Knitting on my brain

Life is knitting, or.. It seems like I have knitting on my brain. The last four weeks I have knitted a children’s sweater, a teddy bear, and a hat. My needles are on fire. And that it not bad. Actually it is pretty good for my brain.

My brain is not on top of its game as a result of the depression. I have difficulties keeping focused and difficulties thinking abstract and solving problems. All because of my latest depression. In short, my brain is in a mess. But how is that connected to knitting you might ask. It is connected through the psychologist Louise Meldgaard Bruun who spoke at a Depressionsforeningen event in Aarhus (Denmark) in December. Knitting, she said, among other activities strengthen the cognition and the brain functions in control of abstract thinking. The cognitive difficulties are the issues with staying concentrated, focusing on a task, remembering, multitask, planning, and problem solving. All problems that I guess you have had problems with if you have had a depression (or a manic episode? That shit also ruins the brain, that is for sure.)

Louise explained that the cognitive healing always comes after you has obtained the neutral mood level. So when you are getting better (slowly), you will first get your neutral/normal mood back (with no depression or mania) and then later on you will retain the normal cognitive functions. It sucks.. After a severe depression is often takes six months before your brain is up and running – but it might take shorter or longer, who knows.

Make sure to avoid overloading your brain by using a calendar, make lists, and make routines for yourself. It works I promise.

According to Louise other things besides knitting helps the brain regain mental focus:

  • Yoga, pilates
  • Creative project
  • Outdoor activities
  • Hobbies
  • Puzzles
  • Photography

Basically stuff you like, which also make you concentrate. I think that is the main point. And while this is all good, it is important not to overdo it by for instance setting an alarm before the activity and when the time is up take a break doing something that does not overload your brain (like series in my case)

Over and out.


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