The Debate on Depression. Can Phenomenologically-Oriented Philosophy of Psychiatry Combat the Problems of Reductionist Psychiatry?

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Maja Białek

Abstract

The aim of my paper is to review the discussion concerning various difficulties which surround the definition of depression and the methods of diagnosing and treating the disease against the background of the now dominant reductionist paradigm in psychiatry, as well as to answer the question whether a new approach to psychiatric disorders proposed by philosophers of psychiatry working within the phenomenologically inspired embodied and enactive paradigm indeed offers a solution to these difficulties. I present the issues specific to the subject of depression in light of the more general problems related to biological psychiatry that have recently caused much debate. In the second part of the paper, I consider enactive, phenomenological and embodied theories of depression and the possibilities of new methods of treatment. My goal is to assess whether these theories indeed add anything important to the conceptions that are already present in psychiatry. I conclude that even if the embodied philosophy of psychiatry does not solve many of the problems faced by modern psychiatry, it can, nevertheless, provide a useful theoretical basis for future changes.

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Białek, Maja. 2019. “The Debate on Depression. Can Phenomenologically-Oriented Philosophy of Psychiatry Combat the Problems of Reductionist Psychiatry?”. Diametros 16 (59), 1-22. https://doi.org/10.33392/diam.1074.
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Author Biography

Maja Białek, Uniwersytet w Białymstoku

University of Bialystok 

ul. Świerkowa 20 B

15-328 Białystok

e-mail: majasbialek@gmail.com

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