HomeHuman to cat relationshipbenefits to cat ownersHow My Cats Helped Me Through My Depression/Anxiety And Being Alone


How My Cats Helped Me Through My Depression/Anxiety And Being Alone — 36 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your story Kylee. I have enjoyed reading all the comments too. And, oh my New Zealand is just magical. So different than anywhere else in earth. You are fortunate to live there, with your wonderful brood of cats. Best wishes to you always. So nice to see your comments scattered around POC.

    • yea its though hard times i become closer to cats. I never used to be such an understanding person i was mostly a thinker and non-feeling. As i got deeper depressed i found my emotions developed alot more. Ive learn’t alot of things in the life of hard knocks. I think also having cats in my early life has helped me alot. 🙂 thanks for nice comments.

      • Here we would say you’ve been to ‘the school of hard knocks’ and ‘the university of life’ Kylee and I think those of us who have are better and stronger people for doing that and I think it makes us more understanding and more compassionate too towards other people and animals.

  2. I really enjoyed reading all about you, your cats and your home Kylee, what a beautiful area you live in and I love the names of the places near where you live. You have beautiful cats and they’re obviously much loved and cared for. You should write more, this was a real pleasure to read.

  3. A beautiful article, Kylee.
    I believe that so much of my sanity is dependent upon my cats that I would be a little afraid to be without them. I, sometimes, wonder who I would be without them.

    I’ve never been completely alone. I’ve always had cats. A few fulltime humans came and went after a few years; but animals are about the only beings that I can tolerate living with consistently. Human relationships are just too complicated for me. I don’t like feeling smothered and really have never been able to care for a male as much as they cared for me. Like cats, I live life on my terms as much as I can and resist being pressured to live up to anyone’s expectations.

    Your place is lovely. Just seeing the pictures makes me feel serene. I, especially, like the front area. The scenery is beautiful.
    I love all of your kittirs. My attention is really drawn to Rebel. He made me smile, because he certainly looked like a rebel to me.

    • I agree. My cat, Charlie, has helped me tremendously while living alone. That said, personally, I need a good woman to live with me but in a way which allows me some space and her some space too. I think under the right circumstances and if the relationship is managed well, it is possible to live in harmony with a person of the opposite sex! And, personally, I believe people need people although living with a good cat is a very close second.

        • Again,

          I don’t like the word “need”.
          Relationships with the opposite sex aside, I’ve found that if I put my strong desires aside, what is best for me just falls in my lap.
          I’ve, also, found that, any time I have been forced to make a change, it’s been for the better and to my benefit.

          • Also, I don’t know what a good woman really is.
            But, by my standards, an ideal partner is one that appreciates my interests, supports me in my efforts, and consoles me when I need it.
            Like cats that just appear, that’s the way I envision that person entering my life.
            I don’t know if there is any human alive that could be so unconditional. I know that cats are. So, that’s why I am where I’m at.

    • yea rebel is a peaceful loving cat, doesnt like being told off by over cats. In fact he is very much abit like a baby. He always comes in and meows and complains and if im up at the table head bumps me. I got him off a women who had alot of cats. over 22. The thing that drawned me to him was that as soon as i picked him up he was so laid back and relexed didnt get upset. Even when i put him in the cage he went willing. So to me its like he had chosen me before i chose him:)

  4. I can sympathize with your health conditions of anxiety and depression, Kylee. I’ve always had problems with depression, on and off throughout my life, but didn’t always realize it. You don’t know that you are struggling in a way most people are not, because, after all, you’ve only ever lived within your own psyche. After my poisoning from Cipro, I’ve experienced true pathological anxiety for the first time. I used to think people with anxiety should just suck it up and go to work. Dealing with a real dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system is entirely different than feeling a little stressed or anxious. I know that now that it has happened to me.

    Cats do help, but I think it’s good to have human contact too. Sometimes I just don’t want to be alone, and even Monty’s company is not enough. Can another human being really prevent it or do anything about it if my brain or body decides to suddenly do something weird and scary again? No, not even the medical community has many answers. But there is something about having another human there that has been helpful for me at times, so I’m glad that you live with someone.

