Depression is a serious mental health problem that can’t be ignored or untreated. People make the mistake of confusing depression with common sadness. When people are very sad about something they say they’re depressed. This is not the same as suffering from depression, much like feeling anxious isn’t always the same as having anxiety.
One of the reasons depression is so damaging is that it’s very hard to treat. The instinctive response is to get a prescription and take medication that helps to relieve many of the symptoms you feel. While this can work, it often leads to the nasty cycle of depending on the medication to deal with your depression. In the long run, you have to wonder if this is actually a good way to treat it or not? Instead, the most effective ways of dealing with and curing depression all revolve around certain lifestyle changes.
With that in mind, we’re going to look at one particular lifestyle change that could make a huge difference in your life: getting a cat. Cats are a highly popular pet for people to get, and there are plenty of reasons you might want one. However, did you know that there’s a link between cats and depression? Let’s look at how the two work together:
A cat keeps you occupied
Having a cat will keep you mentally occupied, stopping you from having time to think negative thoughts. Depression is at its worst when you have nothing to do and nothing on your mind. With a pet cat, you have so much to think about all the time. You need to feed your cat, you can sit down and play with your cat – you are literally looking after a small life form, so your mind is occupied all the time.
Additionally, you have to think about all the other ways a cat can keep you occupied. Looking for ways to keep them entertained at home? You can spend your time crafting easy DIY toys to make for your cat. If you wanted, you could even make your own cat food, which occupies more time. When you have a cat to look after, you start realizing how easy it is to find ways to occupy your mind and focus on other things rather than being caught up in your depressing thoughts.
A cat can help you relax
Stroking a cat will do wonders for your mental health. It’s not just great for the cat, it’s also great for you. The act of stroking a cat is just very calming for you as it lets you slow down, breathe deeply, and enjoy the feeling of your cat’s soft fur. The sound of them purring as well will add to the whole experience.
All pets can help you relax, but cats are particularly good at it. This isn’t just because they purr when you pet them, it’s because they don’t require the same level of maintenance as a dog. Dogs need to be walked and will need to be looked after all the time. With a cat, you can leave food and water, then let them get on with their life. They’ll sleep a lot, go on their own adventures, but always be ready to come back home for some quiet time with you.
A cat provides you with a purpose
It’s extremely common for anyone suffering from depression to feel as though they’re all alone. You feel trapped and alone in your own little bubble, and you can often think there’s no reason for you to be around anymore. It’s a very sad thing to think about, but that’s the harsh reality of what we’re dealing with here. Too many people suffer in silence, meaning their loved ones have no idea until it’s too late.
A pet cat can really change your whole perception of things. Suddenly, you go from being alone to having a constant companion. More than that, your life now has a purpose; you want to look after this cat and give it the best life possible. Your life has more meaning, and this means you no longer have just yourself to think about. When you feel depressed and start locking yourself in your own head, your little cat will come along and remind you of your purpose. Having something to focus on and devote your life to can help you ease the symptoms of depression.
This is a serious mental health issue that needs to be spoken about more and more. Finding different ways of treating depression can increase the chances of people curing themselves of this condition. Getting a cat is one idea that’s definitely worth considering.