Owning a Pet Can Help Reduce Social Anxiety - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Owning a Pet Can Help Reduce Social Anxiety




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There's no disputing that owning a pet can reduce your anxiety in general, but those working through social anxiety are particularly benefited by having a companion animal. If your life is severely impaired by social anxiety, you might benefit from not just a pet, but from an emotional support animal (ESA). If you're disabled by anxiety, you may see great improvements by adding a service animal to your emotional toolbox (along with therapy and medication.) Owning a Pet Can Help Reduce Social Anxiety
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http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...ocial-anxiety/
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 12:34 PM
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Service animals are specifically trained by a professional to mitigate your social anxiety. A dog trained to alert you to a panic attack and lead you away from overwhelming situations is one example of a service dog for mental illness. Service animals are protected under the law and are allowed anywhere their owner goes even in places where pets aren't normally permitted.
Oh wow never knew there were dogs like that. Cool .

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 01:06 PM
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Have considered asking about an emotional support dog. But I picture it causing me more problems.

From what I previously understood you could take them places with you(must need to be full service though) but that would cause me more anxiety. Aside from walking where dogs are common(even then people like to pet dogs and it gives me anxiety), it would draw a lot of attention to me. I might have to explain to places it is a support/service dog when I enter. Also I might get people curious about me taking a dog in buildings. My neighbors also give me anxiety and I would have to go outside for the dog to do its business and clean up after it.

Don't get me wrong, dogs can be really therapeutic. Dogs are great Just was warning there might be anxiety causing things you'll have to deal with. When I've been really depressed and felt no one cared, have really wished I had my old dog with me(she lives a half hour away with my dad). Would have been nice to have her around to comfort me when I was crying. Would've really cheered me up.

Cats can be nice but some can be unfriendly or only give you attention when it suits them. I find them stressful the way they are always getting into and potentially damaging things, but at least that helps to get your mind off things and remind you that you aren't alone. Definitely would take a cat over being completely alone if a dog wasn't an option. An advantage is you don't have to go outside for them to do their business or give them walks. I'm guessing a psychiatrist would consider taking a dog outside beneficial as far as getting you out though.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 07:21 AM
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best ones are free cats in the yard

they are well, healthy, cared for

and come to me when I go outside. They go nose-in-air leaping at my hand
and like a ruffle and lick

Cool when more than brother & sister are there. Each tends to scoot a bit. All really speedy reaction, when vehicles arrive, humans scream or big dogs arrive, or sirens happen

Seems I'm the only person who says bye when I have go & do something

They can sense my mood. Nice that they give me respect and attention. They never walk away, like Humans do.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 01:47 PM
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i can see how it could help me to an extent. but as far as my social phobia no. you somehow know that a pet wont judge you therefore you are more comfortable on building a relationship with them. as far as people real life people goes it would not help me. Im just going all out when I have just a bit of confidence and start a conversation with someone.

thats just me, having a pet would help to an extent but Im sure Im not grasping the bigger picture.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 11:10 PM
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I would feel bad for the dog having to get stuck with such a neurotic owner like myself.

I've never had an emotional support animal, but I already worry about the pets that I have inherited from my parents. I have a lot of anxiety about my cats health, what would happen to them if I lost my job, and based on past experience - how poorly I will cope with their short life spans.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 01:24 AM
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Pets have never helped with my social anxiety (which stems from fear of criticism/rejection from potential friends--not sure how a pet could alleviate that), but they have helped a bit with my day-to-day depression, and definitely with my loneliness and sense of worthlessness/being unwanted.

It helps a little bit to have this small creature which doesn't care how awkward/boring or how much of a loser you are, all it wants is your care and your love. Too bad humans aren't the same. And too bad the love and acceptance of a pet isn't enough. :/

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 01:42 AM
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Messy Home


For loners

Could keep tidy but unless people visit, no reason to show off.
Only my brother 75 miles away is the main criticiser telling me to clear up. Hoarding what has a value or sell or dispose

Same for wearing no clothes indoors.

