Someone to share the time with
Mental Illness is a lonely place sometimes. It can feel like nobody understands you. It can feel like no one is listening. The reality is, the probably are, but sometimes you just need to vent and there is no one around.Your friend’s are busy, your family is no where to be found, and you’re sad and alone. This can be a sticky situation, especially for someone with mental illness who feels insecure, or who tends to ruminate on the things that make him/her most miserable. Ruminators, like myself, may know that they can enter a dangerous place when left alone with their thoughts for long periods of time. Plus, it is easier to enter the black hole of depression when there’s no one around to keep you grounded. Enter pets.
Pets are loyal. Pets always have time for you. Pets crave your love and affection. Pets won’t yell at you for waking them up at 4 am for cuddles. Pets listen. Pets don’t talk back or offer their opinions at the most inconvieniant times. Pets won’t judge you, regardless of how off the wall you feel. Pets require you to think about something other than yourself, if only long enough to feed them and scratch behind their ears every day.
Pets are always around when you need them. Even during a manic episode when you can’t sleep at 2 AM. Pets can be there when people can’t. That’s not to say that meaningful relationships aren’t also important, but sometimes, there’s nothing better than picking up a furry friend and snuggling while watching netflix. Having someone there around the clock whom you can go to with your biggest fears is an invaluable tool for people battling mental illnesses. Plus, experts say that petting an animal for ten minutes realeases a small amount of dopamine (the happy chemical) and seratonin (which makes you feel relaxed/ at ease). Both of which are usually large culprites in chemical imbalance patients.
Shoutout to our furry friends!