Doctor prescribes machining to treat anxiety / stress.
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 51
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Eastern Washington, USA
    Posts
    677
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    580
    Likes (Received)
    526

    Default Doctor prescribes machining to treat anxiety / stress.

    So, my shrink says spend more time at the lathe or mill, preferably 1-2 hrs a day. Also suggested I find an outlet of like minded individuals to connect with, perhaps "a web forum or blog where I can talk to other similarly technical people" (pretty much exact quote). This, I can do . Before I say any more, I'd like to thank all of you and especially the moderators for keeping this corner of the internet alive and well. For some of us coming here isn't just a hobby, it's part of holding it all together. Keep it up.

    Now for a little background for those who would relate.

    In 1996 the second best thing in my life happened. While 20 yrs old and going to college in Seattle I landed a job in a machine shop across the street from my school. Even though I grew up in a fab / mach shop setting I was greener than green. First day of work I showed up with only a tape measure, some wrenches, and a fractional slide caliper (probably had a claw hammer in my box too ). I was given a chance to learn though. Just a few months into my job there the shop moved to a new location too far for me to commute. My boss went above and beyond and contacted the boss of a shop I would call home for the next 3-4 years. Still wet behind the ears but at least savvy enough to admit it, I was given 90 days to prove myself useful at Nordic Machine & Mfg. With help from family I pulled together enough money to start buying some basic tools. To this day I can remember how hard it was to justify $300 on a set of brown and sharpe mic's. The guys at Nordic took me in and taught me constantly, I will never be able to repay that crew for what they did. During this time I was in engineering school full time, was newly married (the #1 best thing to happen in my life), and broker than broke. Understandably the stress was intense, but I handled it well. The shop was rough and could be harsh on those with thin skins. Yelling bosses, yelling customers, yelling co-workers, it was all part of the package. I remember my boss pulling me aside one day and saying "Si, you're a duck!". I didn't know what he meant. He explained, "You're a duck, everything just rolls right off your back", referring to whatever abuse was being handed out that day. I was surprised he said that, but took it as a real compliment.

    Fast forward 17 years, I'm no longer a duck. Seems like nothing rolls off my back these days. It's all personal, every bit of it. I'm angry, I'm tired, I just want to be left alone.... and I hate knowing that's what I've become. Understandably the wife isn't excited about it either . So I finally agreed to see a shrink. We looked at all the things that make life today is different than back then. Started a then and now list: "just" a machinist then vs. shop boss now; no contact with customers then vs. part of the job now; no desk work then vs. almost constant now; not related to co-workers then vs. employed at family business now. Also identified that, at least for me, the act of running a manual machine has a calming effect on me. Somehow I feel free to let my mind go ahead and forget everything else, nothing else exists but the work-piece and the tool in that moment. Leaving my desk work and getting back out in the shop is not necessarily convenient, but at least I work in a situation where it's certainly available. So the Dr. settled on that as his advice until next visit.

    So far so good. Nothing has changed in my work load, still over my head from dawn to dusk. But the machining is helping. Apron goes on, earplugs in, swap safety glasses for office glasses, and I become a new person. Of course nothing's getting done at my desk while I'm out there. But at least the work I'm doing is part of production, I'm not just out making brass napkin holders. After a week or two, I really am feeling the difference. Nothing's perfect and I still have plenty of stress to find ways to manage, but this is a prescription I could take all day! (side effects may include: swarf in mustache, permanent odor of vaporized cutting oil, & increased creativity)

    Thanks again.

    Silas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    540
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    219
    Likes (Received)
    507

    Default

    I think you just described why most people on this site have also have shops at home. I do, and it's because I really enjoy making stuff. It's a part of my nature to design and build things. When I'm at work I HAVE to build things according to others timelines, budgets, designs, etc, and with that comes stress. Sometimes a lot of it. At home, I can work at my own pace, my own budget, my own designs, etc, and it has a nice relaxing effect. I also get a chance to do things I don't normally get to do. At the day job, It's primarily 3d mill work. At home, or after hours at work (depending on what equipment I need) I get to do everything.

    It's stuff like that that keeps me interested in this trade. And the reason I got into it in the first place. I like making stuff.

    Congrats on your new found outlet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    York, England
    Posts
    413
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    361
    Likes (Received)
    366

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by El Mustachio View Post

    I'm angry, I'm tired, I just want to be left alone....

    I think anyone who works in this field will get like this. I would say it is completely natural.

    The other day I thought to myself that the ONLY time my mind is not twisting itself into knots and mulling things over is when I am stick welding, when a 'zen like mindlessness' comes over me.

