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Melancholia is differentiated with other feelings that somehow relates to its state and divulged with its causations and effects. Three remarkable works that relates the state of melancholia, sharing similar frameworks are Sigmund Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia”, Julia Kristeva’s “On the Melancholic Imaginary” and Dorothea Lansky’s “When it is a Black life”.
Sigmund Freud, in his article “Mourning and Melancholia”, throws some light on the nature of melancholia by comparing it with mourning. His work is a psychological approach into apprehending the deeper context of the two interrelated human phenomenon. Mourning and melancholia are both human emotions that exhibit similar outward symptoms. However, the causation and the long term effects of these human tendencies differ in the deeper level. While the human experience of mourning and melancholia portrays similar outward symptoms, they are different with diverse directions of consequences. He points out that the fruits, features and the underlying causes of the two conditions are more or less the same. Some common features include painful dejection, cessation of interest in the outside world, loss of the ability to love, and inability to perform activities. However, while the lowering of the self-regarding feelings is a feature of melancholia, it is not present in mourning (Freud 243). Furthermore, while the condition of mourning includes the patient’s consciousness of losing someone, the state of melancholia is withdrawn from the object-loss concept (Freud 244). Therefore, in melancholia, it is difficult to understand what is absorbing the patient while the reason is apparent in mourning.
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