melancholy takes different significance through the ages. It describes, very generally, an apathetic state of distress, of abandonment close to depression.
The melancholy can also be seen like a "crowned disease" which in the Western culture related to all the expressions of the thought and art: philosophy, medicine, psychiatry and psychoanalysis, religion and theology, literature, music and arts. The melancholy is a vector of fertility, of clearness, of perspicacity, but also paradoxically of despair. Jean Starobinski and Wolf Lepenies said that the melancholy was a form of "remote setting" of the conscience vis-a-vis to the "disenchantment" of the world.
Karl Abraham isolate the depression as of 1911 : it distinguishes it, for example, of one anxiety neurosis.
Sigmund Freud, in Mourning and melancholy, compare the momentary state in accordance with a mourning with the melancholy. Mourning obliges the person with an investment withdrawal of the object of mourning: the memories are reminded in order to be disinvested, what can take time. Celà can exceed by far the purely economic character of the problem; for example in obsessional neurosis, the mourning of the father forces a confrontation with complex of?dipe.
The case Haitzmann, one démoniaque neurosis with XVIIE century, is the most explicit presentation of a depression. Is Haitzmann an artist who sinks (or who lights?), with died of his/her father, in the depression. It does one then pact with the devil, he asking to find his/her father for a few years. From where the expression so curious about démoniaque neurosis...
The depression is a small melancholy, pathology which providendrait of one regression investment of object, object-relationship, withidentification melancholic person, pure absorbtion of the other. The melancholy is mourning without object, who follows uponincorporation massive ofinstinctual object, then confused with me : at the moment of mourning, it is of itself that the melancholic person must make mourning...
The psychoanalytical contribution with the apréhéension of the melancholy is also in depressive position described by Melanie Klein, and which would return to the formation even of ego, being born in the pain from ambivalence - indeed, there would be at the origins of this authority, for which the subject is caught, a depressive anguish originant itself inambivalence vis-a-vis with the total [(objet ] ].
One of the first nosgraphic entities to tackle the problem of sadness like element of a pathological state, is depression, lack nervous force, chronic functional disease of the nervous system. This depression appears under the influence of G.M. Beard.
Modern psychiatry describes one depression. Thus, DSM IV described one depressive episode like one depressive disorder ; several depressions are distinguished. Among those, the most serious depressive state is dépresion melancholic person.
One can thus say that modern psychiatry calls melancholy the most pushed form depression; it is a serious affection largely quitant the field of the moroseness to consider a pathology, with the direction fully medical.
The symptoms melancholic persons are more thorough than the simple depression where one finds for example abulia, anorexia, insomnia, feeling of incurability, v?ux of death, or a strong feeling of culpability. In the melancholy a true mental pain is added to it (not less painful than a physical pain). The patient lives himself like having of another exit only death, for itself and sometimes for its close relations, those which he likes more. If it happens for example that a mother melancholic person kills her children and commits suicide, it is not by haîne but well by love, to avoid the hell of the life to them: it cannot imagine that it is different.
The melancholy can occur in a single episode, but more often it is the expression of one maniaco-depressive psychosis (PMD), that is to say monopolar (comprising only episodes melancholic persons), that is to say bipolar (with episodes melancholic persons and maniacs). It is a psychiatric urgency because of a maximum risk of suicide.
Melancholy through the ages and the?uvres
As of IVE front century. J.- C., steles funerary attics introduce individuals taking of the consequent installations of mourning. The melancholy is thus attached to it to the loss of a close relation. With VIE front century. J.- C., Pénélope is represented in front of its trade, any melancholic person.
Aristote will wonder why all the men of exception are melancholic persons: it acts for him of an obviousness.
For Hippocrates, the melancholy is included/understood like disorder of black bile. miss would be the body responsible for this disorder (whereas current medicine sees the body there of immunizing defenses.
With The Middle Ages
acédie is a démoniaque temptation which allures them monks. The usual translation is idleness: one of seven deadly sins. Monks, insulated in the inactivity from monastery, half-compartments of the world, plunged in silence, can sink in a quite specific torpor, and named acedia : idleness spirit, overwhelming pressure... Soon will follow temptations of all kinds.
middle-aged lust is the hour more "favourable" with such a difficulty.
Anatomy of the melancholy
In 1621, Robert Burton publish itAnatomy of the melancholy. It analyzes the causes and the effects and seeks remedies of them. It will distinguish for example one religious melancholy. Anatomy of the melancholy constitute an important sum of all the theories, knowledge concerning the melancholy, that Burton binds to mourning.
Among so much of thousands of authors, you will have evil to find some whose reading will make you somebody of a little better; quite to the contrary it will infect you whereas it should contribute to improve you.
Burton regarded itself as melancholic person.
With XVIIE century, George Cheyne redesigns the melancholy like state of heart, and re-elects it spleen. This expression will become that of poet.
Charles Baudelaire will be one of the great figures of the spleen.
- Any child, I felt in my c?ur two contradictory feelings: horror of the life and the extase of the life (My c?ur exposed, 1864)
With XIXE century
Saturn devouring his/her children
Saturn devouring his/her children is a table of 1823, of the painter Francisco Goya. This?uvre forms part of a series of black paintings carried out between 1820 and 1823, after the upheaval of the war. It takes again the topic accurately of Stopwatches devouring his/her children, so expensive in Goya. This devoration, absorbtion, the root even of the melancholy would report, or its premises.
The table was used for the cover of seminar IV, The object-relationship of Jacques Lacan.
Emphatiquement in The Fatal disease but also in Fear and tremor Kierkegaard states that the human ones are composed of three parts: finished, the infinite one, and the relation between the two. Finished (directions, the body, knowledge) and the infinite ones (the paradox and capacity to be believed) always exist in a state of tension. This tension, conscious of its existence, is the individual. When the individual is lost, insensitive or exuberant, the person is then in a state of despair. In particular, despair is not the anguish, it is, instead of that, the loss of the individual.
With XXE century
Jean-Paul Sartre publish Nausea in 1938. It described Antoine Roquentin there, taken of a deep dislike for what surrounds, for its activities, and which takes refuge in the imaginary one.
Francoise Sagan publish Hello sadness.
- Bipolar disorder
- Julia Kristeva
The exposure has Paris
Melancholy, genius and madness in Occident ", from October 23, 2005 to January 16, 2006 (national Galleries, Large Palate) - an exposure with more than 250?uvres divided into eight sections (ancient melancholy/ The bath of the devil. The Middle Ages/ Saturn children. Rebirth/ Anatomy of the melancholy. The traditional age/ Lights and their shades. XVIIIE century/ The death of God. Romanticism/ The naturalization of the melancholy/ The Angel of the History. Modern melancholy and times), the permanence and variations of this crowned mood. Steles attics until contemporary?uvres, of Dürer with Ron Mueck while passing by the Tower, Füssli, Goya, Friedrich, Delacroix, Rodin, Van Gogh, Munch, De Chirico, Picasso... it highlights the essential part played by the melancholy in the various forms of artistic creation in Europe.
- National galleries of the Large Palate. October 13, 2005 - January 16, 2006. Clemenceau entry
- Paul-Laurent Assoun, Depression, a psychoanalytical concept?, in Synapse, December 2004
- Sigmund Freud, Mourning and melancholy
- Writers and melancholy, literary magazine from October November 2005
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