By: Allison Kate
Last time we discussed some of the benefits that collecting dice can have on one’s mental health. Unfortunately, we all know there are two sides to every story so today, we are going to explore some of the negative effects that collecting can have. Before we begin here, however, I do need to say that I am in no way a medical professional nor do I have any professional experience dealing with those with some of the issues discussed here. I am only reporting on what research I have gathered in a stroll through Google and some sources I have found to help those who may need it. I have also talked with a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor to make sure none of the information I am sharing is misleading or out of line. And with that… let’s roll.
Collecting things can be a great way to show off your personality and interests to others. The avid reader that I am has enough books to take up three entire bookcases and still have more spilling onto the floor in giant stacks. But it is important to note that any collection can get out of hand if we aren’t being careful.
We all have different reasons for collecting anything, as explored in part one of this series, but its no secret that a collection can get out of hand pretty quickly. I, for one, am running out of room to store my dice (there’s only so many vases and bowls and trays that I can use to display them in… every room of my home) and my collection has gotten pretty pricey. Not just the total amount of my collection’s worth, but the price I’m willing to pay for a set of dice has slowly increased over time as well. I’m at the point now, where the sets on my wishlist are expensive. My taste in dice has evolved overtime and, unfortunately, my budget hasn’t kept up. We need to be conscious that the dice we are buying aren’t at the expense of other important responsibilities in our lives. Be smart with your money. Set a budget for what you are willing to spend per month on dice and make it your goal to keep it. If you don’t spend it all, let that money roll into the next month and maybe now you can afford that next tier of dice. Some of my friends use an “envelope system” for managing their funds. There are lots of different tactics of money saving out there, find what works best for you.
Quite often we hear people mention their “hoard” of dice. While this may sound like a valid label for your Mt. Everest of polyhedrals, lets climb up the issue and explore what it really means to be a hoarder. According to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatry Association; hoarding “is in the family of obsessive compulsive and related disorders”- that is to say that hoarding takes up ones life if third party intervention isn’t sought. If you feel your collection is reaching the point of no return, please reach out to someone trained to handle this emotionally complex situation. Even TV shows like Hoarders gives us a wrong impression of what hoarding can actually become. I know that until I started looking into it and talking to people about hoarding, I assumed that the size of a collection is what dictated that label. This isn’t necessarily the case, however as people can have their house overflowing with things and still may not be clinically considered a hoarder. I cannot reiterate this enough, if you feel that your collection is getting in the way of your everyday life or causing more harm than good, please reach out to your doctor for help. It well may be that these issues aren’t stemming from the collection itself, but rather some underlying issue that needs to be taken care of.
Another one of the negatives about dice collecting is the competitive nature that it can sometimes bring. We have all seen those auctions for a single die skyrocket and feel a little left out that we will never covet those precious polyhedrals (I’m looking at you Aquerple). I have definitely felt a bit defeated when a set I’m excited about goes on sale only for it to be sold out within seconds of release. We’ve all been there and as silly as it sounds, the stress around getting those dice is real! Don’t forget to take a step back and assess what really matters. Yes, I wanted those handmade, sharp edged, duck-filled dice, but at the end of the day, there will be another opportunity to get them. Even those sets that have gone OOP (out of print) have found a way to come back OR someone somewhere has made an even better version of them.
So what can you do in those instances where you have a real case of FOMO? Why not appreciate the dice you already have? Try taking your dice outside! No really- we’ve seen how some of those shimmery sets really glow in the sun, so take some pictures of your prettiest dice and show them off! Check out this awesome tutorial on taking some glamour shots with your dice in this previous post. What about a dice bath? There is something so satisfying about throwing all 3 bajillion dice in your collection into a sudsy bath, and appreciating them in their new squeaky clean form. You could also give re-inking a try. This post has a great “how-to” on de-inking and re-inking your dice. It’s a super fun way to personalize your collection.
The fact of the matter is, collecting dice should be something we do because we love doing it. If it’s causing us huge amounts of stress, it’s time to take a step back and remember why we started collecting in the first place. Part three of this series will look at all the awesome ways this community has found to support each other with positivity and love at times when it is needed most. If you are looking for a pick-me-up, keep your eyes posted for more!
***If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction related to dice (or otherwise) please reach out to your doctor or local health department for resources. Collecting dice is a wonderful hobby, but it’s important to be mindful of how it can impact your life in a more serious way.