    You might want to look into Idebenone (CoQ1) both for your friend’s son’s autism and for your anxiety. It has helped me immeasurably. I started taking it because it is a potent antioxidant, but it also helps you to make more serotonin from tryptophan. It just enhances what your body does naturally. On the bottle it says, “Supports positive brain chemistry.” It seems to do that, because my anxiety is just better on it. I thought at first it was just a placebo effect, but I don’t think it is. I think it is actually helping. I’ve been taking three 50 mg pills a day, one with each meal, and I have had no side effects from it. Idebenone has been used for treating autism also. It might be something you want to look into, do your own research and decide. It makes some people more anxious, but my guess is those people did not have low serotonin, so it would not be appropriate for them. I wouldn’t mix it with other anti anxiety or anti depressants if you already take those, or at least be very, very cautious with that. You don’t want to end up with too much serotonin, since that can be toxic.

    The other thing that has helped me is to unplug from the computer and cell phone. I still visit PoC now and then and FB for a very short time every day. But I’m not on there nearly as much as I used to be. I read that being on the computer too much can increase anxiety symptoms. It’s just too much stimulation. We weren’t created to be constantly entertained, constantly switched on and engaged. I think the best thing I’ve been doing is taking time just to sit outside with Monty (wrapped in a blanket– it’s still pretty cold here) and just enjoy the sights and sounds of nature in our back garden. Those times where you sit and do nothing but pet the cats or watch them play are vitally important. We’ve lost that understanding in modern culture– that simply being– not always doing– is the way humans were meant to exist. Take time to sit and do nothing but day dream and you will probably be called lazy. But when people never take time to do that they end up being very unwell, physically and mentally.

    After I lost a really good teaching job years ago because the new principal coming in was a big jerk, a pastor friend said to me, “Good. Now you can spend some time as a human being instead of a human doing.”

    • I think the best thing I’ve been doing is taking time just to sit outside with Monty (wrapped in a blanket– it’s still pretty cold here) and just enjoy the sights and sounds of nature in our back garden.

      I believe that this is a very good idea for anyone of us because I agree that we can be overstimulated and demands can be placed on us unreasonably in the modern world. Things happened too fast and too much is coming at us through mobile phones and computers and tablet computers.

      When you sit and listen to nature you are really going back to your roots and nourishing the spirit. You are slowing down and living a bit more like we lived in the past. Nowadays the past seems so naive and innocent and sometimes I hanker after it.

      • yea we have alot of bird life here too, my parents live out in the country and its lovely and quiet and much more as beautiful. Down the road in the park theres alot of birds like tuis and bell birds. Someitmes i go for a walk in the Oamaru gardens which is just as lovely. Nature is certainly lovly i love the peace and quietness of it all.

    • My epilepsy is very well controlled and its very mild compared to some others i tend to just get lost and disorientated but i havent had a seizure in such a long time. Mine usualy come on due to stress. SO i try and not get too stressed.

  5. What a great article, Kylee. It’s beautiful where you live– such green grass! Ours is still brown here. I love your garden– it’s a lot like Monty’s. He never leaves it, even though a cat could easily scale the fences. It’s wonderful the cats get to be outside, but I know it can be worrying to let them out. Even Monty in his own little yard can encounter dangers. He tried to eat a bee one summer– that was terrifying. I’m glad your Ozzie recovered from his accident, whatever it was that happened to him. It was interesting to read about and see where you live. It’s half a world away from me and in a different hemisphere, yet it seems so similar to where I live with Monty and Jeff. Except that your seasons are reversed!

    • She does live in a beautiful place. New Zealand is beautiful. The landscape is one of the best in the world. The recent Lord of the Rings trilogy and now The Hobbit were filmed there and in those films the landscape is a major feature.

      Sometimes, though, the landscape is less important than what is inside your head. It’s rather strange but sometimes when I see a beautiful landscape it makes me sad because it is so beautiful and the activities of humankind is sometimes-and I stress sometimes-ugly. Seeing a beautiful landscape can remind me of the ugly aspects of human behaviour.

      • heya yes New Zealand has lots of beautiful places not just where i live but sometime i do some photos. Its very foresty and lovely peaceful areas. I prefer the south island as we have more scenery. Its nice up north but more busy areas like cities etc. I was born in christchurch. the reason for such beautiful is we usually have alot of rainfull in those areas. like in westport it rains 70 percent of the time.

      • Yes the two lord of the rings are made enitrely in the Southisland and the third in wellington and cant remember where the hobbit was made. 🙂

        • New Zealand has some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. As far as I know, the human population is quite low as well which gives this sense of space, which is so lacking in places like London, UK. People do need a little bit of serenity in their lives and I can see that one can get that in New Zealand, whereas it is shut out a lot of the time in places like London.

