Arts and Crafts a Green Alternative for Depression?

In her book Lifting Depression, Kelly G. Lambert, Professor of Psychology at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia and President of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society states “when you knit a sweater or plant a garden, when you prepare a meal or simply repair a lamp, you are bathing your brain in feel-good chemicals and creating a kind of mental vitamin. Our grandparents and great grandparents, who had to work hard for basic resources, developed more resilience against depression; even those who suffered great hardships had much lower rates of this mood disorder. But with today’s overly-mechanized lifestyle we have forgotten that our brains crave the well-being that comes from meaningful effort.” Please visit her site at, http://www.kellylambert.com/about.php for more information about this insightful book.

And, when you consider that according to Discover Magazine “In the U.S., more than 200 million prescriptions for antidepressants are given out every year. A lot of the contents of those pills eventually end up in our water supply, either from patients’ excretions or from pills flushed down the toilet. Since water treatment plants aren’t designed to remove pharmaceuticals, we’re effectively medicating our streams and rivers.”

“Artwork by Cora Romanow”

In a recent email I received from Dr. Kelly Lambert, she stated, “As you might imagine, I feel strongly about these "simple truths"--actually, tasks such as arts and crafts are quite complex and activate multiple brain areas and chemicals--more complex than taking a drug (antidepressant).

As a long-time sufferer of depression, I can confirm that the arts help my sense of well-being. While there will be much research done and discussion about the causes of depression in our society and possible treatments and cures, supporting and participating in the arts has to be a “good thing”. I feel blessed to represent the wonderful artists in my shop on Ruby Lane http://www.rubylane.com/shop/gsgallery and to have access to “playing” with art myself.

In an environment when funding is being cut across the board for many arts programs both public and in our schools, I ask that you support the arts, engage in the arts, and “play” as often as you can and light up your brain naturally.

Val Romanow
Garry Street Gallery, Exclusively on Ruby Lane


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