How do I deal with my depression, anxiety and panic disorder? I don’t. At least it feels like I don’t. I don’t deal well with the nightmares, the sweaty palms, the “exploding” heart beat, people, social settings, sounds, and much more. I don’t have very good local support. The mental health provider I have been seeing for over a year, treats its clients like cattle. In and out. I still wait for a complete diagnosis and for therapy. I have no friends to talk to. My wife and family do not understand and often get frustrated or upset when I try to explain. There are only three people that seem to help…. my mother and my two children. My children are to you to talk with but they make me feel better. Almost happy. My mom can be a bit too direct but she listens. So even though they “help” they do not counter act an anxiety/panic attack.
Where do I find comfort? Outside in the barnyard with the animals. I was raised on a farm. I have found that it is one constant in my life. Being around the animals makes me feel a little more relaxed. We have horses that I can pet, brush or even ride on occasion. We have cows (that we used to milk) that act like big dogs. I often find myself petting them and sometimes when they are laying in the sun, I sit with them or even on them. And of course, the dog. She is an older dog and seems a bit more “sensitive” to my condition. I spend quite a bit of time with that dog when I can. In order to be around them, I have to travel to my parents farm which I try to do daily. It is where I find my “peace”. The bad thing about this is when I return home, it all comes back.
Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Support Animal. I have recently been researching information on ESAs and PSAs. I have come to realize that this, for me, is a very good option. While an ESA does not need to be trained they can offer so much. An ESA can be any animal. A dog, cat, snake, mouse, chicken, horse, cow….. The bad thing about this is, you can’t take it with you every where you go. An ESA is not protected under ADAA laws. If registered as an ESA, they can be allowed in plain cabins and they cannot be refused in no pet housing and you cannot be made to pay a pet fee.
Now, Psychiatric Support Animals can only be dogs. These animals are a specially trained service dog. Since they are classified as such, they can go with you every where. The downfall is you have to be seriously impaired by your disorder. I suppose if you had thousand of dollars to spend you can find one and have it trained.
My point to this is, that’s how I “deal” with it. The animals help me. They don’t judge. They don’t talk back. They just offer peace of mind and affection.