    No bullshit - Laying a nice weld is the only time when I do not feel stressed/depressed. If this ever fades away I am in deep shit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX USA
    Posts
    29,656
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks again Si for jumping out there to look at the big Greaves Klusman.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Eastern Washington, USA
    Posts
    677
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    580
    Likes (Received)
    526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Thanks again Si for jumping out there to look at the big Greaves Klusman.
    No problem at all John. It was one of the highlights of my summer that year. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    tucson arizona usa
    Posts
    5,066
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2198
    Likes (Received)
    4776

    Default

    I was becoming the desk guy in my business so I hired someone to do that part. I just want to hang out with my machines and make stuff.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,420
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    461
    Likes (Received)
    1218

    Default

    You just described my life, Welcome and I wish you the best, truly. I have a family who understands and a wife who gets me through it all. After 27 years she is no stranger to the things that live in my head and has on more than one occasion sat at my bed side and coached me on my way for the day. She is true gold.
    Remember not one of you customers is sitting at home thinking about you and when you are going to deliver those parts. They don't lay awake at 1am thinking about what they are going to say to you in the morning. Guys like us with small shops have away of burring ourselves with work and then digging out and it beats us down. I have to take that job because I don't know what is or is not coming tomorrow. I recently hired a guy to manage the Biz side. Purchasing, shipping, billing and work flow. He tells me to stop taking jobs or bid higher or give 6 week lead times. He's right but it's me who has to sign the checks and meet my financial obligations, so I wont price myself out or give longer lead times. I take it on and dig my way out always a few days late sometimes more.
    I work seven days a week and my average day is ten hours. I do what I have to do to keep it going. One of these days everything will fall into place and I will get what I've been working for. I just hope it's not a heart attack

    Ron

  8. Likes thermite, oinotnasiul, BR3, Ox, kpotter liked this post
  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    York, England
    Posts
    413
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    361
    Likes (Received)
    366

    Default

    To the OP - I dont want to get all 'mens feelings group' cos we are all titanium chewin' badasses here ...but sometimes i listen to a podcast that has people on it who have had truly shit lives, and are still hanging in there.

    if you google 'mentalpod', itll bring up the podcast. the dude who runs the show is also a 'maker of stuff' - in this case , wooden furniture, but anyhoo some episodes are interesting.

    If you go to the archives, there are some older shows, which are probably a better intro than some of the more recent shows.

    As a heads up its NSFW or if children are around as there are adult themes discussed and some swearing.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Arizona USA
    Posts
    641
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    623
    Likes (Received)
    183

    Default

    Ok I am one of those guys too. I do auto electric for a living. Electrical trouble shooting stimulates me. Tail lights, turn signals, trailer wiring,......Just how many of the same jobs, repetitive stuff can a guy do? (frustrates the hell out of me). I rebuild starters and alternators and generators, have become known to some for machine work. My machine shop is a spin off of the auto electric-I am my own best customer. I use the machine shop to repair, make and remake parts. My favorite is old stuff that nobody makes any more, or strange stuff like chinese equipment starters and alternators that you can't buy parts for, so I get to make them out of something else or scratch. (I feel that they are better than new.) My first wife didn't get it, how I could spend all weekend long out in the garage making a part, or refurbishing some old ancient turret lathe, just because it was cool? We divorced. My new wife doesn't get it either, but she know's that I am happy when I am making stuff or running off to rescue some old machine, and she supports happiness. The forum for me is all part of this...........Happiness.........thanks Tim

  11. Likes thermite, oldster, BR3, Ohio Mike liked this post
  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Midland, Texas
    Posts
    1,479
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    478
    Likes (Received)
    744

    Default

    For me, it's instrument flying that I find most relaxing. It takes a LOT of concentration, so your mind doesn't wander; it keeps you focused.

    My doctor recently suggested that I take an afternoon nap. I told her that I didn't think my boss would like that idea. She said, "I'll write you a prescription!" I still haven't tried it.

  13. Likes thermite, i_r_machinist liked this post
  14. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    383
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    53

    Default

    There is a great series of very funny books written by a fellow called Roger Welch. He got into antique tractor restoration after being under a doctor for stress. Since they were monitoring and documenting his health they were actually able to see the improvement as the hobby progressed. It works.
    Read the books, they are hilarious when you are involved with machinery and a suspicious wife.

  15. #12
    keithmech Guest

    Default

    a great way to treat stress and anxiety is exercise.Hard ,get the heart going for an hour
    type.I run up a mountain a couple of times a week now and at 57 feel like a kid again.
    Cut out as much sugar as possible.Also most important is time alone.NOT making stuff.
    no one to talk to but yourself.I bet in eastern Washington there are some amazing sites to see.
    I fly fish.At least once a week rain/snow/piles of work, what ever, I still hit the water
    for a few hours.
    Paul Quinnett wrote a couple of great books.Nothing to do with machining but pretty insightful
    for stress/anxiety.

