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Lived Time and Psychopathology
Abstract

Some psychopathologic experiences have as one of their structural aspects the experience of restructured temporality. The general argument is that one of the universal microstructures of experience, namely, lived time offers a particular perspective relevant to certain psychopathologic experiences. Lived time is connected with the experience of the embodied human subject as being driven and directed towards the world in terms of bodily potentiality and capability. The dialectical relationship between the embodied human subject and the world results in a sense of lived time (personal time), a lived time that is intimately synchronized with the time of others (intersubjective time). Some experiences of acute suffering, and in particular acute melancholic suffering, can dramatically alter the temporal microstructure of experience to the extent that personal lived time becomes disordered. Normally, past and future withdraw on their own according with their nature of "not being." The future is characterized as openness to change and movement. The absence of this openness is the closing of the future; without this openness, the future appears static and deterministic. When the future is experienced as static, then one longer has the possibility of "things getting better," nor does one have any possibility of relinquishing or escaping from the past because a static future does not allow openness to change and movement. In short, both past and future become static. With the presence of melancholic suffering and the absence of temporal movement, a sense of hopelessness may arise in the individual because suffering without temporal movement becomes, from the sufferer's perspective, eternal suffering.



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