Disturbances of Embodiment as Core Phenomena of Depression in Clinical PracticeDoerr-Zegers O.a, c · Irarrázaval L.a, e · Mundt A.d · Palette V.b, f
aCenter for Studies on Phenomenology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, and bInstitute of Humanities, Universidad Diego Portales, cAcademic Unit of the University of Chile at the General Psychiatric Hospital, and dMedical Faculties, Universidad San Sebastián, Universidad Diego Portales and Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile; eSection Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychotherapy, Psychiatric Department, University Clinic Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; fArchives Husserl, CNRS/Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
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This paper proposes a phenomenological approach to the diagnosis of depression, with the aim of overcoming the broadness and nonspecificity of the concept of major depressive disorder (MDD) in current systems of diagnostic classification of mental disorders. Firstly, we outline the methodological limitations of the current classification systems for the diagnosis of MDD. Secondly, we offer a conceptual differentiation between a “symptomatological” versus a “phenomenological” diagnosis of depression. Thirdly, we propose characteristic “disturbances of embodiment” as the fundamental phenomena of “core depression”, which manifest themselves in 3 dimensions: embodied self, embodied intentionality, and embodied time. A more useful diagnosis of depression may be achieved by describing the phenomena that constitute a core depression, in order to avoid the overdiagnosis of MDD and its negative consequences in clinical practice.
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