I was wondering are there any philosphers who have said or wrote anything on depression, i know Karl Marx was quite depressed during part of his writing years, and i just wanted to know what a philospher would have to say about depression and what other people think about depression from a philosophical point of view.

Hmm, I think Kirkegauard talked about it. He recommended God.

Yeah Kirk. did suffer from severe depression.

Depression, like most curable maladies, are perpetuated in some part by the ignorance of the affllicted. Since philosophers are generally not ignorant, they have a harder time being and staying depressed.

As a philosopher by birth, I’d say, embrace Materialism, and imbibe in something from, say, Pfizer. And seeing the “pf” in Pfizer reminds me of Zapff…an awesomely depressing nordic philosopher. And yet he wasn’t depressed. He was content to simply write about the UTTER HOPELESSNESS of the human condition. Then he’d go climb a mountain or eat a hot biscuit and he was fine.

It’s so obviously chemical to a great degree…hence curable to a great degree. The part that’s creatively or traumatically induced is more mysterious, but who if not philosophers can maneuver their minds in such a way as to let the depressed fly out of the bottle?

Hence, the expression “the sad are dummies.” To really see the genius in that statement, translate it into latin and put it in sort of a fancy calligraphy typeface.

I believe John Mill used the word “crisis” and he wrote about it, too. I did not read it but you might want to check it out.

Aristotle would describe it as a state of melancholy.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a pessimist. He is assumed to have suffered from recurring bouts of depression.
He was quoted as saying:

“Life is a never-ending story of suffering
without rhyme or reason. Nothing has
any intrinsic value whatsoever. Those
who, for a brief moment, maintain the
illusion of owning and retaining something,
but who will soon lose, suffer
and go without experiencing value.
Happiness is just an illusion, a brief
break from the tediousness of daily life.”

In many ways his philosophy is related to Buddhism, but unlike the Buddhist teachings which are intended to prevent pain and suffering it appears Schopenhauer actually believed that happiness is purely a brief interlude in between pain and suffering and that we cannot help but feel unhappy. He turned his misery and depression into a philosophical system based on suffering.

Gamer wrote:

I actually read about that dude in the Mar/Apr 04 issue #45 of Philosophy now. He actually makes quite a few relevant points about the structured aspect of human life and seems to understand “The tragic” to a great degree. Does he actually suffer from the medical condition of clinical depression or is he just caught up in the pessimistic existential blues that all philosophers seem to face?

I believe too that the chemical equation plays a larger part than we realize, as you say.

Louis althusser actually went mad, strangling his wife.

psychological emptiness… that’s what psychologists call the condition of a pessimistic philosopher. or the difference between the positive illisionist and the depressive realist.

personally, i believe that chemistry is only a symptom not a cause.

Take it from my hedonistic view. If you consider pleasure to be the highest good, and yet in spite of your efforts your life is essentially devoid of significant pleasure (significant either in quantity or quality), wouldn’t you be depressed?


There are alot of different kinds of depression.

This idea is from the perspective of soul-body-mind duality or trialityTM

thats my new word…let me guess its not new and/or means something else. ok the idea;

Damn my spliff has run out -it always seems easier philosophoisiningish when i have one oh well…

here goes…


oh yeah…

A depression can either start with a physical/emotional, mental or spiritual catalyst. To solve depression you have to go to the root of it so
when your depressed your out of balence you either need to ground,fly or chill. I ought to know i’m the king of depression.

The cure for depression is within the careful balencing between 2 primary existences and one lesser; the mind the translator, the bridge between soul and body.

Funny i should know this and still be depressed so often.

and if your wondering why i write this way (scratches head) (leans on elbow) it because im freestyling lol and its like taking notes reminding me of how i felt when i was writing- giving it character and meaning.