“What is Depressed Mood? Phenomenological Perspectives on Affectivity” – A Fernandez

BSP News Item Thumbnail

Anthony Fernandez (University of Southern Denmark) gives the latest online lecture for the Institute of Applied Psychology: 17 January 2023.

“What is Depressed Mood? Phenomenological Perspectives on Affectivity” – Anthony Fernandez (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
Online Lecture
Tuesday, January 17, 18:00 CET

The registration for the fourth lecture of the Institute of Applied Psychology Interdisciplinary Series’ second edition is open. The organisers will be hosting Anthony Fernandez with a talk titled: “What is Depressed Mood? Phenomenological Perspectives on Affectivity”


What is Depressed Mood?

While psychiatrists tend to agree that “depressed mood” is a core symptom of major depressive disorder, current diagnostic manuals don’t provide a clear definition of what depressed mood is. They simply characterize it as the feeling of being “sad,” “empty,” or “hopeless,” which does little to illuminate the distinctive experience of being depressed. This failure to properly describe depressed mood threatens to undermine the effectiveness of psychiatric diagnosis and the results of psychiatric research. Considering this shortcoming, phenomenologists have turned their attention to the experience of depressive disorders. However, phenomenologists don’t always agree in their accounts of the affective dimensions of depression. In this presentation, I outline how phenomenologists have understood depressed mood and consider whether their accounts conflict, or might be synthesized into a broader understanding of affectivity in depression.

Anthony Vincent Fernandez is Assistant Professor of Applied Philosophy at the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics and the Danish Institute for Advanced Study, University of Southern Denmark. He is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Psychopathology and his research focuses on the challenges of applying phenomenology in fields outside of philosophy, including psychiatry, psychology, and nursing. Currently, he is collaborating with qualitative researchers to develop new ways of integrating philosophical phenomenology and qualitative methodology.