"Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you are not taking advantage of it?" ~Ernest Hemingway
"I am so angry with myself because I cannot do what I should like to do, and at such a moment one feels as if one were lying bound hand and foot at the bottom of a deep dark well, utterly helpless." ~Vincent van Gogh
I think these are common sentiments for those that suffer from depression. I know I feel this way. So much of my life has passed by in states of depression and anxiety that I feel like time has been lost. There is so much I could have been doing that I did not do. There are so many places I could have gone, so many adventures to have been on, so many things to do, and have fun with, so many people I could have met or spent time with, yet I did not. There has been so much time wasted due to depression, anxiety, and anhedonia.
I am not the only one. Depression is a very common illness. It's an invisible illness. Others can not see it, and even when they ask you how you are, they do not understand it. They ask, "Why are you depressed?" Or, "What made you depressed?" They do not know that there is not any one event that has caused the depression. It is a state of being. It is a chemical imbalance. I've lived with it for so long that I'm certain it's the MS that causes it, as I have lesions all over my brain. Certainly, depression is one of the many symptoms of MS. For me, it manifests as anhedonia, which is an inability to enjoy things or to find interest in things that normally gave pleasure, such as hobbies or activities. Also, there is the inability to concentrate or focus, and extreme sadness and lack of energy. It is fatigue. It is sometimes waking up in the morning feeling disappointed that I did not die in my sleep.
I have found that making fractals helps. It takes me to another world. I lose myself in them, both in making them and viewing others' work. For many years, art therapy has been used by patients. You may have seen famous paintings by mentally ill people, such as Vincent van Gogh. "The goal of art therapy is to utilize the creative process to help people explore self-expression and, in doing so, find new ways to gain personal insight and develop new coping skills." (See How Art Therapy is Used to Help People Heal, by Kendra Cherry.) Art therapy is great for many different illnesses, both mental and physical.
If you have an illness, or even if you don't, I recommend you give art a try. It doesn't have to be fractals. It can be painting, drawing, photography, origami, sculpting, digital, or other forms of art. You don't have to be good at it. If you would like to give fractal art a try, I have created a page with links to software you can download. That page is HERE and can also be found in the list of links to the left of this page. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Thank you for taking the time to read this webpage and view my art. I really appreciate it.