Do We Make Things To Make Ourselves Feel Better?
Is knitting self medication? Are people who make things -- even if it's dinner, the bed, laundry, gardening and other activities that require physical engagement -- just getting a dose of the poor person's Prozac?
Possibly. Lifting Depression, A Neuroscientist's Hands On Approach to Activating Your Brain's Healing Power makes a good case for "effort-driven rewards," like crafting, as an alternative or addition to medication and/or psychotherapy.
I haven't read the book yet (too busy knitting :-)) But this series of articles (one, two and three) discuss the theory with people who make things for a living. And even though they're all women, it seems that the idea would apply to men as well. Yes, no, maybe? I'm curious about the emotional connection to making things and wonder what other people think about it.