{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My partner and I adopted a dog during the pandemic and I’ve been struggling for a few months with it. Our dog is really needy and has high levels of anxiety. We haven’t been able to leave her side or she’ll freak out. We’ve been barely treading water and the stress put me into a manic episode (I have bipolar). It’s been making my days barely manageable and I’m tired of crying over small things because my emotions are much more intense than usual. I hate myself and I want to disappear.", "post_id": "60922f06131aab002f594adb", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "59d02db312fe2f0011e02215", "bowl_name": "Depression/Anxiety Talk", "feed_type": "bowl" }

My partner and I adopted a dog during the pandemic and I’ve been struggling for a few months with it. Our dog is really needy and has high levels of anxiety. We haven’t been able to leave her side or she’ll freak out. We’ve been barely treading water and the stress put me into a manic episode (I have bipolar). It’s been making my days barely manageable and I’m tired of crying over small things because my emotions are much more intense than usual. I hate myself and I want to disappear.

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My dog I rescued has severe anxiety too. Get your pup to a veterinary behaviorist and on medication ASAP. If your dog’s anxiety isn’t worse when he’s around other dogs, send your dog to daycare so you can give yourself a break.

Honestly, when I have days where my dog’s anxiety is causing my own anxiety to spiral out of control, what gets me through is taking a step back and reminding myself 1. that how I’m feeling is a much watered down version of what my dog must be experiencing, 2. that I have the ability to comprehend, control, and change the situation for the both of us, whereas she is solely dependent on me for help and to provide an environment for her that she can cope in, and 3. that she needs and is relying on me to be strong and supportive for her, so I need to make sure I’m strong for myself first mentally and emotionally in order to be able to help her. Also you could think of it this way—you’re not alone because you and your dog are suffering together, but—you’re the only one that can pull both of you out of it. Use that as motivation to keep working on desensitization and counter conditioning and to not give up.

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Great advice, M1. Definitely second the vet and med check up.

My partner and I got a puppy a few months before the pandemic. Our first pair of dogs had passed away a few years before and we thought it was a good time to bring another into our lives. I didn't know she was seriously considering leaving me at the time and she thought getting a puppy would help me and/or her. It didn't. Life got really really hard for the first few months - less sleep, stress of something off with our dynamic, two young kids to prioritize. We did not give that poor puppy a good first year of her life surrounded by love. I didn't want to give up on my marriage, and I extended that reasoning to our puppy - I refused to believe I couldn't fix her place in our family. I held on to both for way too long. Sometimes true loving compassion is taking hard actions to bring a better life to others. We ended up taking her back 9 months later to the wonderful breeder on a farm, and she found her a new home. I'm not saying that's what your should do at all - I'm just sharing my similar story of how bringing a puppy into my life at a time a great uncertainty and trauma was not a good decision for our sweet puppy. I truly wish I could have found a way to make it work. I hope you find a way to bring calm and joy to you and your family.

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