Temporal inabilities and decision-making capacity in depression

This article reports on an interview-based study of decision-making capacity in two classes of patients suffering from depression. Developing a method of second-person hermeneutic phenomenology, we articulate the distinctive combination of temporal agility and temporal inability characteristic of the experience of severely depressed patients.

We argue that a cluster of decision-specific temporal abilities is a critical element of decision-making capacity, and we show that loss of these abilities is a risk factor distinguishing severely depressed patients from mildly/moderately depressed patients. We explore the legal and clinical consequences of this result.

How to cite this document:

  • Owen, G. S.
  • Freyenhagen, F.
  • Hotopf, M.
  • Martin, W.

(2013) Temporal inabilities and decision-making capacity in depression. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 14(1): 163-182.