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Doggone It! Can Pets Improve Your Health?


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#41 eeyore79

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 11:26 AM

I have 3 dogs and 3 cats :hearts: :bump: :shocked:

I love them all to bits, but theres particular ones i will go to if i need to feel calmer and more relaxed.

Dogwise, we have a 13yr old yellow lab called Jess, a 5yr old collie cross called Max and a 12month old chocolate labrador called Daisy. Daisy is going well and truly through her puppy phase and just wants to play constantly so isnt good for the relaxation! Max always makes me feel guiltly, i dont know why...but Jess.... :nod: :shocked: She is perfect for hugs and love. She will literally sit or lie there as long as possible and will nuzzle you if you stop. Shes my calm dog and im going to miss her hugely when the time comes as shes getting on a bit now.

CAt wise....theres Neo whos a big black fluffy moggie with orange eyes about 7 (rescue), Maggie whos a short hair tortie whos also 7ish and Maizie, a short hair black and white rescue. Maizie loves her outdoors and altho when she comes in she lokes to sit on our knees and be stroked, shes very much an outdoory cat! Maggie is very independant and wants hugs when SHE wants hugs, but Neo is my cuddle kitty...just a complete softy and always does the little paw dance on my chest and bless him dribbles with happiness!!

All the others are wonderful in their own right and like i say i love them to pieces and wouldnt be without them, but my two cuddle buddies are my saviours sometimes they really are.

Would recommend a lab in a heartbeat but a puppy is such hard work! We rescued Jess from a puppy farm when she was 10 and shes so laidback and calm, so if thats what youre looking for maybe look at a rescue labs. Unfortunately theres so many about :mad1:

so YES the right pet can really really help!! :cry: :blush21: :tear2:

#42 bobbibrowneyes

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 03:14 PM

I agree with this! My dogs are my world.They know when I need a little more time to cuddle. They are the best friends I could ask for. Sassi my Sharpei mix can tell when I am going to start having mood swings and will sit beside me through them. Buddy my bassett hound mix well he is my lover. he will come up beside me and let me kiss on him and share my sorrows

Edited by bobbibrowneyes, 04 October 2007 - 03:21 PM.


#43 bobbibrowneyes

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 03:16 PM

I love labadar retrievers they are the most loving and loyal breed.

#44 Moon Shadow

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 04:25 PM

my wonderful westie sam makes me feel better he listens and dosent judge when i need some air he comes with me he is always there to welcome me home he gives me a hug and keeps my feet warm at night he makes me feel safe when im alone in the house and he loves me unconditionally howevr bad i feel

where else can you get all this in one place

dogs are the best therapy ever

my sam has a blog because he is very special
:hearts:

*PM Member for the link*


i honestly think pets can help alot

#45 jade222gem

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 04:36 PM

There have been many periods in my life where having the company of a pet has saved my sanity.

I think it's because with a pet in the house, it gives me somewhere pleasant to rest my mind.

Without a pet I find my mind just has to think about all the bad things that are going on, and there is no distraction from it.

A pet makes me smile, laugh, feel loved, feel not alone.

Edited by jade222gem, 15 October 2007 - 04:37 PM.


#46 tabbigirl

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 04:45 PM

I live alone, which I really don't mind. I like having my own place, my own space, but it does get a little lonely sometimes since I don't have my boyfriend here. I like living alone, but I don't think I could live completely alone, I like having my cats to come home to, nothing like having Z and Tabitha greet me at the door when I come home. Well, Tabitha greets me, Z is older and just keeps on sleeping.
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

#47 sadize

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:08 PM

I have two brazilian mastifs. They are brilliant, agile, beautiful, and loving. They rank right up there with my husband and children (except that I would never put my child outside for peeing on the floor~perhaps my husband, but definetely not the kids:-). They love me unconditionally, and are often the first to notice that I have come home. They are ever eager to show me attention, and will bolt down the stairs if I am going outside, just so they can hang with me. That's cool. My boys are like, "Uh, no mom, why would we want to go outside with you?" They are amazingly therapeutic. Often I am unable to show affection to people, but my dogs have helped me with this (oddly enough).

