The Human Paradox

Human Inconsistency: Dostoevsky’s “Notes From Underground”
Thesis: Dostoevsky’s manic and depressive episodes aided in his ability to properly illustrate the workings of the human mind, through his writing.
II. What is Manic Depression and Depression?
III. Other Writers with Mental Illnesses
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, author of several acclaimed books-including “Notes From Underground”-a semi-autobiographical story, introduced a new form of writing, “stream-of-consciousness”, to Russia and Europe. Soon,this form of writing that would become the mark of the Existentialist, spread to the America’s. Interestingly enough, the “stream-of-consciousness” that manifested itself in his writing was actually the product of a mood disorder, which can be characterized by intensely emotional thoughts. Caught in a rift of contrasting thoughts, the Manic-Depressive-commonly endowed with superior artistic abilities, can be very insightful to the ways of man.
Manic-depression can clinically be defined as a mood disorder with two contrasting states: mania and depression. There must be an occurrence of one or more Manic or Mixed episodes and often, the individual has also had one or more Major Depressive episodes in the past. In Manic-Depressive disorder, also known as Bipolar disorder, the manic and depressive episodes recur in varying degrees of intensity. The DSM-IV describes Manic and Depressive episodes as:
“The essential feature is a distinct period when the predominant mood is either elevated, expansive or irritable, and when there are associated symptoms of the manic syndrome.” These symptoms include hyperactivity, pressure of speech, flight of ideas, inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, and excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences, which are not recognized.
The manual describes depressive episodes as: “The essential feature is either a dysphoric mood…

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