Depression and Sickness, Really?

Time is a mystery. It can seem to go very quickly or very slowly. It depends on how you are feeling and thinking. Some people never think they have enough time and others believe they have too much.

If you are in hospital and too sick to do anything, it is most likely that time passes slowly. However, if you are unconscious, time may pass quickly or slowly. However these are unusual situations for nearly all of us.

Since time immemorial most human beings have had no choice in what they do to earn a living. If we enjoy our work time goes quickly and if we don’t it goes slowly. Therefore employers end up paying more to slower workers because they take more time than quicker ones who work faster and better. When we enjoy what we do we feel well, and rarely get sick. Employees who take off more time sick than the rest are the ones who don’t like their work. Employers beware!

If we all did what we do best there would be far less illness. Have you noticed a time when you were feeling tired and fed-up and you suddenly get a piece of good news and your instant response is to feel overflowing with energy? One moment you feel like going to bed, then something good happens and the next minute you jump for joy.

‘Depression’ is not an illness as many psychotherapists have been trained to think. It is a normal state of mind that we all feel from time to time. The opposite is ‘joy’ but no-one calls that an illness. But if these two emotions, depression and joy become excessively strong and happen in quick succession it is diagnosed as an illness: ‘manic depression’.

Does this mean that we should try to hold back a bit and become calmer? Not at all! Even if this is possible. Our feelings come and go in response to what is happening in our lives.

There is a proverb ‘Moderation in all things’. My father said it to me when I was studying and playing the piano for much longer than he thought was healthy. I don’t believe it. I got intense pleasure from these two activities. They helped me to get through the most difficult time in my life, my adolescence. Fortunately I had a stronger character than my father and he could not stop me. My reply to him was that Beethoven would never have composed so much beautiful music if he believed in moderation. His reply to me was “I don’t see what you like in that heavy stuff. I like a good tune.” There was no answer to that. He went away and I went on playing.

Why is it that some people get sick through working too hard and others do not? If we love what we are doing from our own skills, without trying to copy anyone else, we nourish our spirits and our bodies. Creative people often live to a great age and never retire.