#48 sparrowsgo

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 02:39 AM

at the moment our household has - and i'm not exaggerating - 40 cats. we rescue and care for strays, then rehome them (most of the time - its hard to find homes) 15 are ~2 month kittens, 6 are newborn kittens, 3 mums...these are the strays. the others are cats we have had for a long time and are no longer trying to home.

having 40 cats is a lot of hard work. some need hand feeding, taming, medicating and all sorts. but it is very rewarding, and so in a way it helps the depression. they keep me busy which is good!

#49 iheartdogs

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 08:29 PM

I know that my pets give me a reason to get up and go to work. if i didn't have to take care of them i'd probably be a lot worse off than i am.

#50 Sula

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 08:53 AM

Pets are the best. My family has I think always had a dog(s) plus/or hamsters. (Mom never allowed me to have a rat, but thats ok, because Im a little afraid of them anyway :hearts: )

When our dog died some time ago and we had no animals at all it felt like home soul was gone. I mean seriously, my own home didnt feel like home anymore and that is a weird feeling. Then we brought a kitten from my grandmothers and everything started becoming normal again after a while. I mean cat is a very different from a dog, but just as adorable.
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#51 Ender

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 02:14 AM

My dog and three cats are one of the only reasons I think I'm still alive. Life has no meaning for me anymore, I don't care if I live or die. But, I would never take my own life because I'm afraid of what would happen to my pets. A lot of people can't understand that about me. My extreme love for animals (not just mine a either...I'm going to school to be a vet. tech). Especially my boyfriend. He's always bugging me to get rid of my cats. When I imagine this place without any animals in it, it's like looking into a huge void. I'm home alone so much and having the company of my pets is the only thing that keeps me sane.

However...they're also the source of some major stress. We're not very financially stable at the moment. Loki, my beautiful golden retriever, has really bad allergies. I have to buy him a premium food to keep the vet bills to a minimum. It costs $60 for a 33lb bag. Actually, if I hadn't been volunteering at our local animal clinic for the past 5 months and if the vet hadn't neutered my male kitten, Dexter, and treated Loki for his ear infection for free...I'd be deep in debt to credit card companies right now. Not to mention the cost of cat food, litter, toys, tags, etc etc. Of course, the biggest problem of all is that I'm on assisted housing and I'm not even supposed to have animals at all. We have five (including my boyfriend's dog). One of them a 55lb golden retriever. We have inspections every month or so and I go crazy cleaning the house from top to bottom so that no evidence of my pets remain. The kitties go to my boyfriend's mother's for a few days and the dogs go to my uncle's. I constantly worry that they're going to find out. It eats at me all the time. But, when I imagine the worse case scenario...it's not getting evicted and having nowhere to live...it's having to give up my animals to stay. I agree that my life would so much easier and stress free without animals, but I'd probably also be dead.

#52 itsjustandy

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 11:13 PM

I have fish and they keep me occupied when i'm lonley just watching them grow and live in their little world.

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:57 PM

Dogs are very healing to me-I walk dogs for a charity and having depression and OCD with a terror of smells or anything on my hands affects everything in my life except when i'm with dogs which to me is like a dream.

#54 Guest_bravetwilight_*

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 06:05 PM

Well, I wouldn't be here today typing this post if it weren't for my feline families! I tell my doctors that the only thing that has pulled me out of the abyss (many times) has been Love----the love for my cats, not humans. HA.

Love is the only energy that can permeate the type of depression I have (severe, recurring Major Depression, atypical)

~bravetwilight~

Edited by bravetwilight, 01 April 2009 - 06:07 PM.


