The relationship of depression to contemporary capitalist society
As capitalism takes over all the hours of our conscious life, it is also invading our subconscious—there is no time to take respite from the economic treadmill. The rising mental health problems throughout the world can no longer be seen as personal or family failings, but as responses to a desperate political and economic system. Maria Rita Kehl is a psychoanalyst who has worked with depressive patients for many years. In this groundbreaking new book, she examines the relationship of depression to contemporary capitalism. She begins by exploring the symbolic role of melancholy from the classical era to the middle of the twentieth century, showing how depression moved from the public realm of the aesthetic field to the privacy of the psychoanalytic clinic. This is followed by an examination of the role of time in our understanding of depression, drawing on the work of Benjamin and Bergson. Finally, Kehl looks at the clinical treatment of depression from the psychoanalytic perspective, drawing a distinction between the subjective and circumstantial dynamics. This book will change how we see depression today.
“Maria Rita suggests that it is worthwhile for everybody - and not just depressives - to think about what depression tells us about our world. It is necessary to pay attention to this ailment in the world, really listen to it openly, without falling into contemporary fairy tales that transform all monstrous problems into a question of biochemical deficiency. Contrary to all prophecies, the pharmaceutical industry will not save us from a life without life.” - Época
As a poet and psychoanalyst engaged in contemporary life, the author has a clear purpose: through a study of depression, she denounces the velocity of time in today’s world and proposes a retreat from the urgency that dominates our current society. [We] see in depression a form of resistance to a society that impedes, among other things, the pleasure of telling and remembering stories." - Viver (São Paulo)
About the Author:
Maria Rita Kehl was born in Campinas, Brazil. She was a journalist from 1974 to 1981, publishing articles in newspapers and journals in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. A Doctor in Psychoanalysis from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, she has worked since 1981 as a psychoanalyst in clinics for adults in São Paulo. In 2006, she began clinical work at the Florestan Fernandes National School of the Rural Landless Workers’ Movement in Guararema, São Paulo. In 2010, she received the Jabuti Prize for the best non-fiction book of the year for Time and the Dog.