to come back to life again. This tradition. made Kramer realize that the tradition of ‘heroic melancholy’ was still very much alive. or in other words into a ‘self-assured state’. and already quite a collection of psychopharmaca. change their defective condition into one of ‘assertiveness and optimism’. In my country. The Netherlands. rooted in an ancient Greek text fragment. ‘cosmetic psychopharmacology’. says Kramer: ‘We are entering an era in which medication can be used to enhance the functioning of the normal mind.I. What struck Kramer during this tour – so he reports in a more recent work on the phenomenon of mood disorder. This book. biking and the ability to give the disease a proper name.

An interruption of productivity and mobility that should be repaired. A plain disease.11 According to Kramer this romanticizing view is still the undercurrent in our evaluation of depression today.8 Against Depression is an attack on both the disease and the tradition that tends to glorify it. A study by the very same title was published in The Netherlands three years ago by the Dutch philosopher and psychologist Trudy Dehue.14 A ‘mood disorder’ that can be fixed. being a plain disease. ‘How glorious it will be to free ourselves from depression. The first lines of this (in)famous fragment – until recently attributed to Aristotle himself. 2. Naming melancholy ‘depression’ is only one sign of this dominance. The outcome of this denial was ‘two thousand years of therapeutic impotence’.10 Instead of recognizing this.13 Secular Father Kramer. or other similar technical tools. Today we look at depression the Kramerian way. especially because Dehue demonstrated in detail and convincingly how the combined action of pharmaceutical industry. The book caused a great deal of controversy. His renunciation of this superstition has three parts: ‘What it is to us’ – the ambivalent and false understanding of depression as a superb illness. rogues. or melancholy. Kramer replaces the refuted heroizing tradition by another one. science and media nurture a particular interpretation of . nothing more and nothing less. So Against Depression is a tripartite work along the lines of the Confessions by Augustine: digression. written and published very successfully in the seventeenth century. Via SSRI’s – the novel anti-depressants – or deepbrain stimulation. ‘What it will be’ – the vision of a world without this darkness. but today believed to be written by one of his epigones – go like this: ‘Why is it that all men who have become outstanding in philosophy. Depression epidemic The calamity of the global spread of depression is often referred to as ‘the depression epidemic’. is preaching to the already converted. prosaic despondency is our present-day burden. or idle persons at all’. sustained by a resilient brain and body’.’ 9 And the opposite of this opposite is ‘a resilient mind. Today the utopian inspiration proclaiming melancholy or depression to be a sin and an evil more than ever has taken the upper hand. Our highest value is at stake here: ‘Depression is the opposite of freedom.’12 In trying to convert us. Burton’s utopia is our reality. in which the pathological is linked to excellence. had a similar utopian spirit as Kramer’s battle text.Bert van den Bergh 3 __________________________________________________________________ depression. a new Atlantis’ where industriousness is the iron rule: ‘I will not have a barren acre in all my territories (…) I will suffer no beggars. however. or nervus vagus irritation. In the extensive prologue of his work Burton presents ‘an Utopia of mine own. statemanship. poetry or the arts are melancholic…?’. Robert Burton’s classic Anatomy of Melancholy. ‘What it is’ – the truth about depression. we made melancholy into something extraordinary and in doing so evaded the heart of the problem. conversion and profession. vagabonds. ‘Heroic melancholy’ belongs to the past.