#55 lonleysindy

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 06:19 PM

I have mixed emotions about this. The part about getting proper care i see where they are coming from. When i went to the crisis center yesterday i had the option of being admitted then I could have seen a p-doc right away and talked to consillors but WHO'S GONNA LOOK AFTER MY DOG.

Sometimes i feel sorry for my dog because i find it hard just to open the back door to let him out and I should be walking him

On the plus side he literlly has not left myside since i have felt like this...every once in a while he will raise his head look at me sigh and go back to sleep...sometimes he will sit up and lick my hand...he knows i am sad and he doesn't judge me or try to make me feel better he just accepts it. I think if he wasn't here i would be worse off. I actually got him when the kids moved out because i was lonely and felt like my babies didn't need me anymore...now he is my baby...and spoiled more then the kids were
Love Yourself, Like You've Never Been Loved Before
Accept Yourself, Good and Bad
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#56 driven0308

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:48 PM

Love this. Thank you.
-Aimee

#57 Sacred Heart

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:20 PM

I love my pets. They give me something to let everything out on without judging me or talking back!

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.


#58 sank9

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 09:54 AM

hi. my dogs definately keep me going. they never judge you like humans do

#59 hereandthere

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 11:01 AM

my dog helps me maintain my sanity. As she is part border collie, I take her out every day, and I love it.

I also know how she is when I'm not around. She wouldn't survive. She is what keeps me around on my really bad days when I'd rather disappear.

It's also so nice to have her around when I am in bed or at home from work. She's quite snuggly, and I feel so deep down happy when she sleeps next to me.


#60 jimbow15

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 03:00 PM

Well my 2 Cats certainly are a tonic when I am down. My 6 month old Suki is a bundle of fluff.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert E.


Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#61 Guest_ROFL_*

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 04:00 PM

I love my pets. They give me something to let everything out on without judging me or talking back!


Very much agree with this. I find my dog much more helpful than therapy - both psychotherapy and medication. When I can't get out of bed he'll lay there and chill with me all day without pestering me with questions. Any person will start interrogating you in that situation, not out of genuine concern, usually, rather because your depression makes them uncomfortable.

#62 Guest_bravetwilight_*

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:44 PM

hmm, I am not so sure I agree with the statement regarding the exercise benefits of cats being less than that of dogs - my cat is really athletic & needs several good workouts a day, usually accompanied by me. Yes, I have to run around the apartment too, really throwing toys hard & being quick on my feet. She is unusual for a cat & I wish I had a big safe open space for her to play in!


Orso,
I had to laugh when I read your post. I have had lazy cats and active ones too. Did you know that cats like to dance? Have you ever tried dancing to music with your cat? there is a great book called Dancing With Cats too.

I really needed a smile right now.....thanks! and I agree.....cats only sleep too much when they are bored or sick. They depend on us to do things with them much more than we think. Smart, wonderful delightful creatures aren't they? :shocked:


bravetwilight

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:47 PM

Cats! little zen masters all of them!

Edited by bravetwilight, 07 April 2010 - 08:52 PM.


#64 whoiam

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:23 PM

Listening to the subtle purr of my cats; feeling the warmth of my dog's body against my legs; the light in their eyes when all is content, is so precious to me.
Tears are wiped up with licks, colds are soothed by cuddling and bad days are simply shared.
I will never be anything really special in this life, but they think I am wonderful.
No human has ever given me unconditional love...they give it freely, no maybes, if, ands, or buts.
I don't know if they think they are living a privilaged life but I do know I feel privilaged to have them in mine.

Improve my health? Oh yea! :shocked:

]If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.

Loretta Girzartis
[/font]

#65 Guest_iowa_*

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 10:09 PM

My dog (who thinks she's a puppy at 10) is amazing. She even makes me eat! I don't know what I'd do without her!!

#66 jimbow15

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:51 AM

Yes most definitely, my little Suki is a real furry ball and loves cuddles. xxxxx

Jim Bow
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert E.


Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#67 xchairity_casex

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 05:33 PM

well i know one thing my cats ALWAYS make me smile and laugh,as did my dog(am currently waiting for a new pup) my cat Ginger has actaully stopped me from really hurting myself before becuase even if noone else needs me or loves me they always do and becuase of that they deserve the world of me!
I f i could get a firm grip on reality- id Choke it.
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#68 RatBoy

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 01:48 PM

Alas, I lost my little friend Nicole back in February. And I, of course, was crushed.

As a friend of mine (NOT diagnosed with depression) said, "I understand completely... my cat is the only creature I've ever had greet me at the door when I came home from work."

So true. They give a lot, in their own little way. Bless 'em all. :smile:

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:16 PM

When they are healthy. When they are sick .... When they are sick at same time... When they are sick and there is no money... If they just were healthy... :coopcray:

#70 Achelois

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:52 PM

Doggone It! Can Pets Improve Your Health?

Posted Image

Written by:
Karen Barrow -


Coming home to find Fido wagging his tail or Felix purring at the doorstep may be doing a lot more for your health than simply warming your heart. A new look at studies on pets suggests that your furry (or scaly, or feathery) friend may be linked to better physical and mental health, especially for the elderly.

Evidence for the health benefits of pet ownership has been conflicting. While early studies concluded that pets help to reduce the risk of asthma in children and cardiovascular disease in adults, more recent data has found otherwise. But researchers in the recent review, published in the British Medical Journal, point to the close relationship between pet and owner that drives the positive benefits.

"The main issue may not be whether pet ownership confers measurable physical benefits, but the role that pets have in people's lives," writes Dr. June McNicholas and colleagues.

Man's Best Friend
Studies have found that pet owners may benefit from their companions in one of two ways. First of all, pets promote social contact with other people. Dogs force individuals who live on their own to get out of the house for walks, while also creating a "social catalyst," aiding interaction with others.

But the innate exercise involved in owning a dog may confer benefits, too. In fact, one study found that dog owners were more likely to survive one year after a heart attack than cat and non-pet owners, an outcome that may be caused by the physical benefits of dog walking.

Besides helping individuals get out of the house, McNicholas suggests that pets often fill the hole that individuals may miss when living alone.

"Close human relationships have a powerful influence on wellbeing by providing emotional support," she notes.

Who's Really the Master?
While it is no surprise that having close human relationships seems to be connected to lower anxiety, better reaction to stress and improved recovery from stroke, heart attack and cancer, studies show that having a dog or cat emulates the emotional support found in a close friendship. However, a close relationship with a pet can interfere with proper medical care.

Some studies cite that as many as 70 percent of pet owners would ignore a doctor's advice to get rid of a pet if they were diagnosed as allergic to it. Even worse, some seniors report avoiding medical care altogether, worried that a diagnosis requiring long-term hospitalization or placement in a nursing home would mean giving up their beloved pet.

To counter this, McNicholas emphasizes the importance of doctors being aware of these concerns and offering alternatives to simply abandoning a pet. Losing a pet, for whatever reason, can cause more distress and grief for a patient already coping with an illness.
"People do not own pets specifically to enhance their health, rather they value the relationship and the contribution their pet makes to their quality of life," she adds.

SOURCE:- 2006 Healthology, Inc.



Pets calm you down.
I've 2 cats, I speak from experience :-)
Love them dearly.
They both were abandoned as kittens and think I am their mom :)

#71 Violet31

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:04 PM

When I feel down, my cat lies on my chest and sometimes we fall asleep like that. He seems to sense when Im down and also my fd. When shes down, he sleeps with her. I have read studies where people say stroking a cat or dog can actually lower blood pressure and lighten mood. It certainely works for me.
When you´re going through hell, keep going.
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When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

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Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
Jean-Paul Sartre


Use adversity      Declare Independence 

Violet :rose:

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#72 Achelois

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:07 PM

When I feel down, my cat lies on my chest and sometimes we fall asleep like that. He seems to sense when Im down and also my fd. When shes down, he sleeps with her. I have read studies where people say stroking a cat or dog can actually lower blood pressure and lighten mood. It certainely works for me.