Cycle of getting dressed to go out to meet cats, then further afield
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 04:52 AM
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Owning a dog never really helped my SA tbh.

Also be careful if you own a cat where you let it run around

http://www.medicaldaily.com/crazy-ca...ehavior-390436

Toxoplasmosis May Be Linked To 'Crazy Cat Lady' Syndrome As It Alters Brain And Behavior

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In TED-Ed's latest video, “Is There A Disease That Makes Us Love Cats?” host Jaap de Rood explains the cat disease — toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short) — can influence the behavior and brain activity of cats, rats, and mammals, including humans. Toxoplasmosis is caused by T. gondii, a parasite that is excreted by cats in their feces, and the reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats' litter boxes. Doctors believe a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy is able to transmit the disease to the fetus, which could potentially result in severe brain damage or early death.

The parasite lives at the expense of its host, meaning it needs the host in order to produce offspring, known as "oocysts." Oocysts are shed in the cat's feces, with a single cat able to shed up to 100 million oocysts.

Today, about a third of the world's population is infected with toxoplasma, and most of them don't even know it. In healthy people, physical symptoms often don't show up at all, and if they do, they're mild and flu-like. The parasites can mess with the brain too. Several studies have found connections between Toxo and schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, and aggression.
Apparently it can make rats and humans 'love' and be drawn to cats as a way to get closer to reinfect a cat.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 09:00 AM
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I feel happier around animals. I have always been interested in and felt connected with animals and nature, I think. When we were living in our old house which had small forest next to it, I used to take snails and tortoises from the roads so they won't get killed by the cars. I remember, when I was feeling anxious, I was just going outside and try to find them and watch them without hurting.
I've been interested in cats for 2-3 years (the times I have). They were mostly afraid of humans in the places I've lived so I've always found them as distant, cute, fragile animals. It was a big chance to pet one so I have more sympathy for them than dogs (dogs seems stronger). At our old house, there was a little dog that always came to me and didn't leave me when I wanted him to when I was very young so I'm still a bit scared of them but I started to be more comfortable around them recently. I like birds, too.

Yes, I find those animals to be helpful when I feel anxious and I think I'm a bit more relaxed during some social situations for two years with our pet but I can't say for the more anxiety giving ones. I also think it depends on people, like how much they have connection for animals and nature in general.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 04:19 PM
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Owning a pet has never really affected my social anxiety. It does, however, help to give me a sense of fulfillment and compassion. Unfortunately, I'm in need of another fellow canine friend to fill my void, as we just recently euthanized my 17 year old black lab this past July. The quality of her life had dimished significantly, and it was apparent that she gained absolutely no pleasure or happiness from living anymore. During my childhood, I considered her to be my main companion of the family, as I had no brothers or sisters to spend my time with. Essentially, it feels like a certain key piece of my childhood has been taken away from me. She will be in my memories forever.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 08:51 PM
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They help with cuddling because they are fluffy and cute. I'm cuddling my cat right now.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 08:59 PM
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Provided I somehow miraculous become independent in the future, I definitely plan on getting a dog. It's one of the few things that I look forward to & keeps me going.

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If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
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...as we just recently euthanized my 17 year old black lab this past July. The quality of her life had dimished significantly, and it was apparent that she gained absolutely no pleasure or happiness from living anymore. ... She will be in my memories forever.
Similar with our previous cat of 15 years, this past June. It still hurts. I'm sorry.

If I don't reply to you, it's NOTHING PERSONAL. It's my ANXIETY.

***

(Devetko's boyfriend Stan Brooks & Det. Reichert are horsing around.)

Det. Kristeva: "If it were legal you'd marry me, right?"
Det. Devetko: "Definitely."

(It's legal now!! But Kristeva's already married. ;_; )

***

"No canoes...no maple sugar...this place is horribly uncivilized."--Manabozho, Escape From Manitou Island
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 09:21 PM
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I wish I could, but my apartment is very small and I live alone, it wouldn't be fair to the pet.
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