Two fundamental aspects of intuitive cultural conceptions of the passage of time – cyclical and continuous – are related here to medical therapy and psychopathology, in a critical view of depression in old age as a modern construct. Although inspired by anthropological perspectives, this article is based on daily clinical experience which uses a phenomenological approach. In predominantly cyclical cultural perceptions of time the process of ageing is part of an eternal movement. Families perpetuate themselves in their descendants, their traditions, ties with the land or the practice of family crafts or skills. Cultural transformations that give rise to more directional approaches to the passage of time tend to increasingly implement individual roles in social history. The more difficult it is to effect a passage from a fatalist, repetitive, cyclical, eternal and traditional Weltanschauungen to individualizing, bureaucratizing, planning and successive Weltanschauungen, the greater the probability of unsuccessful old age and the consequent medicalization of this failure. This paper is the second part of a three-part series.
Psychopathology and culture; temporality and medicine; depression and ageing; psychogeriatrics