Every Sapient Species Needs a Field of Activity for their Brains (by Dr Lutz Ammerer)

How to activate a burn-out patient to live a full and rich life? – As a matter of fact there are limits for the training doctor in finding a fulfilling life-task for the patient. You have to consider and try to put the responsibility on the patient and you have to express this well. When speaking with the patient I sometimes cite examples how to deal with leisure hours and how to organise them. To decide if one should become a mountain climber, a painter, a violin player, a gardener or a peace activist is to be found out by everyone her- or himself.


This is how happy musicians look like: Lutz Ammerer and Jörg Demus, Elisabeth Kropfitsch and the Jess-Trio (from left to right).

It is most essential to think about and to prepare what kind of recreational activities one is going to practise. The patient should find self fulfilment for a long time. Thinking that unwinding and doing nothing solves the problems is totally wrong. First one has to allow her- or himself room. This is usually the biggest problem for these people as they usually do not have room for anything. It is hard and a big effort to work this out. Then one can start to organise the “new room” = ”leisure”. It is very important to find something fulfilling – to ban working in front of the computer could be a first and good advise.


Gardening can be very relaxing: the Stift Admont Garden last October.

If you do not find a fulfilling recreational activity it will soon end in frustration. Many people forget this! A very good example is what we can call “isle-depression”: people buy a home somewhere at the seaside to live there when old aged. Then, after having retired, they move there to laze around, lying on the deck chair every day at the seaside in the sun. Those people very frequently start suffering a severe depression.


If there should really be some day the “absolute basic income” for everyone – financed anyhow! –, those who crusade for this idea do not realise that people weren´t created for doing nothing. If really everyone who is twenty years old will get officially recognised 1000, 2000 or even 5000 Euro per month to enjoy his life only lying at a pool, he would soon pick up a fight, assault and battery would become daily occurrence. Every sapient species needs a field of activity for their brains, sitting in a rocking chair is not enough, not matter if there will be an absolute basic income or not.


Not for nothing that sailors who were shipping around for months in the old days were ordered swabbing the deck when there were no sails to raise and nothing to be salvaged. This seems to be senseless but the skippers of the merchant vessels knew exactly what would happen if the sailors had too many days off and one would let them enjoy the cruise like tourists in our days – there would have been one mutiny after the other (the true story about the Mutiny on the Bounty is an interesting chapter in history of seafaring).

Even the arduously worked out leisure time of a burnout patient must be filled with relaxing but also purposeful activities.


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