according to the two social scientists. A constellation in which everybody is held fully responsible for his own lot.4 Self-fulfilment or self-erosion? __________________________________________________________________ and way of dealing with mood disorders. however. At the end of The Depression Epidemic. it is largely a product of conflating the two conceptually distinct categories of normal sadness and depressive disorder and thus classifying many instances of normal sadness as mental disorders. because the scope of her work does not allow that. does not stem primarily from a real rise in this condition. Instead. The subtitle of the above-mentioned study by Horwitz and Wakefield points out a culprit of the ‘loss of sadness’: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder. in what way then is this connected with a change in subjectivity as such? I will come back to these questions. They are not answered nor raised by Deheu herself. in response to a kindred study on the state of despondency in late modern culture – The Loss of Sadness by the American social scientists Allan V. is not Dehue’s main explanation of the depression epidemic. in this case depression. is a conceptual confusion: We argue that the recent explosion of putative depressive disorder. . its history and its major concepts and specific experiences of subjectivity. Horwitz and Jerome C. It falls short. then still there is this global discontent with late modern civilisation. It is the imperative of selfdetermination. For if indeed the pandemic of sadness according to certain psychiatric or psychological criteria cannot be taken as depressive disorder in the strict sense. enterprising. by evading the cultural context of this transformation: late modernity. Wakefield – Dehue states that it is not so much the loss of sadness that we have to contend with. a discontent we had better take seriously. namely in one’s duties of vigorous self-fulfilment. it seems to me. Depression involves the flip side of these late modern virtues. motivated. purposeful.16 This study does an excellent job in unfolding and analysing the American professional and social context in which and by which ‘sadness’ transforms into a different thing. or taken somewhat broader.15 This remark raises some important questions: What kind of deliberation is meant here? What kind of subjectivity is linked to this key attitude or condition? And if this attitude or condition is changing or deteriorating. The subtitle of her study indicates what according to her is the root of the problem: On the Duty to Control One’s Own Destiny. in fact. flexible and communicative individual. the ethos of self-realization that puts such a pressure on the late modern subject that he is increasingly liable to the opposite of what is wanted and needed: show oneself as a strong. turns unhappiness more and more into a shortcoming. This collaboration (or plotting). The main source of this metamorphosis. but ‘a ban on deliberation’.

Gradually the reference to conflict – which since the end of the nineteenth century underpinned the concept of the subject – subsided and made way for a model of failure or weakness. in Ehrenberg’s words. all this was highly facilitated by a decisive change of the DSM in 1980. conflict and guilt but by summons. or ‘the fatigue of becoming oneself’. at restoring the enterprising spirit of the disheartened. is ‘the disease of responsibility’. one suffers because one is weak. which Horwitz and Wakefield deem to be a decontextualisation of mental suffering. The late modern subject is no longer destined by prohibition. And the new anti-depressants that were launched in the seventies and eighties and became highly successful in the nineties. frequency and duration of symptoms. as failure in what is being called for. is the French sociologist Alain Ehrenberg. And depression in this context appears as exactly the opposite of these. assertive. Lack of initiative became the principal defect of the depressed person. the decline of the model of conflict. In a way things were reversed: one no longer is weak because one suffers.22 The rise of the SSRI’s in the nineties went hand in hand with a (neuro)biological turn in psychiatry. writes Ehrenberg.20 What happened in psychiatry in the course of the last century corresponds to this transformation of normativity. Depression. It is the ethos of self-realisation and responsibility that moves him. 24 resulted in a . shortcoming and shame. He must show initiative. is entirely devoted to the phenomenon of depression. be enterprising. Prozac. We live in postneurotic times. purposefulness. on the move. The third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – the wordwide starting and focus point of mental health care – turned away from the underlying causes of mental disorders and focused completely on connection. entitled The Weariness of the Self. Ehrenberg states. This bias. versatility and communicability. taken root in the eighties. ‘is not the pill of happiness. but that of initiative’. It means being unwilling or unable to realize oneself.21 aim at reverting this. Being depressed means not being able or willing to have a project. The idea. determination.23 This changing norm. The third volume of this trilogy. ‘Sick nerves today are a neurochemical imbalance’.Bert van den Bergh 5 __________________________________________________________________ Somebody who is definitely doing this and has been doing it already for twenty years now. What is expected from him is not restriction but mobilisation of his passions. Ehrenberg recaps sharply.17 On the first page Ehrenberg presents the two leading questions of his study: ‘Why and how has depression asserted itself as our main inner misery? In what way is it revealing with regard to the mutations of individuality at the end of the 20th century?’18 These questions are answered via an extensive exploration of the French context of the phenomenon of depression. is the pathology of a society with a new normativity.19 Depression. the boom of these new medications. In 1991 he published the first volume of a trilogy in which the contours of late modern subjectivity are marked. motivation. the so-called SSRI’s. became the norm. that mental and behavioural disorders could be treated solely with biological remedies. Concerning depression the symptoms of sadness and distress pulled back in favour of weariness.

