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This one is for knife makers only please!

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by L6steel, Dec 12, 2002.

Have you been diagnosed with a depression disorder?

  1. yup

    0 vote(s)
  2. nope

    0 vote(s)
  1. L6steel


    Sep 23, 1999
    Just wondering if we're drawn into this type of craft or if the time spent working alone has a negative effect on us.


    May 6, 2000
    the solitude has positive effects as well. the psy, crowd refers to it as FLOW, its went i am not aware of time because i have focus on what i am doing and the hole outside world is forgetten for a time. i feel close with my creator in this state its a medition in action. i have had bouts of severe depression for the past 15 years due to chronic pain in my back and legs.also artistic people tend to be more aware of there feelings be cause we are looking for ideas with a passion. so knife making is a therapy for me as well as a vocation.:D
  3. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Moderator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Never diagnosed with a disorder but, i'm not so stupid as to think i'm not nutso. I am you know....really really nuts.

  4. Bruce Evans

    Bruce Evans

    Sep 26, 1999
    I definately get into that zone were time and space stand still for hours on end.I do get depressed at times and the solitude of the shop seems to close in on me after hours when you come out of the zone.Talked to the head doctor about this.Hesaid I wasn't depressed just need a place to vent and talk to others.Basically I just needed to spend some time out of the shop talking to people.So I always end up talking on the phone and become a pest to people (I know I am even when they say I am not)to try and get my head back on straight...
    Artists have always been know as being a little crazy and not normal:D
  5. Dan Gray

    Dan Gray

    Jun 25, 2001
    Yup it's therapy for me too. lost in time with no worries
    well other then trying not to grinding your fingers off:D
    it's better than fishing;) nope it won't hurt you being alone
    I'm not nuts!...ask anyone... except my friends,, it's a conspiracy
    that started when I started making..:D
  6. Dementia


    Oct 25, 1999
    i was told a while ago that i have an issue with depression.
    but it didnt come about from making blades .. i know that it was there for a long time before.

    it, as has been said, it just gives one more source of inspiration and thought.
    besides .. im another person who doesnt notice a single thing when im working on a blade ... so it just gives me some more incentive to work harder and for longer.
    but... who needs more incentive than the whole joyous experience of blade-making? ... right?

  7. Brett Bennett

    Brett Bennett

    Dec 14, 1999
    I've always been an anitsocial and pessimistic person. Knifemaking provides me with what I need in terms of solitude, but it has also made me more outgoing by giving me an easy way to associate with people of similar interests.
  8. Rick Baum

    Rick Baum

    Mar 14, 2000
    I haven't been diagnosed with depression but I'm pretty sure that I was for a while. I had a two year layoff from making knives. After about a year of no creative outlet, it started to get to me. Now I have my garage/shop back as well as my mental well-being. the only frustration I have now is I can't make them as fast as the ideas come to me.

  9. Mike Hull

    Mike Hull

    Nov 25, 2000
    I think most artistic/creative peoples suffer from some disorders. Look where most knifemakers chose to live, way out in the back of beyond. A lot of people treat this need to be artistic/creative, with alcohol, or drugs. I know I wasted many years of my life drunk, before quitting, and trying to do something with my hands. Wished I would have tried the more creative outlet 40 years ago. It's much better than any form of drug. ;)
  10. Raymond Richard

    Raymond Richard

    Jun 17, 2001
    You know it all depends on what a person calls negative.

    From the time I walk from the house to the shop I have never yet gotten any road rage in the 100 or so feet I travel and it works in the oppisite direction also. I've always been a pretty mellow person and have never cut anyone off, hardly never......

    My creativity just this last year has nearly doubled plus I've gotten more ideas than ever.

    I also go threw bouts of depression but if I making something and really into it the depression is no where around. I find my strongest bouts of depression come on grey mornings like today if ideas are not comming to me. If things are flowing time just slips away like right now, need to get out in the shop.

    I wonder about the solitude though, not sure how good that is for us but most of us have an outlet with these forums.

    I'm starting to get depressed, my dirty shop is calling me.......
  11. Sylvester


    Jun 30, 2001
    I`m with Brett, I`m some what anitsocial. Negative effect?
    hell I was a little nuts before I started this knifemaking

    Bruce said that Artists have always been know as being a little crazy and not normal. I did`nt know I was an artist, man I
    need to raise my prices
    :rolleyes: :D

    Bruce, you said somthing talking on the phone an being
    a pest I realy don`t see that happening But I Do Know
    how You Feel thats why I never call another knifemaker.

    Thats it no more I done:grumpy:
  12. Laredo7mm


    Jul 8, 2002
    Me crazy? Hard telling, does a person with mental problems actually know there is a problem? I have alot of people tell me: "you are not right."

    Antisocial? Yes. 90% of the time I would rather be alone. I have never been a big conversationalist. I usually just listen to people and let them lead the conversation. I don't really have much to say, unless we start talking about knives. :)

    I have been single for almost four years now and love the time I have for myself. To be honest, I don't think there is a woman out there that could put up with me. I always hated having roomates, and I even get sick of my buddy when we go down to Talladega for a week. After 3 or 4 days, I have had enough, and want to be left alone.:)

    Depressed? Not really, I have my "spells" every now and then. Hopefully it is normal to not always want to get out of bed in the morning and goto work. Sometimes I lay there for a half an hour or so and convince myself that I have to go to work. I would much rather spend all day in the shop.

