For a long time, historians were reluctant to admit that Churchill suffered from severe depression. Even American historian William Manchester denied that Churchill suffered from mental illness in his 2012 biography The Last Lion.
But Winston Churchill dubbed his symptoms “black dogs,” which are now generally considered synonymous with “depression.”
Churchill’s “Black Dog”
In 1900, the 26-year-old Churchill entered politics. Success did not bring him health.
Churchill’s personal physician, Lord Moran, mentioned in his memoirs –
”Churchill was paralyzed in bed due to despair, mentally apathetic, like a walking zombie, with thoughts of ending his life flashing at any time. This happened not only in the 1930s, but also in the 20th century In the 1920s, 10s, and even earlier.”
”These dark periods will last for a few months, and then he will come out of the darkness and become his normal self.”
In 1911, in order to fight against the “black dogs”, Churchill even asked his wife to Germany sought medical help, but to no avail.
In 1915, the 40-year-old Churchill was dismissed from office due to the failure of the naval war and was in a state of despair.
In 1929, the British Labor Party returned to power, and Churchill ushered in a dark moment in his political career for ten years.
Churchill could only keep spinning like a top, trying hard to get rid of his depression: on
sleepless nights, he read all night; he kept trying painting, writing and various manual labor.
Psychoanalysts believe that many people with depression refuse to allow themselves to rest or relax because they cannot help themselves.
If external circumstances force them to do nothing, dark clouds will come over them.
In 1939, World War II broke out, and Churchill shouldered the heavy responsibility of fighting fascism amidst numerous crises.
But he’s still “abnormal.”
When he is not so severely depressed that he can only lie down, his energy level is very high. He usually goes to bed at two or three in the morning and stays up late dictating dozens of his books, his thoughts racing.
So much so that the then US President Roosevelt said of him: “He has a thousand thoughts a day, four of which are good. These are all manic symptoms and part of manic depression.”
After a while, Churchill returned to a state of not speaking, having any ideas, or having any energy for several months. Moran said his mood swings were likely related to alcohol abuse.
In 1945, when Nazi Germany announced its unconditional surrender, he was “abandoned” by British voters.
Confidant friend and former MP Brendan Bracken described the days after his “retirement”:
”His face often showed pain. Winston was very sure at the time that he would never participate in public life again. It seemed that there was nothing He couldn’t live anymore. He kept saying, ‘I’m done,’ about twice a day.”
Moran even prescribed him amphetamines, chemicals that are considered drugs and stimulate the central nervous system. “It completely eliminated Churchill. A fuzzy feeling in the mind.”
All this stems from an unfortunate childhood.
In 1874, Churchill was born into an aristocratic family. His mother, Lady Randolph, gave birth to him when she was twenty years old.
The mother was busy socializing, and the father was keen on politics. The two of them ignored Churchill, and their occasional conversations were scolding.
When Churchill was 20 years old, his father died of mental disorder. He memorized most of his father’s speeches during his lifetime.
Anthony Stoll, a British psychoanalyst and author of “Churchill’s Black Dog,” believes that “rather than ‘filial piety’, it is better to say that he never really had a father.” In his childhood,
Churchill relied on the care of his wet nurse Everis, and his daughter Sarah recalled that her photo hung in her room until her father passed away.
When he was 8 years old, Churchill was sent to a boarding school. In letters to his parents, Churchill always said that he was happy and never complained, but the fact was exactly the opposite.
He was subjected to “school violence” here. The principal was a sadist, whipping the students’ butts frequently, up to twenty times each time, but he took great pleasure in it.
Stoll believes this mindset is the most potent in reinforcing some people’s tendency toward depression.
”Because then any hostility they have toward their parents or other authorities will be turned inward and turned against themselves.”
Depression makes it great?
Research by Nassir Ghaemi, a professor of history at Tufts University, suggests that in times of crisis, sometimes the greatest leadership is demonstrated by those seen as eccentric or mentally disabled.
”Mania enhances creativity and recovery from trauma, while depression enhances reality and empathy.
Churchill was a creative, resilient and realist politician at a time when anti-Semitism was widespread in Britain era, he sympathized with the Jews.
We don’t want biology to get involved in social issues. We believe that Churchill was great because of some ineffable spirit in him.
But we still need to admit the fact: we are not pure souls, and biology is not It will affect us.”
Indeed, these characteristics of Churchill came into play in 1940.
In 1940, Nazi Germany sent 200 planes to bomb London every night for 57 consecutive days, and 300,000 British troops were forced into Dunkirk.
Once encircled, it is only a matter of time before Britain disappears from the map.
From the king and parliament to the ordinary people, their hearts are almost completely despairing.
Churchill was ordered to form a new cabinet at the critical moment and delivered the most famous speech of World War II:
”You ask what our purpose is? I can answer in one word: victory, win at all costs, win no matter how terrible it is, because there is no Victory means no survival.”
The House of Commons ultimately supported the Churchill government unconditionally with an absolute advantage of 381 votes to 0.
In the book “Churchill’s Black Dog”, the author wrote:
”In those dark days, what Britain needed was not a shrewd, calm, and steady leader, but a prophet, a heroic vision, A man who could dream of victory when all else seemed hopeless.
Winston Churchill was such a man, and his arousing quality was due to the fact that he thought he was real, but in fact he was just imagining it. romantic world.”
Died in torture
After retiring in 1955, Churchill said: “I hate life deeply.”
In his later years, Churchill suffered from severe cerebral arteriosclerosis, which not only destroyed his willpower, but also stopped his mechanism for coping with personality disorders.
Five years before Churchill’s death, Moran stopped writing and stopped recording his life. The reason was: “After retirement, he sank into confusion and confusion. It would be better not to mention all the painful details.”
Churchill’s vitality Extremely strong, lived to be 90 years old.
But such a long life is a tragedy for him.
Faced with depression, some people have no choice but to commit suicide, and some people suffer for a lifetime. But as long as they maintain some kind of pursuit, they can still dance hard in the darkness and leave dazzling wealth for civilization.