Cures for Depression: Contriving Retreats for the Mind

Talking of constitutional melancholy, he observed, “A man so afflicted, Sir, must divert distressing thoughts, and not combat with them.” Boswell: “May not he think them down, Sir?” Johnson: “No, Sir. To attempt to think them down is madness. He should have a lamp constantly burning in his bed chamber during the night, and if wakefully disturbed, take a book, and read, and compose himself to rest. To have the management of the mind is a great art, and it may be attained in a considerable degree by experience and habitual exercise..” Boswell: “Should not he provide amusements for himself? Would it not, for instance, be right for him to take a course of chymistry?” Johnson: “Let him take a course of chymistry, or a course of rope-dancing, or a course of any thing to which he is inclined at the time. Let him contrive to have as many retreats for his mind as he can, as many things to which it can fly from itself.”


Boswell: Life

About these ads

1 Comment

Filed under Commonplace Book

One response to “Cures for Depression: Contriving Retreats for the Mind

  1. Jennifer Atsma

    I can testify to that. The depressed mind will sabotage itself if left to its own devices. Negative thoughts like to perpetuate themselves. The best way to combat them is to deny them place entirely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s