self-determined.29 We are free. e. without a real basis to take the plunge. in a word. What kind of paradoxy or contrariety is involved here? The French philosopher Dany-Robert Dufour has formulated quite an extensive and stirring answer to this question. beginning to desymbolize the world. Having a sustainable identity is hard nowadays. in sum.’31 ‘Neo-liberalism’ and ‘consumerism’ as . is an individual full of self-confidence. symptom-oriented and neurobiology-minded approach of mental disorders. And stress. A Sadean world The subject which the present globalising constellation puts in the limelight as incarnation of the good life. recurring and chronic depression.30 in the sense that its worshipped dynamics in the end are decisive. One wonders why. We are on our own. appears to suffer more and more from episodic. is the ‘divine market’. burn-out and chronic fatigue. as Dufour sometimes does: ‘no figure of the Other’. This alleged sovereign individual. an enterprising subject. however. flexibility. seems hard to find these days. Or the opposite: hyperactivity. Exchanges are no longer valid insofar as they are guaranteed by some higher power (either transcendental or ethical). alertness. This blurring of course was eagerly saluted by the pharmaceutical industries and incorporated in their policies. because we are self-referential. selfrealizing. completely. In his studies on ‘the liberal cultural revolution’ he links the depression epidemic to the intensifying discrepancy between the omnipresent incitement to ‘be oneself’ and the extreme difficulty to ‘be a self’.25 3. in short. A telling fact with regard to this is the working title Ely Lilly chose for the project of developing the molecule that later was named Prozac: ‘a compound in search of its illness’. or put in Lacanian terms. Sovereignty.6 Self-fulfilment or self-erosion? __________________________________________________________________ blurring of the borders between normal and pathological forms of distress. And from dependence and addiction. An ‘anthropological mutation’ has taken place. no Grand Narrative. The global market of ‘total capitalism’ destroys institutions and reshapes procedures ‘in such a way as to produce individuals who are supple. 26 No such founding figure has any real validity in late modernity. insecure. exhorted to create himself. so it seems. according to Dufour. Commodity exchanges are.27 The late modern or postmodern subject28 has become a self-referential being. says Dufour. they are valid by virtue of the direct relationship they establish as commodities. energy. And paradoxically the subject as subject is more or less ruled out in the dominant.g. But the only thing in fact that is really free. mobile and open to all the market’s modes and variations. because there is no guiding frame of reference any more. normal sadness and depressive disorder.

an utmost extreme combination of egoism and hedonism. divine love and self-love. It is ‘producerism’ as well: the modern professional is supposed to be a flex-worker. But there was another step to be taken and this was done in a very radical way by the libertine writer Marquis de Sade. take whatever part of me that appeals to you. that is private interests should have a free hand. Liberalism. complete by staging. insecure. The global market releases us. mobile and open to all the market’s modes . the second is De Sade’s.Bert van den Bergh 7 __________________________________________________________________ terms to describe this late modern context are inadequate because they tell only a part of the story. 34 Give me that part of your body which is capable of giving so much satisfaction.37 Our world is monadic. In a letter written in 1651 Pascal admits the following on self-love: ‘It was natural to Adam. leading to the Sadean notion of ‘isolism’. but not to set us free. in which private vices are declared to bring public benefits. we are a collection of islands in an ocean of commodities.36 Today the infamous Marquis has us firmly in his grasp: ‘we live in an increasingly Sadean world’. and even further. the ‘neo’ is an intensification of something that goes way back to Adam Smith. Dufour states provocatively. as a writer. if you desire. And secondly. that is inverting the original hierarchy. Liberation of the passions produces affluence. 35 The first line of course is by Adam Smith. a position which matches with the pliability of the trendwatching consumer. Via Pierre Nicole and Pierre Bayle we arrive at Bernard de Mandeville and his famous Fable of the Bees of 1714. and. It initiates and stimulates the production of ‘individuals who are supple. Amor sui is the main road to glory. because they lead to public happiness. Showing immediately what the key thought is. their restriction brings on misery. to Blaise Pascal. but it became criminal as well as intemperate due to his sin. making the puritan more and more ‘perverse’. ‘Liberalism means Smith together with Sade’. the experiment of radicalising certain basic elements of liberalism. states Dufour. 38 It fastens us to our roles of consumer and flexworker. Half a century later economist and theologian Adam Smith followed Mandeville’s footsteps and via his Wealth of Nations founded liberalism and its religion of the free market guided by a divine ‘invisible hand’.’ 33 This small concession started a development of gradual revaluation of self-love. Private vices. means primarily a liberation of the passions. and just in its innocence.32 And this liberation started on puritan soil. that is to say the reversal. It was Pascal who halfway through the seventeenth century started to tamper with the classical Augustinian hierarchy of Amor Dei and Amor sui. He made the perversion. and you shall have this which you want. Dufour starts his The Perverse City with the following revealing parallel quotation: Give me that which I want.

First of all because this tradition is a pluriform one: there is no such thing as the tradition of melancholy.39 It summons us to ‘be ourselves’. however. there is much to be discovered. It is the opposite of freedom. two-faced too. on the contrary. crypto-resistance or semi-perversion? And what exactly do these two involve?43 Maybe both characterizations are off target. there is the real possibility that indeed melancholy at times was ambivalent. And thirdly. we should keep.42 Now what might it be. or rather. Secondly. We should turn to the phenomenon itself to find a more precise answer to the question of what it involves. Dysphoria and dysrhythmia What happened to melancholy as we knew it? What happened to the ambivalence of deep despondency? When we try do get access to the phenomenon of depression. but what exactly is a ‘mood’? Traditionally. the illusion of omnipotence. What does it have to say? What does it have to tell us today? What does it tell us about our position in these late modern times? Depression is labelled as ‘mood disorder’. 44 And freedom then is understood as . perhaps depression today could be. a borrowed personality or even the multiple personalities that are made so widely available by the market. depression: This subject is increasingly trapped between a latent melancholy (the depression we hear so much about). the impossibility of speaking in the first person. and on the other hand he presents depression as nothing more than a shadow of perversion: ‘the depressed person is a subject that doesn’t get round to becoming perverse’. This way the individual hovers between megalomania and its opposite. at least sometimes. Taking this possibility into account does. a state of disorder. Kramer says. Dufour is ambivalent and ambiguous. we take depression as an internal affective state. opportunity. On the one hand he suggests that the depression epidemic might be ‘one of the most evident signs of resistance of the subject to the economy of the generalised market’. Antipsychiatric reversals of normality and madness should be avoided. I think. 4. that means partly positive. disclosure. Evaluating this tradition the Kramerian way is a capital mistake. and the temptation to adapt a false self. most importantly. And. What we need to do is let the phenomenon speak for itself. the tradition of ‘heroic melancholy’ at the back of our minds. much to be interpreted and reinterpreted. not mean opting for a reglorification of depression and melancholy.40 With regard to this melancholy or depression. the richness of this pluriformity does not allow us to claim that we understand it completely.41 yet without explaining what kind of resistance this might be. but tempts us do to the opposite by offering all sorts of artificial identities. however. ‘the depressed person is a pervert that ignores himself’.8 Self-fulfilment or self-erosion? __________________________________________________________________ and variations’.