  6. What a lovely article and pictures Kylee, I enjoyed this very much. Ozzie, Smokey, Tiger, Rebel and Jasmin are all such beautiful cats.
    A lot of your home and surroundings are very like ours here in North East England, the trees and grass and a Park not far away and similar too in that your cats can have their freedom because it’s cat friendly there.
    Your cats sound vey happy and it’s good that Jasmin has settled so well and the other cats are accepting her now. I think it’s an honour to dear Cassy that you have given another cat a home, I know you will never forget her or Tammy, we keep them in our hearts don’t we!
    Cats are a great help when you have depression, not only to give you comfort but a reason to go on living too.
    You told me you couldn’t write, now you’ve proved you can and beautifully too, so I hope this is just the first of many articles about your cats and life in NZ and more pictures too x

  7. heya i think its a great place to live. Its Quiet not too noisey. Cats are all happy or at least seem to be. I know its prob abit sad. but its open and honest how things are for me. 🙂 now u know what nzl scenery is like.

    • Hi Kylee, thank you for writing such an honest and open article. I believe a lot of people have similar problems to yours and I’m pleased that the domestic cat has helped you through them.

      Living alone is never easy and there are millions of people, particularly elderly people, who live alone and many of them care for a cat to help them. There are many stories of people living alone who are lonely. This is a natural consequence of living alone because, I believe, and I think you will find that it is based on science, that the human is a social animal and therefore needs to live with somebody or in close proximity and have contact with people. All of us need to have contact regularly with other people, I believe, in order for us to live normally and feel normal. Others will disagree with me.

      Fortunately, I never feel anxious partly because of my age and because nothing really bothers me any more which is not an untypical feeling for older person. I can see that anxiety can be a massive problem and it is also commonplace. In a modern society, I believe that anxiety is becoming more common because life is becoming more stressful.

      You live in a very quiet, beautiful place and I’m quite envious of you. However, perhaps it was or is too quiet sometimes because a bit of activity and interaction with people can help one live in the moment and banish dark thoughts to the back of the mind.

      Anyway, thank you again for writing this article which is quite unusual on the Internet.

      • I’m reading a book about the brain, Michael, in which the author states that the pre-frontal cortex in humans is about 30% of the brain, but in cats it takes up just 3% of their brain. Cats really do “live in the moment”– they don’t have a brain that can fret and worry and focus more on the past or the future than on what is happening right now. Our large pre-frontal cortex is an amazing thing, but sometimes it’s bad because we become unable to “live in the moment” and in reality, the present moment is all we have. We don’t have tomorrow or yesterday– only today. Our cats know that better than we do.

          • yea our winter is anywhere from april to august. its spring in september. That year was pretty bad here in 2011 as we had an artic blast it doesnt usually snow as bad as that. It still gets very cold here and have ski areas around the mountains. Out at my parents who live out in the country can see the snow on the mountains very clearly in winter.

        • It can be very hard to live in the moment. I am convinced that a lot of people who have a tendency to be depressed or anxious keep themselves highly occupied almost over occupied and too busy with the intention of keeping themselves thinking in the moment. I don’t do that and I do think of my past and I do think of my future but fortunately it does not make me anxious or anyway frightened. Sometimes, though, I do feel a bit sad when I think of these things. This website helps to keep me thinking about good things, about anything other than reflecting on the unresolvable things.

          • heya yea ive found since coming to this site, how its made my life better i feel not as alone. As i feel connected to people. I wrote this article when i was in depths of despair. I am abit better in life now thanks to alot of medication and a great american counsellor 🙂 . I also have abit more active life with going out walking and swimming. It does help having abit more things in life.

      • thanks for lovely comment. I wrote this article in relation to when i was severlly depresed. Im not as bad now although, i do suffer periods now and again.. Im very well medicated now, and as im on this pretty much long term. If it wasnt for my meds i would be a whole lot worse and wouldnt be able to cope as i do. i get out in the communtity and do alot more things. I reguarly walk/swim and been going to adult litercy. So im not totally not doing anything. Its great to be in such a supportive community where i feel valued and appreaciated. i didnt know how the article would go as im alwys nervous how it will be viewed. I think its important to be an open and honest as much as possible. Have felt scrapbooking has enabled me to be more creative and helps with depression/anxiety making me less stressed. i guess our lives are so stressed now than they have ever been. thanks for being such a wonderful site.

  8. I agree 100% Kylee. You have a great park nearby – so nice where you live I think. I wish I had a setup like you. NZ must be a great place to live as well.

    • Yea marc i love living here which im sure you will agree is a nice quiet and peaceful place. Glad u agree with me 🙂

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