  16. Likes El Mustachio, neilho, oinotnasiul liked this post
  17. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    860
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    299
    Likes (Received)
    422

    Default

    i dont know what kind of disorder it is i have. but used to be stress free and not give a shit what anyone thought. used to drink and smoke pot when i was single, then got married and gradually quit the bad shit. used to like to be organized and everything had to be perfect, but wife wasnt that way, so had to relax my expectations. never could sleep at nite, always thinking about work, toss and turn all nite, and worry. went and seen a shrink 7 years ago after getting all anxiety about everything, waiting on people is the worst for me, always someone screwing things up, like line ups in a store, drive thru, or fucking bad drivers, etc. shrink gave me meds and it zonks me out soon as head hits pillow till alarm goes off in morning. so i never worry or think work at nite anymore but still have a mad on at people screwing up thinks. i also have a dislike of crowds especially confined in a church or other ceremony where other people congregrate in numbers. i rather be alone and work in garage doing my own shit. maybe should smoke pot and drink again, and not give a shit again.

  18. Likes BR3 liked this post
  19. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    santa cruz, CA
    Posts
    821
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1994
    Likes (Received)
    716

    Default

    increased creativity

    When the day to day stuff becomes a bit too much, I take the time off to out into the shop and work on some new designs that are at some incomplete stage. This is my relaxation! By being able to disappear into the mental components of a design and "become one with it" everything else falls away. Running a business can become a 24/7 event, and there has to be some "ME" time in there, or you will go nuts.
    I notice that among the posters that I am seeing some names that I have never encountered before. Obviously, this thread is touching another sub-set.

    Lee (the saw guy)

  20. Likes El Mustachio, Philabuster, Jashley73 liked this post
  21. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    2,994
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6993
    Likes (Received)
    2531

    Default

    The best part of my day job is getting to work on a project, alone, and actually get something done. The worst part is when someone comes and interrupts me.

    BYW, you might try Jesus too...

  22. Likes gusmadison, bic, El Mustachio, thomj liked this post
  23. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Butler, PA
    Posts
    894
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    871
    Likes (Received)
    264

    Default

    I'm only 32 and I've gotten to be one of those bitter old codgers already somehow. It probably stems from being the go-to guy, I'm the only machinist in a wire mill and staple factory so I have to fix just about every damn thing that ever breaks. Sometimes I realize I actually like what I do but some of the frustration has to come from people not knowing what they need, so I'm left to figure it out on my own with very minimal guidance and rarely a blueprint for reference.

    On the therapy issue…I've taught myself to weld MIG and stick over the last year and that has been a big stress reliever. Now I don't have to count on someone else's time frame for a half-decent weld job and there are a lot less screws in my designs! It's gotten me away from some of the tediousness of machining and made me put my squares and c-clamps, transfer punches and hermaphrodite calipers to use

  24. Likes Jashley73 liked this post
  25. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    "Stuck in Lodi", Ca
    Posts
    3,084
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1850
    Likes (Received)
    1625

    Default

    I got to the point that I could not even walk into the shop without feeling stressed. Summer time was the worst for me as my favorite stress release was snow skiing. So I started up martial arts again... it's so nice just to scream at someone, give em a punch, and take em to the mat.
    A little controlled mayhem does wonders for you.

  26. Likes Philabuster, BR3 liked this post
  27. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    383
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    53

    Default

    I put myself through this.
    I spent 40 years as a military and commercial pilot - high stress job, yes? Not any comparison to starting a business after retirement so that I would have something to do with my spare time! Spare time, I've barely seen spare time in 5 years and to add to the stupidity I let the work get between me and my wife (saved that one thankfully).
    Do anything that others have suggested but do something. Find the remedy because you are obviously a good guy with a problem.
    I was lucky, I found a great shop assistant that I could teach and he soaks up the shop techniques I've learned over the years, mainly from my machinist cousin. Teaching him the tricks that I know that are never going to be taught to another generation of workers has been a joy. When did you last have a young kid quiz you about the different types of files and how they are used and looked after? I really feel that in my clumsy way I am helping to preserve important skills and that provides a good reason to sleep soundly at night.

  28. Likes bic liked this post
  29. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    downhill from Twain\'s study outside Elmira, NY
    Posts
    11,036
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4126
    Likes (Received)
    3859

    Default

    A huge number of people who fly off the handle and take everything personally have severe unknown sleep issues. Aka , sleep apnea.
    Or even just not getting enough sleep. There's people who pride themselves on how little sleep they can get by on. Many of them are whistling past the graveyard, literally. Lack of good sleep is a significant cause of diabetes, weight gain, and some other diseases, as well as poor mental equanimity.

    just sayin.

    smt

  30. Likes neanderthal mach liked this post
  31. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Owl's Head, Maine
    Posts
    2,231
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    356
    Likes (Received)
    599

    Default

    I know it's often not a good idea to jump in with an opinion when you haven't been there yourself, but it seems to me that you don't need a doctor to tell you how much satisfaction there is in turning a rough chunk of metal into a part. And you certainly don't need a psychologist for that, or maybe for anything else either.

    Not trying to start a war with the believers. As smt says, just sayin.

    -Marty-


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •