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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article addresses the similarities and differences between forms of experience associated with grief and major depression. It is conceded that both typical grief and major depression are phenomenologically diverse, and that there is no prospect of making a neat, clear-cut distinction between the two. Nevertheless, the article identifies three important differences that serve to distinguish most experiences of grief from most experiences of depression. First of all, depression, but not grief, involves losing experiential access to certain types of significant possibility. Second, grief involves dynamic perspective-shifting, whereas depression involves an inability to shift perspective. Third, grief involves a sustained ability to relate to and feel connected with other people, the capacity for which is substantially diminished in depression.

Keywords: depression, experience of possibility, grief, interpersonal connection, perspective-shifting

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