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Mental Health Politics Post Punk

Joy Division & Depression

I really wanted to share this paragraph by Mark Fisher about depression, in relationship to Joy Division’s music, but I wasn’t sure exactly about the context I was able to give with this.

It struck a chord with me & I wanted to share it. He’s kind of talking about the difference between sadness & depression. Melancholia & someone feeling melancholic.I think that if someone is feeling sad or melancholic & isn’t sure whether or not they’d describe it as depression, this is a really succinct description of what depression feels like. I hope it helps.

The depressive experiences himself as walled off from the lifeworld, so that his own frozen inner life – or inner death – overwhelms everything; at the same time, he experiences himself as evacuated, totally denuded, a shell: there is nothing except the inside, but the inside is empty. For the depressive, the habits of the former lifeworld now seem to be, precisely, a mode of playacting, a series of pantomime gestures (‘a circus complete with all fools’), which they are both no longer capable of performing and which they no longer wish to perform – there’s no point, everything is a sham.

Mark Fisher, No Longer the Pleasures: Joy Division

In addition to sharing this paragraph, I also wanted to share some of Joy Division’s music videos. Primarily because I love them & hope you can get something out of them too. At the top of the post is an unofficial video for the excellent opening track from Unknown Pleasures, Disorder. Here too is the official performance video for the amazing single, Transmission.

I do plan to write more detailed & helpful posts about depression, & how it ties into our contemporary reality & what we can do to combat it, but I don’t think I’m ready yet. I hope this post helps a little & that you enjoy the music.

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