Passions and moods

Authored by: Laura Hirshbein

The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138781603
eBook ISBN: 9781315202211
Adobe ISBN: 9781351784399


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Passions and moods are diffuse concepts that have been defined and interpreted in many different ways over the centuries. A passion might be an intense feeling about something, a characteristic of an approach to a situation, or a sign of a loss of control. A mood could be an internal state (happy, sad, angry, anxious), but could also be part of a disease (too high as in mania or too low as in depression or melancholia). To define them requires choosing a historical or psychological framework – frameworks that have themselves changed over time. Though descriptions of passions and moods have been ubiquitous throughout written texts over the millennia, several groups of scholars have been specifically active in describing their characteristics and parameters: historians, mental health professionals, and critics of mental health professionals. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive groups, nor have they taken characteristic stands about descriptions of passions and moods or how to address issues that accompany them.

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