5 Unususal Illnesses that Can Be Healed With the Help of Crochet

This post is part of a ten day series of posts on the healing benefits of crochet that I’m doing to celebrate the release of my new book, Haak mijn leven gered. I hope you’re enjoying the series so far!

I didn’t put any limitations or parameters on the conditions I would cover when I asked people if they wanted to be interviewed for my book on the health benefits of crochet. I’m so glad because this allowed people to tell me about things that I would never have thought to ask specifically about. Here are five health conditions I knew little or nothing about until a woman who crocheted to help heal told me about them.

1. Menière’s disease

What it is:

I have to confess that I’d never heard of Menière’s disease until blogger Elisabeth Andrée told me about it. I learned a bit from her story and then researched on my own to find out that this is a condition of the inner ear that has two primary problematic symptoms: hearing loss and loss of balance. The cause for this condition is unknown. It is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time, and there is no known cure.

How crochet can help:

Menière’s disease, especially for someone who is it in both ears, can progress to a point where the individual’s abilities become limited. Voor Elisabeth Andrée it got so bad that it resulted in job loss and resulting financial instability. This can easily lead to depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. Crochet can help manage the symptoms of these secondary conditions.

Bovendien, when you lose one of your senses, it can be vital to increase your experience of your remaining senses. Menière’s disease can cause hearing loss. Crochet offers the chance to indulge in sight and tactile sensation to help compensate a little bit for this loss.

2. Chronic Lyme disease

What it is:

I had heard of Lyme Disease before (everyone knows it’s that disease you can get from ticks) but didn’t know much about it until I heard from Tammy Hildebrand. I learned that Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics but for some people the treatment doesn’t work and it becomes a chronic condition symptomized by fatigue, headaches, joint pain caused by inflammation, sleep disorders and mood disorders including depression.

How crochet can help:

As with Menière’s disease and other chronic conditions, Chronic Lyme often causes depression in patients and crochet can be used to relieve the depression.

Crochet is also especially helpful in conditions such as this where the patient often suffers from a combination of insomnia and fatigue. The individual may often be too tired to do most things and yet can’t sleep which is frustrating. Crochet offers a meditative, relaxing task that allows the crafter to feel productive despite not having the energy to go do more active things.

3. Restless Leg Syndrome

What it is:

Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition in which the legs twitch unstoppably and painfully. This usually happens when the person is lying down or resting, which often interferes with sleep, and in fact RLS is considered to be a sleep disorder.

How crochet can help:

Sara-Jane told me that she has found that crocheting can actually help reduce the twitching in her legs. She is not sure quite what happens in the body that causes this but has found time and time again that if she picks up a hook and yarn she can get her legs to stop moving.

This condition is linked with insomnia, which crochet is useful in dealing with. People with insomnia sometimes find that the meditative act of crocheting is helpful to reducing sleep problems. At the very least it can be part of a total nighttime ritual designed to maximize sleep potential.

Bovendien, RLS symptoms are generally exacerbated by stress. Crochet is a stress-relieving activity.

4. Schizophrenia

What it is:

Most people do have an idea of what schizophrenia is so it’s not necessarilyunusualbut I’ve included it in this list because it remains one of the most stigmatized mental illnesses. Schizophrenia is often misdiagnosed for many years before the patient finally receives the correct diagnosis. When they do, they may be horrified, because of the stigma attached to it.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes the person to have trouble thinking clearly, responding to situations or emotions in an acceptable manner and distinguishing between what is real and what is not. Symptoms include memory problems, difficulty paying attention, irritability and social withdrawal. It is common for people with schizophrenia to have hallucinations, especially auditory hallucinations, which is why many people know it as the condition in whichyou hear voices”. There are different types of schizophrenia that have different specific symptoms.

There is not agreement in the medical/ mental health community about what causes schizophrenia. Echter, it does appear to be a genetic condition.

How crochet can help:

I interviewed Aurore who identified four key ways that crochet has helped her with her condition:

  1. Ze weet dat de haak is echt die helpt haar haar hallucinaties en de angst dat ze vergezeld gaan beheren.
  2. Haak is een productieve uitlaatklep voor channeling sommige van haar magisch denken.
  3. Ze is in staat om een betere greep op het verstrijken van de tijd en om te ervaren een gevoel van continuïteit die ze elders niet krijgen en dringend behoefte aan vanwege haar schizofrenie.
  4. De Toetredingsakte haak helpt Aurore in de omgang met de angst dat haar toestand omringt.

5. Post Partum Depression

What it is:

This condition isn’t actuallyunusual” voor mij. It’s a form of clinical depression (something I am all too familiar with). Plus I’d read a lot about in the past so I knew about it. Niettemin, I decided to include it here because it is so often misunderstood. Many people mistakenly think that it’s something all new mothers go through because of the sleeplessness and stress of having a new baby in the home.

Postpartum depression, like other types of clinical depression, is a pervasive feeling that can include sadness and crying as well as anxiety, irritability, self-esteem problems, sleep issues and more. Women suffering from postpartum depression may have thoughts of suicide or even thoughts of harming their baby, feelings that are more extreme than what would be considered a normal part of the “baby blues”.

It isn’t known what causes PPD. There are many risk factors that make a woman more susceptible to it (including a history of depression) but there is no specific known cause.

How crochet can help:

Crochet can help reduce the symptoms of all types of depression for a myriad of reasons. It boosts serotonin levels, which is one physical reason that it helps. It helps the individual relax, calm down, break negative cycles of rumination and focus on a positive activity. It boost self-esteem as the crafter makes decisions, sets goals and completes projects.

Crochet can be an especially great craft choice for new moms who may only have a minute or two to take for themselves. It is a portable craft that requires very little equipment and can be easily picked up and put down and picked up again. Rachel Brown shared with me for my book that crochet was one of the few things that actually helped her feel better every day while she made her way through PPD.

As with all of the other health conditions on this list, nobody should try to treat themselves for Post Partum Depression. Proper treatment includes the help of a medical doctor, therapist or psychiatrist.

Which of these five conditions did you know about before reading this post?

pinit fg en rect gray 28 5 Unususal Illnesses that Can Be Healed With the Help of Crochet

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Kathryn

San Francisco gebaseerd en haak-geobsedeerde schrijver, dromer en creatieve geest!
  • Image of Cover for Crochet Saved My Life

    Haak mijn leven gered vertelt mijn verhaal van hoe crafting me van chronische depressie genezen. Hij deelt ook de verhalen van 24 andere geweldige vrouwen die verslaafd te genezen. Lees het boek vandaag!