“He’s the reason I get out of bed. Why I take my meds. Why I stay alive.”
Obviously, pets can't cure mental illness, but they can play a part in treatment, provide love and support, and make their owners' lives better. Here are just some of the perfect animals that are making a huge difference in their humans' lives.
"On my low-mood days, she's happy to cuddle with me in bed or on the couch until I feel more human."
"Luna came into my life last year after the painful loss of my therapy dog. She's helped me not only cope with the loss but helped me get out and be more active, live a healthier life, and be more adventurous. On my low-mood days, she's happy to cuddle with me in bed or on the couch until I feel more human. I literally could not be without my best friend to help me through the day."
"She has taught me that life is better than my mental illnesses tell me and that I am to keep fighting."
Note: This submission includes content about self-harm and suicidal ideation.
"This is my baby girl Shelby Belle. I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, ADD, psychosis, and suicidal ideation. I also self harm. Every day is hard. If I didn't have her, I would be in some dark casket 10 feet below the ground in fancy clothes and my organs divided between other people who need them. She is my emotional support dog, a candidate to be a psychiatric service dog for me, and a therapy dog-in-training. She helps me through anxiety attacks by licking my hands and face and nudging me and cuddling me. She gives me a huge reason as to why I need to remain on this earth. She guides me through my psychotic episodes and brings me back to reality. I could not be more grateful for my $35 rescue mutt.
She has taught me that life is better than my mental illnesses tell me and that I am to keep fighting. Not only does she do all this, but she inspires me and reminds me to stick to my favorite coping strategies, such as photography, drawing, and exercise. As you can tell, she is by far my favorite subject. I would be nowhere without this dog."
"With Caly's help, I found the effectiveness of being self-aware and returned to therapy."
Note: This submission contains content about sexual assault.
"This is my cat, Calypso. She is also my PTSD emotional support animal. I'm a rape survivor, and when I went away to college, my PTSD became so intense I almost completely stopped leaving my bedroom. Caly started 'putting me to bed' at night time since that is the time that can be the most painful for me. She'll come up to me around 11 p.m. and 'lead me' to my room, looking back over her shoulder and meowing for me to follow. Then I get into bed, she purrs like the happiest cat in the world and lays on my chest. With Caly's help, I found the effectiveness of being self-aware and returned to therapy."