Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?

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Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« on: November 16, 2017, 07:47:22 AM »
I'm considering getting some pets (a pair of doves) to help with isolation and depression/self-esteem. I have a good bit of social anxiety and a long habit of not having friends. When I lived with my mother, I used to go for months at a time barely leaving the house and interacting with no one except my close family and our cats. Over the past two years, I've lived in a crowded dorm and several shared apartments, which finally managed to break me out of my isolation. I loved it. But right now I'm living alone for the first time in my life, and I'm worried about the effects of that.

A roommate isn't a good option because (1) my apartment is tiny and (2) some of my roommates have been really, really rotten, and I'm very nervous about running up against another person like that. Animals aren't complicated/scary like people can be, and they're a source of unconditional love. Doves, in particular, can be very soothing. The problem is, I'm not sure if they'll help me have the strength to get out and connect with people, or cause me to sink even further into my shell. Anybody have experience with this kind of thing?

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Three Roses

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Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2017, 05:44:33 PM »
I think pets are great, if you can care for them adequately. My dog helps me a lot.

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Blueberry

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Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 05:55:34 PM »
Me too, I think pets are great! I recently gave mine up (into very good hands) because I didn't have the emotional strength and Idk even motivation to care for them properly any more, but the decades i had them and their predecessors -  :thumbup: :thumbup:

My experience: on really bad days when I couldn't move out of my isolation and phone somebody or go out of the house, my pets were a sort of lifesaver because at least I talked to them. I'd sit down next to them and watch them going about their day and they'd interact with me in their little ways, trying to get my attention. Or just lying there relaxing and watching me. And sometimes I had to go out because I needed to procure food or other supplies for them. Having them gave me strength for a long time, a reason to keep living, a reason to get out of bed, a reason to look after myself: I've fed them so now I'll get something to eat too. 

I don't think they ever gave me a reason to sink further anywhere. They were often a good source of conversation too. Lots of people like to talk about pets  and their antics.


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Resca

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Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 01:37:39 AM »
My experience: on really bad days when I couldn't move out of my isolation and phone somebody or go out of the house, my pets were a sort of lifesaver because at least I talked to them. I'd sit down next to them and watch them going about their day and they'd interact with me in their little ways, trying to get my attention. Or just lying there relaxing and watching me. And sometimes I had to go out because I needed to procure food or other supplies for them. Having them gave me strength for a long time, a reason to keep living, a reason to get out of bed, a reason to look after myself: I've fed them so now I'll get something to eat too. 

This has been my experience as well. I have a sweet 3-year old cat named Zyla. She's feisty as heck and very talkative. She always seems to know when I'm having a rough day and will talk to me, cuddle me, or just be nearby. Pets are more intuitive than you think. And as Blue stated, sometimes just having another living creature to care for can be remarkably motivating, even if it's just to get out of bed and go to the local grocery for pet food. You have to take care of yourself to take care of them, and they return the favor.

So if you think you're ready and able to care for those beautiful doves, I'd say go for it.

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Kat

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Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 04:37:12 AM »
I got my cat when I was feeling quite suicidal and had read online somewhere that cats are helpful when you're feeling that way.  It was the best thing I ever did for myself.  That said, he was a special cat.  The ones I've got now...not so much.  ;)  But, I was listening to something on the radio recently about soldiers suffering from PTSD and their service dogs.  One of the soldiers talked about how he'd been seriously isolating, hardly going out at all.  He said something about people not being very willing to strike up a conversation with a scruffy-looking vet, but that they were totally willing to talk to a scruffy-looking vet with a dog.  He said it helped him out tremendously with the isolation because he had to take the dog out on walks.  Something to consider.  Be well.

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Blueberry

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Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 05:44:49 PM »
And even if you have a pet that doesn't need walks, like a couple of doves or a rabbit, they need to go to the vet's from time to time and you can strike up conversations in the waiting room too or in the bus on the way  ;)

Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2017, 07:28:51 AM »
Thanks everyone for the reassurances! Sorry I haven't responded. I decided to go ahead and get the doves. I was worried that I might wind up fulfilling all of my social needs through them and therefore isolating even further, but I think that's a risk i have to take (and not too big of a risk, either).

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Blueberry

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Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2017, 02:44:46 PM »
Way to go!  :fireworks: I wish you great times and soothing times with your doves.

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Resca

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Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2017, 03:06:54 PM »
CONGRATULATIONS!!! I hope you enjoy them so much. Send us pictures if you can :)

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Elphanigh

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Re: Pets? Bad Idea? Good Idea?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2017, 03:53:07 PM »
Thatís really great  :cheer: :cheer: enjoy them. I find having pets has always truly helped me, like everyone else here has been saying