(本館)  (トップ)  (分館)

Portal Site for Russellian in Japan

The Conquest of Happiness(松下彰良・訳)

back Next  Part I(Causes of Unhappiness), Chap.5:Fatigue   Contents(総目次へ)
 神経衛生学と呼んでよいようなものは,従来,ほとんどと言ってよいほど研究されてこなかった(安藤氏は,hygiene of the nerves を「神経生理学」(neurophysiology)と訳されているが,ラッセルが考えているのは,純理論的な研究というよりは,臨床科学的な,治療法も含めた「精神衛生学」のようなものであろうか。因みに,神経生理学の研究は,米国において1930年代後半から始まったとのことである。本書が出たのは1930年であることに注意。)。確かに,産業心理学は,疲労について詳細な調査を行なってきており,相当長時間仕事をしつづけると,ついにはかなり疲れるということを,綿密な統計によって証明した--ただし,このような結論は,諸科学を動員しなくても推測可能であっただろう。心理学者による疲労の研究は,学童の疲労についてもいくつかの研究はあることはあるが,主に筋肉疲労に関するものである。しかし,これらの研究は,いずれも,重要な問題に触れていない。

* From Free animation library

What might be called hygiene of the nerves has been much too little studied. Industrial psychology, it is true, has made elaborate investigations into fatigue, and has proved by careful statistics that if you go on doing something for a sufficiently long time you will ultimately get rather tired - a result which might have been guessed without so much parade of science. The study of fatigue by psychologists is mainly concerned with muscular fatigue, although there are also a certain number of studies of fatigue in school-children. None of these, however, touch upon the important problem.
The important kind of fatigue is always emotional in modern life; purely intellectual fatigue, like purely muscular fatigue, produces its own remedy in sleep. Any person who has a great deal of intellectual work, devoid of emotion, to do - say, for example, elaborate computations - will sleep off at the end of each day the fatigue that that day has brought. The harm that is attributed to overwork is hardly ever due to that cause, but to some kind of worry or anxiety. The trouble with emotional fatigue is that it interferes with rest. The more tired a man becomes, the more impossible he finds it to stop. One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important, and that to take a holiday would bring all kinds of disaster. If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important. The nervous breakdown which appears to be produced by the work is, in fact, in every case that I have ever known of personally, produced by some emotional trouble from which the patient attempts to escape by means of his work. He is loath to give up his work because, if he does so, he will no longer have anything to distract him from the thoughts of his misfortune, whatever it may be. Of course, the trouble may be fear of bankruptcy, and in that case his work is directly connected with his worry, but even then worry is likely to lead him to work so long that his judgement becomes clouded and bankruptcy comes sooner than if he worked less. In every case it is the emotional trouble, not the work, that causes the breakdown.