    I used to "self medicate" quite heavily. I still do every once and a while, but now I would rather spend my money and time working on a knife or hanging out with my kid.

    I have to spend 45 to 60 hours a week at work dealing with idiots and a**holes, so when I get home all I typically want to do is work on a knife. It is quite theraputic for me to "get into the zone" while grinding or forging. Like was said before, it just starts to flow, and any perception of time disappears.

    It is good for me and it "feels" right. Hopefully when they comitt me to the physc ward, they will let me bring my grinder.:D
  13. etp777


    Aug 12, 2002
    I haven't been diagnosed with anything merely because I refuse to give a doctor the chance to do that. I can guarantee I would be daignosed with depression and antisocial tendencies if I went to a doc.

    That being said, knifemaking is a great therapy, at least for me. As is doing my own gunsmithing stuff(esp. just working on stocks, shaping them and all).

    It was definitely a case of me having a problem beforehand though, it's not from the knives.

    And my secondary reason about not going to docs is cuz I think I might scare him being antisocial and depressed and using working on weapons as therapy. :D
  14. kile


    Mar 19, 1999
    For me, working in my shop making knives is a diversion from the rest of the world. I like being alone with my tools. I manage two very busy bars, and I am literally entertaining hundreds of people every day. I need knifemaking as an escape. It keeps me from getting in trouble due to too much free time, and keeps me from becoming bored, which for me leads to depression.
    Kyle Fuglesten
  15. Ferret


    Jan 20, 2000
    Borderline sociopath with "issues" stemming from making stupid mistakes ;)
  16. pso


    Oct 29, 1998
    Quite a few of you have mentioned "getting into the zone" or "the flow". I have noticed this happening to me in a number of different past and present endeavors such as making a knife, building model airplanes, writing software and building electronic circuits. Looking back, it seems that my productivity and quality of work, for the time spent in the zone, is far higher than when I am not in.

    With regard to the personality aspects, I would suggest going to your local library and borrowing some books on personality types. Many systems are used to describe the same thing. I think that you will find that most people who do things like knife making are detail and process oriented. They like to see things "done a certain way". They tend to be perfectionists. They also tend to be "sensitive" and are most likely to be their own worst critics. In view of this, it is not surprising that some of you mention issues such as depression. Some of the other people will tend to be less susceptible to such feelings, ie. the "fun loving" types are too focused on having fun to ever feel depressed.

    I am not a medical professional. Do seek help from one if appropriate. I do want you to know that you are not alone in your feelings. Just go be the best that you can be. Remember, there are lots of us out there who aspire to be as good as those of you who have written already.


    PS: I recently read an article that correlated people's true level of competence and their opinion of their own level of competence. The result was that the people who were the most competent tended to understimated their true level of competence. Those who were the least competent tended to overestimate their competence. Maybe you guys have a GOOD reason to feel depressed about your work.
  17. rlinger


    Mar 29, 2002
    I'm not sure what my problem is.

  18. ddavelarsen


    Dec 7, 2000
    I'm happiest alone and being creative. My shop is my refuge, a Fortress of Solitude; it's my silver mine and I call it "Beggar's Tomb."

    I can easily go days without speaking to another person. I used to have "hermit weekends." Wouldn't answer the phone or door from Friday night until work Monday. Left alone with my thoughts and some coffee for a few days I could really get into the groove, and soon the ideas started to flow. Why would I want to talk to anyone?

    Being married to a woman who monopolizes all my time has resulted in too little creativity. Sometimes this makes me crazy! In the evenings I'm required to sit and watch her watch TV. How dare I go into the shop! I get up at 3:30 in the morning so I can work when she's not awake. She ridicules the forums, knife making, church, my work, my income, my few friends. Sits and watches television all day, reading the paper. Some life. I have dreams and goals, just trying to squeeze them into the cracks... Depression? That'd be a vacation!

    The only thing that lets me feel worthwhile is making stuff, and I make my best stuff when I've been alone for a while. Now you know why my knives look so stiff and lifeless. Give me some peace & quiet and watch what I can do!

    I don't need much - tools and materials, time and silence.

    Haven't had much of the latter for a while.

    Okay, I'm done whining. Michael, you sure got a bucketful with this thread! :D

  19. Sylvester


    Jun 30, 2001
    Thats ok Bubba
  20. Peter Atwood

    Peter Atwood

    Oct 26, 2000
    Chasing perfection is something I spend a lot of time on. I've only been truly happy with about 3 knives that I've made and we'll see how I feel about them in a year or two. But it's funny because sometimes old work holds up better than you think and things you might have initially dismissed become your favorites after all.

    For me, the creation of objects has cycles and sometimes you're riding a wave and it's a transcendental, almost religious experience. Other times I can't find it at all and I worry that I'll never make another thing again. No ideas, nothing happening.

    Some days I can't stand to be in the shop and other days I wish people would stop interrupting me and just leave me alone. Being an artist is certainly a tough road but it's a rewarding one and I wouldn't wish for any other.

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