What do you reckon, is there any benefit for someone with depression pursuing hobbies? Generally speaking hobbies are quite passive (here I am not talking about extreme sports like BASE jumping etc., rather this is more the kind that requires more mental exertion than physical), yes like stamp collecting but certainly not just that passive. My wife and I have a number of hobbies that we enjoy together (making stained glass items, cooking (and eating), travelling, etc.) and we have our own hobbies, I really enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles on my iPad, and making rainbow band bracelets, I like walking, and golf…not that I indulge in these very often (other than cooking and eating) but they are there as things I can do and know I will enjoy doing them.
For me, hobbies are a great way to distract my thinking…it’s not easy to be thinking about something else when you are standing over a hot pan with spices burning while trying to read a recipe! An extreme example I know but true. I so often read in people’s posts that their thoughts are tearing them down and I know that psychologists and psychiatrists will talk about CBT etc to break the pattern, and these are genuine options, but I find them overly onerous and even depressing to think about. On the other hand, thinking about something to eat, comes much easier! I will take a shot at anything now as I enjoy eating everything. Anything to do with bread is great, I love making dough and thanks to Jamie Oliver, I am really good at it. Scones, shortbread, ANZAC cookies are good for quick ‘knock up’ food that is probably more for the days when eating something sweet and fattening is what you really feel like doing. Curries and spicy food are for the days when the brain is a complete can of worms and just won’t let you go.
Honestly I have had enough of dwelling on my depression and trying to retrain my thinking etc., in most instances I found that I just ended up digging myself into a deeper hole and not wanting to come out, the quick distraction of a hobby seems to work much better…for me! And, it doesn’t always work but it has been by far the best treatment for me. I know that for some who read this, nothing I have said will work for them whereas other treatments will work, so just keep chipping away until you find what works for you, just don’t think that it has to be drugs or medical treatment that will work. Who knows you could be a great musician or artist (or chef) waiting to happen, there are so many possibilities, and what you might think are just hobbies, could in fact be a solution for your gloomy days.