Sunday, March 3, 2013

Enjoying your hobby can....

Espresso machines, fishing, dogs and blogs…..there are many sites on the internet that prominently display the famous saying by Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Barry: “there is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness”
Being away for vacation last week, I came across this saying in the Ontario daytripper in an article about the 10 most important things I have learned in life.  It never ceases to amaze me how clear the stigma of mental illness is proclaimed.  
Even pinterest proudly proclaims sewing to be the fine line between sanity and insanity.  The website sponsored by Jeep, Suzuki and Toyota uses this quote and a cartoon as their primary means of advertising their product.
Many of these sites proudly include cartoons of crazed looking “persons” to ensure the “crazy” aspect of the obsessed hobbyist is clearly pointed out…..and you can purchase many a tee shirt  of “crazy” people “sporting’ their passion.
Contrary to the saying, many people with mental illness do lose their sense of themselves and do not have interests or hobbies.  While treating mental illness may still not be a prominent focus in caring for people, in treating the “body” prominent researcher Viktor Franki created a technique called logotherapy.  Briefly, patients with long term illnesses are encouraged to create a focus on interests or hobbies they may have forgotten about or never accomplished.  This encourages positive thinking and a long term focus on living and healing.
So positive thoughts expressed through creative interests and hobbies can actually promote the healing of both body and mind.  Do we really need the “crazy” images that go with it?  Enjoy your hobby and be well!

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