the ‘Stimmung’ (mood) can be a ‘Verstimmung’ (distunement). and as having played therefore its frequent paradigm-role in the history of psychiatry’. We take part in it. In his view on mood and pathology Schotte bases himself among other texts on the famous study Classical and Christian Ideas of World Harmony. A presubjective and preintentional engagement: Schotte speaks of a pré-moi participatif. concealed or dormant way – a rapprochement? Loss of contact. are in Schotte’s view the via regia to the sources of human existence. quoting his famous line on the primal rhythm . Failure. en psychiatrie…51. which induces a dysphoria or distunement such as depression. Prolegomena to an Interpretation of the Word ‘Stimmung’ by Leo Spitzer. and so the possibility of a dis-cordance. Does sanity mean above all possessing those qualities? And is the way these traits are emphasized and exercised today free from insanity? Are we. hyperdynamic late modern culture more and more. Schotte refers to the ancient Greek poet Archilochus. These qualifications could be questioned. Mood disorders. having an enterprising spirit.47 which means ‘the encompassing-bearing’. being motivated.Bert van den Bergh 9 __________________________________________________________________ resilience. late modern subjects.49 This engagement can be disrupted. ‘as the most ubiquitously important one of the whole of psychiatry in the practice of medicine in general. has three main characteristics: anhormia. 48 Depression takes us to the basic rhythm or rhythmicity of life. At the end of his text Comme dans la vie. writes Schotte. It is not so much an internal state but a way of relating to or being in the world. and do we lack deliberation and consideration? And as for the other definition. And this participation can be in dis-cordance. or in other words. as an inspiring example of an alternative understanding of mood and thereby of mood disorder depression. and this latter concept is the starting point for Schotte’s reinterpretation of mood. and arrhythmia. perhaps too decisive. brings about a disturbance of that primal source or root? Is it this primordial bond which is in dis-order? And does that disorder also involve – in an indirect. lack of drive or zest. a participative pre-ego. disturbance of the rhythm of life. and especially depression.50 Now – concluding this paper with some vital questions – could it be that this arrhythmia or dysrhythmia is the root or source of the other two? And could it be that our highly demanding. It is an ac-cordance with the environment or ambience. and increasingly intense.46 Being in a mood is being tuned in one way or another. its primordial movement or emotivity. anhedonia. lack of interest or pleasure. Depression can be seen ‘as the structurally “simplest” and therefore properly basic type of psychiatric disturbance’. depression as an internal state of disorder: is that the most fundamental interpretation of this phenomenon? In my view it is not. we participate. Environment is understood here as the ancient Greek periechon. enterprising and versatile. and so contact with what is lost.45 The German word ‘Stimmung’ (mood) is close to ‘Abstimmung’ (attunement). showing initiative. and thereby enduring what is failing. This disorder. In the conclusion of this paper I shall therefore briefly turn to the thought of the Belgian psychiatrist Jacques Schotte.

like Schotte is suggesting.52 Could lending a phenomenological ear to depression. Notes .10 Self-fulfilment or self-erosion? __________________________________________________________________ of life: ‘Appreciate. I don’t think that is a utopian idea. make us more appreciative here? I’d like to think so. what rhythm holds men’.

