Many people who suffer with bipolar disorder have seen the advantages of sharing their life with their pets. At times when they have been discouraged and the idea of talking or relating with another human being seemed like such a difficult challenge, the unconditional love and companionship of their pet has been a great comfort.
And while this in itself is a great benefit for animal lovers who suffer with bipolar disorder, there is still another great aspect of having a beloved pet in their life. During these lows of depression when a person with bipolar disorder has had thoughts of giving up, many times it has actually been their pet who has provided them the desire to continue on and work through the tough situation until they are again ready for some human interaction.
So what if you don’t have pets and can’t get one right at this time? A solution might be to research your local animal shelter or humane society and learn about becoming a volunteer. These places are hurting for good volunteers and would really appreciate your help. This would be a win/win situation. You could get some time with some of the animals, and maybe even find one you are compatible with and adopt it. And the shelter or humane society gets some much needed volunteer work.
With either a pet you already own or a new pet you have adopted, there are many things that need to be done to make sure that the animal is well taken care. Things like making sure they have food and are fed daily, litter boxes kept clean and full of new litter, combing or brushing your pet. You get the picture. This is a great way to keep your mind off of your depression and focused on meeting the needs of your pet. Not I’m not saying that your feelings should be ignored, not at all. I’m just saying that sometimes the feeling of “being needed” by another living thing can be therapeutic.
If you do decide to do some volunteer work at one of the pet related places mentioned earlier, you will undoubtedly meet new people. People with the same interests as you….animals! Most animal lovers are usually pretty good people. And this would open the way for you to not only meet new people but you’d be helping out a great cause. This could be all it takes for someone who might be depressed or shy to slowly edge into building friendships and begin interacting with others again.