Mark Twain: “I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Antidepressant is a word I never heard when growing up in my childhood days. Nowadays, it seems every other person is on them. They’re handed out like gumdrops by the medical profession.

Tens of thousands of Americans die from them every year and hundreds of thousands of lives are ruined. Antidepressants were never OK'd for prescribing to teens. Almost every violent mass shooter was on antidepressants.

I’m not going into all the negatives of these drugs here. It’s too “depressing.” But all the studies are on YouTube. Just search “antidepressants," or better yet, “psychotropic drugs.” It’ll scare the bejeebers outta you.)

Not many of you today ever heard of Rosy Greer. He played for the Los Angeles Rams — back in the '70s, 6-foot-5 legendary football hero. In 1973 he published his famous book: “Needlepoint for Men.” He was in demand to teach needlepoint, and the reason for it, to leaders in business. Who was going to argue with Rosy?

The very real benefits of needlework or any other handcraft aside from the end product you can take pride in, are as a super antidepressant with only positive side effects.

I can attest to these benefits as a writer, artist, knitter, craftsman, “Jack of all…Master of none.” For example, when I’m knitting, especially with patterns that have multi-colors, my mind is fully concentrated on each and every stitch. Time and mind-chatter cease to exist. No room for fretting over troubles, present or future.

The same is true when I’m painting or writing or any other handwork, even ironing. I love to set up my ironing board, in summer outside, and iron with the sun on my back, serenaded by the birds.

Soon the winter equinox will be upon us. “As the days get longer, the cold grows stronger,“ and the SAD season starts creeping in. Our stores of Vitamin D, the “happy vitamin,” from summer's sun get depleted and by the time February, the “cabin fever” month, rolls around, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) sets in.

Pick up a needle, crochet hook, paintbrush, start a wood project, experiment with new recipes, read a book, get the seed catalogs and start planning a vegetable or flower garden, or both, write a daily journal. Come spring, get a shovel and some seeds. You not only get the immediate benefits but the benefit of accomplishment in a product as a reward.

Heck, in a year's time, you could have handmade gifts for Christmas presents. Homemade gifts mean more than store-bought and they save money. The positives are unending.

The positive, mood-lifting benefits of keeping your hands busy and mind concentrating on every stitch, stroke or seed planted chase away the negative mind chatter.

And in the winter, take your vitamin D3.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.