Whether a certain degree of serotonine reuptake is a cause or an effect of depression is an unresolved issue. 2nd ed. 20 Ehrenberg. 24 Horwitz and Wakefield. Fatigue d’Être Soi. 4. Psychology. 14. a messenger of nerve signals in brain cells. Psychanalyse et Psychopathologie Freudiennes. 2008). 1997). 57. 250). Against Depression. Power And Personhood. 2001). ed. The Nature of Melancholy. Fatigue d’Être Soi. Against Depression. VII. Serge Lesourd (Ramonville Saint-Agne: Éditions érès. 31. namely the emphasis on the self as an active state. says Dufour. 25 Ehrenberg. Diagnosing the History of Depression in the Contemporary Age (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Kramer’s definition of depression as ‘disorder of neuroprotection’ or ‘disorder of neuroresilience’ (Kramer. Cf. 1998). 2010). 5 Kramer. (Nicolas Rose. Nicknaming serotonine ‘the happy hormone’ doesn’t help to clearify Loss of Sadness. 2008). The Anatomy of Melancholy (New York: New York Review Books. 2007). 10. Kramer. Kramer.1 The ancient Greek word melas means ‘black’. De Depressie-Epidemie. ‘Dix lignes d’effondrement du sujet moderne. During a lecture in Denmark Ehrenberg explained that in the English translation of the French title something is lost. Fatigue d’Être Soi. 8 Jennifer Radden. 2005). Cliniques Méditerranéennes. 13 Robert Burton. 100. 3 Interview with Andrew Solomon in the PBS documentary Out of the Shadows. referring to the substance that for two millennia was considered to be the source of this affliction: black bile. without any ‘deep’ meaning (Kramer. p. 97. Art of Shrinking Heads. 194. La Révolution Culturelle Libérale (Paris: Éditions Denoël. a process or a task: the ‘becoming oneself’. collateral damage. On the New Servitude of the Liberated in the Age of Total Capitalism (Cambridge: Polity Press. 28 Dufour uses the term ‘postmodern’ for covenience’s sake. Art of Shrinking Heads. Cf Darian Leader’s recent book on mourning. 2009). 104. 271). Wakefield. 15 Trudy Dehue. Against Depression. http://vimeo. 189. 214. Inventing our Selves. affect the levels of serotonine in the brain. La Fatigue d’Être Soi. Selective Serotonine Reuptake Inhibitors. Chapter 7: The Promise of Treatment. 2007). Listening to Prozac. (London: Penguin. 2nd ed. Cambridge . Viewed 12 June 2011. Fatigue d’Être Soi. 27 Dany-Robert Over de Plicht het Lot in Eigen Handen te Nemen (Amsterdam/Antwerpen: Augustus. it created blindness for the Sadean side of capitalism (Dany-Robert Dufour. Against Depression. Fatigue d’Être Soi. Dépression et Société (Paris: Édition Odile Jacob. We haven’t overcome modernity. 247. Against Depression. 42. e. Éditions Denoël. in melankholia. depression is an evolutionairy accident. 2009. 2 The Dutch word ‘pil’ has the double meaning of ‘pill’ and ‘tome’. 30 Title of one of Dufour’s studies: Le Divin Marché. 203. 14. Serotonine is a neurotransmitter. melancholy and depression. The power/desire opposition constructed by the left was a mistake. 2007). 23 Ehrenberg. How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. Cambridge. The Art of Shrinking Heads. 17 Alain Ehrenberg. Nicolas Rose’s essay ‘Becoming neurochemical selves’. Nico Stehr (Somerset: Transaction Publishers. Recently the book was translated into English : The Weariness of the Self. 56). 19 Recently Ehrenberg published a study in which the French context of mental disorders is compared with the American one: La Société du Malaise (Paris: Édition Odile Jacob. 292.) I prefer the term ‘late modern’ because it doesn’t suggest a situation after modernity. 104. 21 SSRI’s. in Biotechnology. (Dufour. 14 Typifying this quality of ‘plain illness’ Kramer uses a term introduced by Stephen Jay Gould: ‘spandrel’. http://www. 9 Kramer. 6. 2004). 2008).g. Nicolas Rose makes a similar remark when he states: ‘power and freedom are not antitheses’. Horwitz and Jerome C. The Loss of Sadness. 157. we are in the middle of its intensification or derailment. 16 Alan V. 18 Ehrenberg. Between Commerce and Civil Society. A more suitable translation then would be ‘The weariness of self-realization’. The New Black (London: Hamish Hamilton. in Les Maladies du Liberalisme.pbs. 2000). 4 Peter D. 7 Kramer. 254. viewed 25 June 2011. Against Depression (London: Penguin. Relevés sismographiques’. 188/189. La Cité Perverse. 31 Dufour. 29 Dufour.html. 89128. From Aristotle to Kristeva (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. Listening to Prozac. Art of Shrinking Heads. Cf. 22 Ehrenberg. 6 Peter D. 4. ed. 10 Kramer. 9. 14. Against Depression. Against Depression. ed. Paris. Libéralisme et Pornographie. 26 Dany-Robert Dufour.. 11 Kramer. 12 Kramer.

