Hobbies like crocheting help manage bipolar and other mental health disorders
Most people know that the process of crocheting or knitting can be therapeutic. What they may not realize is just how helpful it can be to a person’s mental health, especially if they are dealing with bipolar disorder. For a person with bipolar disorder, crocheting can present several benefits that target each phase of the disorder, including mania, hypomania and depression.
How crocheting helps
Crocheting is beneficial because of the calming, repetitive and creative properties that it provides the crafter. These benefits can include:
- Crocheting provides a cycle of repetition that keeps a person from going into a spiral of depression
- Crocheting builds self-esteem by teaching the crafter new skills, giving them a feeling of productivity, providing a way to give to others and by allowing the crafter to create something considered beautiful, all of which fight depressive symptoms
- Because of its repetitive nature, crocheting provides a calming effect which combats insomnia and hyperactivity, symptoms common to both depressive and manic phases
- Crocheting can provide an outlet during manic periods which combats the inclination to engage in risky behavior such as using drugs
- Crocheting can help moderate the changes between moods by providing patterns and schedules for the individual to follow
Other mental benefits of crocheting
Crocheting doesn’t just help those suffering from bipolar disorder. It can help with a person’s overall mental health too by reducing other symptoms or by providing the mind and body with added benefits. Some of these include:
- Anxiety reduction: By keeping the hands busy and the mind focused, crocheting and other crafts can keep the mind calm
- Reducing irritability and restlessness: This calming craft can provide a positive outlet for negative emotions, thereby helping to relieve feelings of frustration or boredom
- Community building through crocheting: There are a lot of people who knit and crochet. By reaching out and connecting with them, a person not only can learn new tricks and patterns, but can also find a supportive crafting community. This gives them people to trust and talk to when they are struggling with emotions or just need some support or company
- Help in processing grief: The process of crocheting can help to relieve grief and provide comfort. The craft can take your mind off the pain, give you something to occupy you that won’t take too much energy and give you something to create which can induce positive feelings. Added plus – it can be done in bed while you are in your pajamas
- Stress relief: The repetitive and calming name of crocheting can help reduce stress with its meditative-like properties. This will in turn reduce a person’s risk of health problems that can develop due to stress
While crocheting can be helpful for a person’s mental health, this does not mean it should replace the use of proper medication or therapy. It is a wonderful addition to the process of treatment and allows a person to be productive and creative. Crocheting is also easy to learn, with different crocheting classes all over at places such as Michael’s Crafts Store or even at a local craft store or school.
To learn more about alternative options, read the reviews section of the website or contact Sovereign Health’s Adolescent Program today for more information on therapy for your teen.
Written by Brianna Gibbons, Sovereign Health Group writer