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Could I Be Using My Hobbies as an Emotional Crutch?

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I haven’t gotten a psychiatric diagnosis yet, but I think it might be safe to assume I have anxiety. As much as I try to tell myself that I’m being ridiculous, I just can’t shake the feeling that something catastrophic will happen to me or those I love. I’ll sit in my room and worry about things for hours. I’ll actually feel physically tired from worrying sometimes. When I get like this I turn to my art. Drawing is one of the only things I can do where my head isn’t a buzz with disaster scenariorizing. It’s nice to be calm, but after a while I start to wonder if constantly turning to something like this might not be healthy. Even if I’m being distracted from my current problems, I’m not really coming to any kind of resolution with them. And ignoring the problem feels like it could only make things worse. So when it comes to anxiety, could using books and art as a kind of coping mechanism be healthy, or could this kind of escapism only be destructive in the long run?

Could I Be Using My Hobbies as an Emotional Crutch?

Answered by on -


Turning to books and art when you’re feeling anxious is a treatment for anxiety but not a cure. They have a calming effect and allow you the freedom to express your creativity. You should not give them up.

It is good that you have a way to treat your anxiety. It would be better if you found a way to cure your anxiety. Anxiety is very curable. Your art is a relief from your anxiety, but it is not a cure. It is good that you have your art as an effective form of symptom relief, but it would be better if you did not need symptom relief and that is exactly what counseling can do for you.

Counseling and medication are treatments for anxiety and have the potential to cure it. Mainstream treatments for anxiety are based on scientific studies proven to be effective. Seeking professional treatment is the most expeditious way to cure your anxiety. Coping is good but a cure is better. Please take care.

Could I Be Using My Hobbies as an Emotional Crutch?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Could I Be Using My Hobbies as an Emotional Crutch?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 7, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 9 Nov 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.