Burton. 2001. Dufour. 107. Dufour. Cité Perverse. ‘Comme dans la Vie’. La Révolution Culturelle Libérale. Robert. Maarten van. Amsterdam/Antwerpen: Augustus. VII).32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 University Press. Hommage à Alphonse De Waelhens [1911-1981] (Brussels: Publications des Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis. 91107. 157. inspiring Jacques Schotte to unfold a different concept of mood. Relevés Sismographiques’. the foreword of The Loss of Sadness was written by the very same man who initiated the developments that are under attack in this book: Robert M. 2. 72. Dufour. Le Divin Marché. ‘As in life. Spitzer. Cité Perverse. Dany-Robert. Bibliography Boddé. New York: New York Review Books. Art of Shrinking Heads. 2010. Dufour. 1989). Kramer. Cliniques Méditerranéennes. 17). From Juliette. Amsterdam: Nijgh & Van Ditmar. Inventing our Selves. 639. 98). –––. so to speak. Trudy. referring to Schottes conception of ‘pathoanalysis’: analysing the human condition through the prism of psychiatry. ‘From redefining depressions to reassessing “nosology” in present-day psychiatry. In Les Maladies du Liberalisme. Le Divin Marché. 23). Schotte. Schotte. in Biological Psychiatry. Cité Perverse. The concepts of autonomy. Dufour. en Psychiatrie… Les Perturbations de l’Humeur comme Troubles de Base de l’Existence’. De Depressie-Epidemie. ‘Dix Lignes d’Effondrement du Sujet Moderne. 14. Loss of Sadness. ‘From Redefining Depressions’. 2008. 1963). From Robert M. Cité Perverse. wanted to turn away from the isolated symptom and return to the human being as human being. 78. 9. 325/326. major developer of the DSM-III and so major designer of the ‘diagnostic revolution’ that followed (Horwitz and Wakefield. Kikker Gaat Fietsen! Of over het Leed dat Leven Heet. in Qu’ Est-ce que l’Homme? Philosophie/Psychanalyse. Cité Perverse. Dufour. Schotte. Schotte. 9. 79. one could say that he is incorporating Heidegger’s rethinking of affectivity in Sein und Zeit into psychiatric thought. 150 ff). Cité Perverse. Buuren. Against Depression. Leo Spitzer. . Dufour. Art of Shrinking Heads. the ‘antropopsychiatrist’ – as he named his new approach –. the subject as subject. as attunement and rhythmicity. Cité Perverse. 113. Ironically. 648. Marching Backwards into the Future (Leuven: Leuven University Press. and again 150. 1982). Psychanalyse et Psychopathologie Freudiennes. but leaves the question of the nature of depression as experience aside. 297. ‘Comme dans la Vie’. Dufour. 56. edited by Serge Lesourd. says Rose. 670. 186). Loss of Sadness. Spitzer. Dehue. Rotterdam: Lemniscaat. and thereby to mood disorders as the occurrence of somebody’s suffering. 1998. responsibility and self-fulfilment. Paris: Éditions Denoël. Pil. See also his essay ‘Becoming Neurochemical Selves’. Prolegomena to an Interpretation of the Word ‘Stimmung’ (Baltimore: John Hopkins Press. Jacques Schotte. For this disciplining force Nicolas Rose uses Foucaultian terms like ‘regime of the self’. 2007. Hoe een Cabaretier zijn Depressie Overwon. Ramonville Saint-Agne : Éditions érès. that ‘are still not understood’ (Horwitz and Wakefield. 2007. Dufour. The same question applies to the statement by Horwitz and Wakefield on possible ‘healing and reparative functions’ of normal sadness. Over de Plicht het Lot in Eigen Handen te Nemen. From The Wealth of Nations. Inventing our Selves. Classical and Christian Ideas of World Harmony. Dufour. 