There is a fascinating article on knitting as therapy. I think most Knitters already intuitively understand that there is more to the process going on than most people (non-knitters) can comprehend. I recommend that you read it.
My own experience has taught me that I'm getting a lot more than just another sweater when I knit. I have many friends who have knit through tragedy in their lives. One while she waited for hours for news about her missing son on 911. He was one of the few survivors. He was hit by debris from the towers while he was still outside when the first plane hit.
I noticed after leaving a stressful job that my knitting time decreased and when I started a less intellectually demanding job that I wanted to work on more complex items. As I launch my professional Knitting career I'm again becoming obsessive about my knitting. The focus has changed and right now it's all about design and how to best write patterns.I find myself writing blog posts in my head and I'm frequently making notes for myself as new ideas occur to me. I wake up from dreams about my current project and it's a wonderful distraction while my sister and I struggle with the process of moving my Father who has Mixed Dementia into a long term care facility.
When I've discussed this topic with brand new knitters a few have told me about how they feel obsessed with knitting. It reminds me of how an alcoholic can tell you all the details of the first drink they ever took. We know that there is a genetic predisposition for alcoholics. Do you think we Knitters share a special gene as well?