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Anxiety

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by MadHattie, Oct 12, 2019.


  1. MadHattie

    MadHattie PetForums Newbie

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    Not sure how to start this, but i feel like i need to get this off my chest and see if anyone else feels this way. I have owned animals all my life. I grew up surrounded by them and when i moved out it didn't take me long to start my own furry family. I never had anxiety or panic attacks over my animals or anything in general before. I would worry if they were sick and of course be devastated if any of my families pets passed. But I've seemed to develop an anxiety or extreme reaction to my pets health within the last couple of years. I think it all started with my first puppy. I had 2 cats already (which were no problem) and i decided to get my first dog. I immediately began to have pain attacks when she arrived. I was terrified that i was going to raise her wrong. As she got older that went away and i stupidly decided to get another dog. This was were it got worse. After a year with him he was diagnosed as epileptic. My world turned upside down and my mental state went with it. It was really rough and as his health declined so did my mental health. This year just after his second b day i made the difficult decision to put him down. It still hurts but i did what i knew was right for him even if it killed me. Jump to less then a month ago i decided to fostered 2 kittens. Stupid again. Clearly there is a pattern. Unfortunately one was sick which i was not advised of and it got my long time ragdoll sick. Now i sit here a ball of anxiety feeling scared for my cat and guilt over putting her in this situation. I can't stop thinking the worse is going to happen even though i am doing all i can to get her better. Sorry for the emotionally word vomit. Has anybody else felt this way about their pets health? Anybody have any tips on how to deal or just some understanding? I've reached out to my parents but they don't understand why i get so worked up and can't just think positively. I live alone so many animals mean the world to me and it is so hard not having someone to voice your worries too or to just hand over some of the worry to for a little while.
     
  2. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    It's the main reason I no longer have pets. I am however going to inherit one and am already worrying about it
     
  3. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    I hope talking about your anxiety here helps you.
    Lots of people worry about their pets . Ive had many pets over the years , rabbits , guinea pigs , cats and dogs . Some were healthy and lived to a good age and some had things wrong with them .
    Its not your fault that your pets have been sick . They are lucky to have someone who cares so much for them .
    Have you tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for your anxiety , Ive find it very useful.
     
    Lurcherlad and Cleo38 like this.
  4. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Same here, I was lucky enough to get help pretty quickly by self referring to my local NHS MH dept. My anxiety regarding the well being & safety of my dogs (mainly) was off the scale. I was constantly worrying about them, imagining all sorts. I had cameras set u in the house & realised that far too much of my working day was spent watching them & if I couldn't see them (they'd probably gone in the garden to bark at the postman!) I had meltdowns.

    My CBT sessions were lifechanging & I honestly can't believe how differently I feel now. Anxiety is exhausting but with help & practise it does get so much easier to manage.

    https://support.patientaccess.com/self-referral/nhs-self-referral
     
  5. healthfreak

    healthfreak PetForums Newbie

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    You have to step back, take a couple of deep breaths, and fully realize that everything living dies sooner or later.
     
  6. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

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    I also suffer with severe anxiety disorder, so you really aren't alone in feeling this way, as you've already seen of the four people who've replied to your post so far, five including me, only one of them doesn't actually mention having anxiety themselves.
    Have you seen your doctor about how you are feeling. I think everyone has some level of anxiety about their animals, we all worry when they go off their food or when they appear to be out of sorts, and I think that is totally normal, it's because we love and care about them.

    However if your anxiety, fears and concerns about them are taking over your life and making it impossible for you to be able to actually enjoy them, then I would say you need to be seeking some help from a professional.

    Like the others, I've had some cbt and counselling and found it very helpful.

    Unfortunately nothing will change the fact that we will most likely outlive our animals, and I think we all think about that day from time to time and obviously feel wretched about it , but we must be able to put that out of our minds and get on enjoying them and giving them as good a life as we can, rather than just worrying about stuff we really can do nothing about.

    Talking about your feelings will, I hope, help you. So feel free to come on and chat about things if you find it helpful. I really do think though that you should have a chat with your GP.

    Wishing you all the best.
     
    FAW56, kimthecat, Lurcherlad and 2 others like this.
  7. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like talking to your GP might be a good idea.
    Im not surprised you are having abit of a meltdown though, it is extremely stressful dealing with loved ones with illnesses (also knowing that pets have a much shorter lifespan anyways is very sad). Just try to remember that animals mostly live in the moment and try to enjoy spending time with them as that is what they will be more concerned about!;)
    and as @Bugsys grandma said, you def arent alone....Ive had a few instances where I havent walked the dogs coz Ive been irrationally afraid something bad would happen.:Shy
     
  8. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    It's not about simply realising this but more about learning how to cope with & manage our feelings associated with that. At times some of us will need help to understand & learn how to do this. With CBT it's not just about talking about feelings but more about how to manage emotions & changing negative thought patterns. I used to have homework to do with my sessions, simple things for some people but quite difficult for me at times.
     
    #8 Cleo38, Oct 15, 2019 at 12:02 PM
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019 at 7:21 PM
  9. Bugsys grandma

    Bugsys grandma PetForums VIP

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    Exactly this!
    Sometimes there is no logic at all in our anxious feelings, and we had no control over them. Oh that it were as simple as " taking a deep breath" how much easier and less stressful life would be for many people.
    I too had "homework" to do when I was having CBT and like you @Cleo38 i found it difficult. Even though I knew that some of the thoughts and feelings I was experiencing were, in some cases, completely unrealistic, I still struggled very hard to manage them and definitely CBT helped me to do that.
    I still struggle but now I have learnt strategies that I can draw on to help me cope when things start to get difficult.
     
    tabelmabel, kimthecat and FAW56 like this.
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