Is it a bad idea for someone with Depression to own a dog or any other animal? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
View Poll Results: Is it a bad idea for someone with Depression to own a dog or other animal?
Yes 2 1.64%
No 109 89.34%
Unsure 11 9.02%
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is it a bad idea for someone with Depression to own a dog or any other animal?

Is it a bad idea for someone with Depression or a similar mental illness, to own a dog or any other animal?

* I do not intend for this to be hurtful or rude, I mean no harm and am only curious and that is why i am asking the question.

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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 03:00 PM
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There have been many studies that show a dog is a good thing for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, bi-polar, and many other mental illnesses there are actually certified "service" dogs that do nothing but cater to those with these types of mental illnesses.

My therapist has 4 legs
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 03:01 PM
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I think it's helped me greatly with my bipolar disorder. I have something I NEED to take care of and can't just do whatever I want because of the mood I'm in at the time. Gunther has kept me active and out of my head at times where it would be overwhelming. The unconditional love is a great plus as well
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 03:09 PM
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Having a dog legitimately made the difference between me returning to the mental health hospital and learning to live a normal life. He provided structure, motivation, and responsibility. I lacked all three qualities when I was non-functional. Even though I didn't care enough to take care of myself having him to feed, walk, groom, and train meant that I couldn't just 'go'.

I believe people with hoarding tenancies as part of their mental illness should NOT be permitted or encouraged to own any animals, as it is dangerous for all parties.


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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing guys!

I was going to wait for a while before I said why I posted this poll.

However, I am going to pipe in, I asked this question because I see from all different points of views on this.
Zelda has helped me overcome my most severe depression i personally have had. I've had depression most of my life. I actually asked my counselor (Whom i no longer have to see, just saying!) if I should get a dog, i told her my reasoning why i think it would help me and my concerns- overall i think she thought it would be a good idea. And like what Diesel and Lace said, that they have a special therapy about them. And anyways, basically i dont just sleep all the time doing nothing, i dont fantasize about my death and i dont think about quitting my job because i need it to provide for Zelda. I find a lot of happiness lately, and i feel like she has done so much for me just by being my girl! And i dont know where i would be right now without her. So i have personally overcome my severe depression because of my Zelda. (And i apologize for being so personal, i just want people to realize, who are on the other side, my story and view on this)
However, i work at a shelter, and recently a dog came in because the lady said she got him to see if he would help with her depression and that he just added to it.. And it broke my heart for both them. Because i could see in her face she was very sad about this.. And i felt bad for him too, because he didnt do anything wrong (not that they ever do really..) and it just made me think that I also was unstable before i got Zelda and it could have gone either way really when I got her. Now I am just so afraid of loosing her!
The other thing is, someone told me, for lack of better words, that I shouldnt have gotten her because she could currently have a better home with someone who is fully stable and not have any depression. So i sort of see where the other side is coming from as well. But i do know Zelda has helped me, and i do hope i am good enough of a mom for her..
This is why i wanted to have input from different sides to see what the reasoning was.

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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 03:38 PM
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you're taking good care of your dog and your dog is taking
good care of you. tell the person that told you that your
dog could be better off somewhere else to (_X_).

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTGirlT View Post
Thanks for sharing guys!

I was going to wait for a while before I said why I posted this poll.

However, I am going to pipe in, I asked this question because I see from all different points of views on this.
Zelda has helped me overcome my most severe depression i personally have had. I've had depression most of my life. I actually asked my counselor (Whom i no longer have to see, just saying!) if I should get a dog, i told her my reasoning why i think it would help me and my concerns- overall i think she thought it would be a good idea. And like what Diesel and Lace said, that they have a special therapy about them. And anyways, basically i dont just sleep all the time doing nothing, i dont fantasize about my death and i dont think about quitting my job because i need it to provide for Zelda. I find a lot of happiness lately, and i feel like she has done so much for me just by being my girl! And i dont know where i would be right now without her. So i have personally overcome my severe depression because of my Zelda. (And i apologize for being so personal, i just want people to realize, who are on the other side, my story and view on this)
However, i work at a shelter, and recently a dog came in because the lady said she got him to see if he would help with her depression and that he just added to it.. And it broke my heart for both them. Because i could see in her face she was very sad about this.. And i felt bad for him too, because he didnt do anything wrong (not that they ever do really..) and it just made me think that I also was unstable before i got Zelda and it could have gone either way really when I got her. Now I am just so afraid of loosing her!


>>>>> The other thing is, someone told me, for lack of better words, that I shouldnt have gotten her because she could currently have a better home with someone who is fully stable and not have any depression.<<<<<

So i sort of see where the other side is coming from as well. But i do know Zelda has helped me, and i do hope i am good enough of a mom for her..
This is why i wanted to have input from different sides to see what the reasoning was.

Last edited by doggiedad; 07-22-2013 at 03:40 PM.
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 03:44 PM
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My friend used to be depressed and when she got a dog, it was like therapy for her. If anything it will help you.
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks doggiedad, I just might!

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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 04:16 PM
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I don't think there's a universal answer.

For many depressed people, having a dog is a tremendous help: it gives them something to care about, something that depends on them, a reason to keep going. Having a dog forces them to get some exercise and walk in the fresh air and sunlight, all of which are noted as helping alleviate the symptoms of depression. In these situations, the dog can literally be a lifesaver. I have friends who have been pulled back from the brink of suicide by having dogs in their lives.

But there are also cases where a person just does not have the capability to care for a dog. Particularly if the dog has unusually high exercise demands or behavioral issues that the caretaker finds stressful and is unable to handle, and/or where the depressed person self-medicates via substance abuse (again, as some of my friends have), these situations can become frustrating and harrowing.

So I don't have an answer beyond "it depends." I've seen it go both ways. I think that for most people it's worth trying, though, because if it does work then the benefit is tremendous, and if it doesn't... well, hopefully the person realizes that in time to get the dog rehomed without too many problems.

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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel and Lace View Post
There have been many studies that show a dog is a good thing for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, bi-polar, and many other mental illnesses there are actually certified "service" dogs that do nothing but cater to those with these types of mental illnesses.

My therapist has 4 legs


Sent from Petguide.com Free App

I think in the case of a service dog who is prepaired for that inviroment, I think they are beneficial. My cousin has a service dog can't remember the breed but he is bi-polar. He excels because of hia dog. The dog is trained to sense an apisode before it actually hits him.

As for a run of the mill pet, you got me. I think if you get lucky and happen on just the right dog, yeh. But if not it may not be much more than another burden.
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