Wood Carving: A Therapeutic Outlet for Stafford Man’s ADHD

Meet Mark Sharples, a 32-year-old resident of Stafford, who has discovered an unexpected remedy for managing his ADHD—wood carving. Seeking solace from the boredom that often accompanies his condition, Sharples delved into the world of wood carving and found it to be a transformative hobby.

Over the past nine months, this self-taught wood carver has honed his skills and brought to life a stunning array of wooden creations, including horses, owls, dogs, and fish. The process of wood carving has provided Sharples with a newfound focus, benefitting both his ADHD and his mental well-being.

Describing his experience, Sharples explains, “It keeps me busy. I have to be really stimulated as I get bored really easily.” Wood carving has become a captivating outlet for his restless energy, offering a source of concentration and engagement.

Two years ago, Sharples received a diagnosis of ADHD, a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattention. Inspired by a tree-chopping endeavor to assist a friend, he embarked on his wood carving journey. “I chopped the tree down, it was proper hard work, and I thought, ‘What can I do with the wood that I’ve chopped down?’ And there you go—I just started making things out of it,” he recounts.

Using a chainsaw and a hammer, Sharples has crafted an impressive menagerie of wooden animals, ranging from bears and horses to gorillas, elephants, and snakes. He sources wood from local residents and proudly displays his collection of carvings in his front garden, inviting conversations and admiration.

Beyond the tangible results of his creative efforts, Sharples finds that his newfound hobby has profound effects on his mental health and ADHD management. “It’s something to talk about,” he shares. The positive feedback and compliments he receives serve as reinforcement, bolstering his confidence and providing a sense of validation.

By channeling his energy into wood carving, Mark Sharples has discovered an unexpected passion that not only manages his ADHD symptoms but also brings him a sense of purpose and fulfillment. His journey stands as a testament to the therapeutic power of finding a creative outlet and embracing the transformative potential of hobbies.