11. ‘Becoming neurochemical selves’. Jacques Schotte. 71. are means of the ‘conduct of conduct’ (Rose. and ‘Dix Lignes d’Effondrement du Sujet Moderne’. Of course this reinterpretation is not Schotte’s invention. Cf ‘Comme dans la Vie’. ‘technologies of the self’ and ‘technologies of subjectification’ (Rose. We move from Spitzer to Spitzer. The Anatomy of Melancholy. and again 150. to Leo Spitzer. There Rose refers briefly to Ehrenberg’s depression study. Dufour. A three-fold postscript to the papers of van Praag and van den Hoofdakker’. indicates that ‘such a global cultural account is unconvincing’ (Rose. in psychiatry…’. Mike. 673. ‘Comme dans la Vie. 172. The subtitle of this article indicates the very same route: ´Mood perturbations as disorders of the base of existence’. 2008.

The Art of Shrinking Heads. P. –––. Jennifer. Ver Heen. 1982. Paris: Édition Odile Jacob. –––. . he tries to shed new light on our late modern condition. The Loss of Sadness. Brussels: Publications des Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis. 621-673. London: Vintage. Against Depression. Ehrenberg. 2004. From Aristotle to Kristeva. 1997. The Nature of Melancholy. Listening to Prozac. he likes to move on the fold that separates and connects these two disciplines. Nicolas. An Anatomy of Depression. Psychology. Éditions Denoël. Young and Depressed in America. Dépression et Société. Paris. La Fatigue d’Être Soi. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Den Haag: SDU. London: Vintage. Libéralisme et Pornographie. The Noonday Demon. Inventing our Selves. 2005.. In making the abstract concrete and the concrete questionable. –––. Solomon. 89128. 2008. ‘Becoming Neurochemical Selves’. Wakefield. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. Between Commerce and Civil Society. London: Penguin. 1998. ‘Comme dans la Vie. Being educated in philosophy and psychology. 1998. Power and Personhood. Paris: Édition Odile Jacob. 2007. ed. and Jerome C. La Société du Malaise. en Psychiatrie… Les Perturbations de l’Humeur comme Troubles de Base de l’Existence’. Styron. 1963. In Biotechnology. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. 1989. Leuven: Leuven University Press. Rose. 1994. 2008. Leader. Cambridge: Polity Press. 63-110. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Alain. 2010. In Biological Psychiatry. Hommage à Alphonse De Waelhens [1911-1981]. Bert van den Bergh is senior lecturer at The Hague University in The Netherlands. 2002. In Qu’ Est-ce que l’Homme? Philosophie/Psychanalyse.C. Kuiper. Marching Backwards into the Future. Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. 2009. Andrew. –––. Radden. Baltimore: John Hopkins Press. Mourning. 2000.–––. London: Hamish Hamilton. edited by Hugo de Cuyper and Gerard Buyse. On the New Servitude of the Liberated in the Age of Total Capitalism. Darian. ‘From Redefining Depressions to Reassessing “Nosology” in Present-day Psychiatry. Prolegomena to an Interpretation of the Word ‘Stimmung’. Elizabeth. A Three-fold Post-script to the Papers of van Praag and van den Hoofdakker’. Wurtzel. Peter D. Melancholia and Depression. The New Black. 1988. Alan V. How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow into Depressive Disorder. London: Penguin. Classical and Christian Ideas of World Harmony. Spitzer. 1992. –––. William. Horwitz. 2nd ed. Jacques. Leo. Somerset: Transaction Publishers. Verslag van een Depressie. La Cité Perverse. Kramer. edited by Nico Stehr. Prozac Nation. Schotte.