Violet, you are so right!
My cats do the same.
They sense if their owner is in pain or sick...and they look at you as if they feel your suffering and want to relieve it.
Amazing.

#73 Smileyface

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 09:56 AM

Hi

I would love a pet but I'm very sad to say that they make me very ill so they don't improve my health.

#74 Blue_Envy

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 06:48 PM

I'm pretty sure I'm one of the few guys who prefers cats to dogs. man, cats have it made. all house cats have to do is eat, sleep, and laze about. that is the life. When I go, i want to be reborn as a cat.

#75 BrooklynGrad86

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 09:53 PM

I have four gerbils... and though they don't exactly seem to value my companionship, it's still nice to take care of living creatures. It also keeps me observant... I notice anything that's different, as well as their daily amusing dynamics. I'm working up to a dog... a responsibility as big as a child. Even the gerbils are a reminder that something comes before you.

#76 homeforthehopeless

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 12:40 AM

my companion animals at this time are two dsh cats and a mixed breed dog. louie the wonder dog was a bait dog from southern ky and was in terrible shape when i first saw him. it took about 5 weeks to get him ready for the adoption area at our shelter and he spent 3 months looking for a new home. no one asked about him. this was an open admission shelter so 3 months was a long time. when it came to be his last day i knew i could not let him die. so, i took him home with me even though i was hurt and it would be very difficult to take care of him.

that was 10 years ago and louie is now 14 or 15. he has been the best thing that has happened to me. he's certainly part bassett with many other breeds tossed in.

to say louie has helped me would be the world's greatest understatement. we have been through some very tough times together.

five weeks ago louie had a stroke and it was the scariest moment i've had. and i've had some incredibly scary moments. he has slowly improved and with the assistance of his dedicated veterinarian, he is about 80% or so recovered.

can companion animals improve your health? yes, yes they can.

#77 ravenjeh

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 07:26 PM

I have 3 dogs and 2 cats. They are so comforting, because they will never judge you, get mad at you (at least for longer than a couple of minutes, hehe) and are always excited to see you.
My pets have saved my life at times. In the past when I have been suicidal, I could not go through with it just thinking about how much I loved my animals.

#78 Unperson

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 09:59 AM

I have wanted a dog for sooo long. Since I was about 12 (I'm now nearly 24). I finally got my own place when I started law school, but did not have time to care for one. Now I'm no longer in law school, and am at home searching for a job, and think this would be the perfect time to get one so I can train it, etc. My parents are still opposed, but I truly believe the companionship would make a difference.

I think I've settled on a Westie if and when I decide to take one home.

This above all: to thine own self be true.


#79 knutterzz

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 03:04 AM

I dont really know if pets can improve your health, but my pets improve my disposition. my pets, cat and dog,
are both male. I love it when they seek my company for no reason, even if they are not hungry. Both of them are really sweet.
my dog is smart but really mischievous! he makes me ROFL with his antics! fortunately, he mellowed down recently. i have more
pics of my cat than me on my phone! he really knows how to work it Posted Image. they dont look much but they can certainly make me
happy Posted Image


^^_)--->Each and every one of us is different, unique. Live it. Own it.<---(_^^

#80 AquaViolet

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:52 AM

Yes, I believe pets can improve your health. Spending time with my cats improves my mental outlook. My cats bring so much joy to my life.

Edited by AquaViolet, 08 December 2011 - 09:54 AM.

~~AquaViolet~~
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My Diagnoses: Severe OCD, panic disorder, depression
My Current meds: Geodon, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Lyrica 

My Previous meds:
Prozac, Paxil, Celexa,
Lexapro, Luvox, Zoloft, Clomipramine (a horrible med for me),
Xanax, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdal,
Gabapentin (this med did nothing), Buspar (also did nothing)




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