OK I guess then as everyone else is doing it I’ll come out and admit it here too =P
First, I’m very sorry for both your losses Allison & Elllen, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it has been for both of you.
Now to the crunch for me. I am a manic depressive; I was diagnosed at age 28 [11 years ago] and there are several things that I believe contributed to that (not least of which a fiancee who lived to put me down, whom I eventually began to believe). I have taken Prozac and Paxil (known here as Seroxat). My personal belief is that Paxil is rather an evil substance and I wish I had never taken it. Prozac seemed to do a nice little thing to me - it made me stop feeling. I mean completely stop feeling anything. I became “invincible” and attacked every task I had to do with a massive vigour that had been missing in my life since I was around 14 years old.
Of course everything in life started to be rosy, so they took me off the drugs and BANG I crashed big style about 8 months later. On and off, over the years I have taken Prozac again for short periods. I tried St Johns Wort and frankly I felt it was useless.
In January of this year, I was under investigation with my GP (general Practitioner - doctor here) for severe stomach and digestive issues. I had balooned in weight, and I had this huge distended stomach. I was eating one meal a day but I still had this huge belly.
He referred me to hospital which has a long wait list. To this day I am still waiting for an appointment. At the end of January I went to an ayervedic / holistic / homepathic / quacktastic person. OK so he ISN’T a quack but it is instilled in me that a non qualified doc is a quack
He removed some things from my diet, including white bread. The bloating disappeared and I started to shed this massive amount of weight I had gained over the course of around about a year.
Anyway I know this is slight digression from the original, but one of the supplements he gave me was 5-HTP. I have to say, this stuff is excellent and another natural remedy. While Paxil et al are SSRI (seratonin reuptake inhibitors) to stop the reuptake of seratonin into the system so that it floats around longer and regulates your mood - this stuff produces seratonin. Similar concept but this IMO is better than stopping a part of the body functioning to fix an issue.
Anyway, one thing I did to help with depression was play MMOG’s (massive multiplayer games) and I lost myself deeply in them. To the point of hibernation. This was not a good thing, though I made many “friends” (who stopped staying in touch with me as soon as I stopped playing) it was too unreal and too strange an environment to live in permanently.
I quit playing games, and I recently began knitting again - couple of months ago at most - you can see exactly when by looking at when I joined KH. I would have to say that knitting has helped me focus greatly, has made me consider that knitting is a lonely thing to do but with the aid of sites like this very one, I’ve joined a thriving community and I have learned of knitting get togethers near(ish) to my home.
I’m even considering taking the plunge and going to a stitch n bitch meet close to my home.
I would say absolutely 100% go for it. Teach her to knit. It takes concentration, which in turn takes ones mind off other things. Before you know it hours have passed and you’ve created something beautiful with your own bare hands. It is extremely rewarding. I can say that for sure, knitting is helping me to be coming a recovering depressive. I’m happy I started it again, and I’m even happier I found a place like this.