Bipolar disorder is a condition that is characterized most specifically by wild mood swings (although there are variations in bipolar types). Periods of intense depression are followed by periods of intense euphoria or mania. There are people who use crochet to help them deal with both the depression and the mania of the condition. Crochet can also be used during a state called hypomania, which is a transitory period between “normal” and manic. Most importantly, crochet can be used to help moderate moods, which is a major goal of bipolar treatment.

Crochet for Depression

Crochet can help people in the bipolar phase of depression for the same reasons it helps with any other form of clinical depression. Those reasons include:

  • Crochet is a positive activity that stops the cycle of rumination that can cause depression to spiral out of control.
  • Crochet has the potential to build self-esteem. Low self-esteem is a major problem for people with depressive disorders.
  • Crochet can create a sense of connection to others, which is critical to the successful treatment of depression.

Crochet for Mania

Manic phases are characterized by hyperactivity, irritability and anger, racing thoughts, insomnia, poor judgment and reckless behavior. They can be highly destructive. Crochet can help in the following ways:

  • Crochet induces a state of calm.
  • Individuals can teach themselves to engage in productive crafting during manic periods to resist the urge to engage in more reckless behavior.
  • One individual posting on the Life, Love and Bipolar forum board shared, β€œOn nights when I am manic, I knit or crochet and the repetitiveness sometimes numbs my brain or slows it down and I can go to bed and not stay up all night!”

Crochet During Hypomania

Whereas mania itself is characterized by restlessness, recklessness and disordered thinking hypomania is an excited state in which a lot of energy, optimism, self-confidence and productivity can occur. If channeled properly, hypomanic states can be a terrific time for intense creativity. If you are someone who crochets, this can be the time when you begin truly creating your own innovative designs, for example.

Crochet to Moderate Moods

In addition to being useful during all three phases of bipolar disorder, crochet can be used to moderate moves and prevent drastically slipping from one phase to the next. This is one of the primary goals of most bipolar treatment plans. Sticking to a regular crafting schedule, setting and meeting crafting goals and paying attention to what project choices say about current moods are all ways that people with bipolar disorder can utilize crochet to help in maintaining an even keel. Crochet is also useful in learning mindfulness, which is a key part of many bipolar treatment plans.

This topic is covered in more depth in my book, Crochet Saved My Life.

Photo credit: Julie Michelle


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Sacredcrocheter Reply

    Hi again! Once I start reading you posts-I can’t stop. I’m wondering if the mental health community has embraced the use of “crochet groups”? Also do you know if crochet is being suggested to bi-polar patients by health care providers? I’ve been thinking about sending copies of your book to my addictionologist and to some in-patient Behavioral health facilities I’m familiar with. Do you think this would be something that would be welcomed?

    • CrochetBlogger Reply

      @Sacredcrocheter Thanks again! I think it would be great to start reaching out to some of the professionals in the mental health community. I know that there are some places that do offer knitting and crochet groups but they seem to be few and far between. I’d love to see more people getting involved with that! One of my plans is to start letting people in those places know about the book but I haven’t yet reached that stage of my marketing so any word that you can spread would certainly be welcome!

      • Sacredcrocheter Reply

        So glad you plan to include this in your marketing down the road-I am really passionate about finding ways to help people with mental illness. Probably because I’m one of them! I’ll let you know if I get any feed back. One thing I’m concerned about is that they don’t allow hooks on the locked wards. I’m thinking that they might accept some of the big big hooks made of wood-but if anyone has a better idea I’d love to know about it!

        • CrochetBlogger Reply

          @Sacredcrocheter Yes, it’s definitely part of my marketing plan along with approaching professors who teach subjects related to this topic. I know that there are crochet programs in prisons that allow the large plastic and wooden hooks under supervision so I would think that the same thing could be an option in locked ward facilities.

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  3. I know this post is old, but I’m really glad I had a friend share it on Facebook. I was 5 months pregnant when my boyfriend left me. I moped around and cried for a week. Until i decided to teach myself how to crochet. I went and got books, yarn, hooks, and I asked my friend to help. I do believe it helped me. Especially to see my new born baby girl in the hat I made myself. Thank you =]

    • Kathryn Reply

      So glad to hear that crochet was able to help you in this way. Although the post is old, I’m always writing about health as it relates to crochet and I’m always happy to hear new stories about the topic.

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