Here is the next of the beautiful, inspiring, special contributions coming in to the #MandalasForMarinke remembrance project. I am grateful for each and every amazing contribution. You are invited to join; learn more here.
Beautiful Crochet Mandala
Crafter Lissette shared:
“I saw Wink’s peacock butterfly mandala and fell in love with it, but I had nothing to do with it one completed, so I chose at the time not to make it. When I heard the sad news and learned about this project, I knew it was time to make it.”
Meet the Maker
This crochet mandala comes from Lissette De La Cruz, a crafter of custom crochet items who describes herself as “a woman, mom, survivor, crocheter and scientist”. She shares:
“Crochet has been a great tool to cope with divorce, a way to process what had happened to me in the last few years of my life. Crocheting for my kids brings happiness to my life. It really helped me through a difficult time. It is so sad that it wasn’t enough for Wink. I pray she’s in peace and her family can feel all of our love for her and her work.”
Find Lissette on Facebook at Liss’ Crochet Creations.
Words by Wink
In March 2014, Wink was feeling celebratory. She had a “just because” giveaway on her blog:
“Because Spring is here (well, almost). Because I wake up happy every day, and because I want to share that happiness with you all. Because I value you all so much, for leaving nice comments on my blog. Because there is always something that can make you happy. And just because!”
One purpose of this project is to raise awareness about depression so each post will end with some facts, thoughts or quotes about depression, suicide and/or mental health.
Today I wanted to address a recent research article that I found frightening, based on a study that found that many people don’t want to interact with those who have mental illness because they mistakenly believe that mental illness is contagious. I’m surprised that anyone would think this in today’s world and yet this study indicates such a belief.
“Ratings varied strongly across disorders, with the highest average estimated transmission rates for alcohol abuse (56 percent), anorexia (35.7 percent), major depressive disorder (32.2 percent) and hypochondria (30.6 percent).“
This was a really small study but it still suggests that one in three people might believe that depression is contagious. The article does emphasize that the belief, though mistaken, might be based in something called “emotional contagion” where one person picks up the feelings of another. I can certainly relate to this. A friend of mine says it’s because I’m a Highly Sensitive Empath. I used to think it was because I was co-dependent. My family systems course in grad school explained as having poor differentiation, being too enmeshed with others because of the family culture I grew up with. Whatever the reason, I do tend to pick up on the emotions of people around me and if my boundaries are feeling weak then I can allow their mood to impact mine. Despite the truth of that, I certainly don’t believe that depression and mental illness are contagious.
Frans Kellner, in a TED conversation about the topic of “is mental illness contagious?” puts it succinctly:
“A mental state is something different than a mental illness.”
I dug deeper into this idea that depression can be contagious and discovered that a study done a couple of years ago announced that depression is contagious after finding “cognitive vulnerability” to depression in college roommates who were living together. The research went wide on the Internet and you can find many articles from that time about depression being contagious, but this article dispels that thinking. And a 2015 research study confirms that depression is not contagious (although happiness is!)
All contributions to Mandalas for Marinke are welcome and will help raise awareness about depression while honoring her work in the same way that this great contribution has done today. Details to join here.