I am now healthy and making custom-made cushions designed pets.
I make cushions with all my heart to support people who lost a pet.
I’m like this, but I have an experience of depression due to pet loss.
Today, I would like to share my experience with you.
After the death of my dog, I was stressed out and diagnosed with depression.
I think I have a personality that easily accumulates stress. When I had my dog Mook, I was healed and I think I was able to relieve stress well.
Because the dog was gone, I may have been depressed without even realizing it.
My dog and me. Taken around 2006.
I would like to introduce my experience with depression and the process of overcoming it. If you are suffering now, I would like to write about my situation at that time in the hope that it will be helpful.
- my experience (symptoms)
- About pet loss and psychiatric examination
- how I overcome
- Relationship between pet loss and depression
- Pet loss and depression sometimes come back
Please consult your doctor for specialized matters.
Symptoms of my pet loss and depression
In my case, I continued to feel lonely, unenergized, and unable to do anything.
And I couldn’t sleep well at night. Even if I went to bed, I couldn’t sleep or woke up in the middle of the night. At first, I thought it was very common, but it seems that this is a common symptom of people with depression.
And I have no appetite, and the state of not feeling well continues for a while.
If you too have these symptoms for a long time or if they become more severe, you may be suffering from depression.
You may not notice these things yourself, and you may only notice them when someone else tells you.
In my case, I lost the taste of foods. And my memory was fuzzy. I felt something stuck in my throat.
I realized it when doctor ask me.
And I was worried about meeting people.
And I burst into tears in bed several times.
I was mentally down, my physical strength and judgment were declining, and I felt like I was spending my time in total darkness. (I don’t remember much)
Reference article: Pet loss and memory impairment
When I just lost my pet
Even though it had been two months since my beloved dog Mook passed away, everyone in the family was still depressed.
Two months felt like it was too early, and it felt like it was too short.
I had no sense of time.
Pets will die sooner than us, and he’s gone.
I knew it but I can’t accept it.
I regretted whether the method of nursing was correct. When I open the door, I feel like I can see my dog again. I know it’s useless to think about it, but I end up thinking about it endlessly.
Rather than the feeling of loneliness, the state of not being able to accept death and separation was painful.
About pet loss and psychiatric examination
When I lost a pet, there was no medical institution dedicated to pet loss in my neighborhood. So I went to the hospital’s psychiatric department.
Now it seems that there are consultation desks and counselors dedicated to pet loss.
reason to go to the hospital
I have a reason why I decided to see a psychiatrist.
At that time, I pretended to be fine and lived every day.
One day, I happened to find a health self-check on the internet and tried it for fun.
Then I was diagnosed with more than 80% probability that I might be depressed.
I was astonished. And I decided to go to the hospital the next day.
The next day, when I got in the car, I suddenly burst into tears.
I felt that I had reached my limit.
As a result of the medical examination, I received a diagnosis of depression, I thought.
“Now I can finally relax. Let’s get some rest.”
At the hospital, I was asked about my symptoms.
“Can you sleep well ?”
“Can you eat well?”
“Do you ever get flustered or burst into tears?”
I was asked a question like this.
And I was asked if I had something I was worried about or the cause of stress.
After that, I wrote down the check items and was diagnosed with depression.
Depression medicine seems to work for some people and not for others.
In my case, I was prescribed the weakest medicine called “Balance”.
because I was afraid to become desperate and drink it all at once.
My friend who suffers from depression told me that it’s best not to take medication.
And he said it’s good to take medicine as an emergency when you’re in pain.
I heard, if I take a lot of medicine, my symptoms will get worse.
Please consult with a trusted doctor before taking this medicine.
how to overcome depression in my case
take it easy anyway
At that time, I was so weak that it was difficult to walk outside. In such a case, I would like you to take a good rest without overdoing it.
Reference article: What to do when pet loss is painful
There was no point in pushing myself too hard. If I push myself too hard, I will get tired more and my physical condition will only worsen.
I had a chance to interact with a dog walking in the neighborhood. At that time, I felt very comfortable and had a lot of fun.
Once before, I met a dog of the same breed as my dog Mook (Newfoundland dog).
I rubbed around the collar. I will never forget the bright feeling I had at that time.
If you are in a difficult situation right now, I believe that the time will come when you will get better.
So I hope you can take it easy now. It took me four years to recover. Let’s go patiently.
See also how to overcome pet loss.
Visiting graves and setting up altars
It is recommended to visit the grave and set up an altar.
For several years after Mook passed away, I visited his grave many times. I stopped by and put my hands together when I was feeling lonely or when I was passing by, even if it wasn’t on the anniversary of dog’s death or dog’s birthday.
Then, strangely enough, my heart felt at ease, and I felt very healed, and I felt as if I had met dog “Mook”.
In Japan, many people set up altars. I set up the altar several years after my dog died. I never thought I would be so healed.
I wrote about the situation at that time, so please check here.
It seems that each of these tasks (rituals) leads to mental preparation to accept the farewell to the pet. I think that making memorial goods will have the same effect.
And we want a place to cry. We can recognize that the front of the altar is the right place to cry. Being in such an environment may make us feel honest.
Forest bathing, sunbathing, walking when you can. I heard that these actions will make us feel positive. And when you are feeling well, it would be a good idea to meet your close friends. Then our heart will be fine and I will feel a little more radiant.
Sometimes harsh words are applied…
Your friends and co-workers may sometimes criticize you.
Then we will be very sad.
I wish I could ignore it and not worry about it, but it’s difficult.
If you feel a little down, after a few days, you’ll get better little by little.
It’s okay to sleep all day.
It’s also okay if you can’t sleep all night.
And it’s okay to wake up if you can’t sleep.
You don’t have to feel like you have to sleep.
It’s okay to pamper yourself.
Your actions may backfire, but still, take it easy.
I looked at the stars to distract myself from my loneliness.
First step to overcome pet loss
In my case, the first step in overcoming depression was recognizing that I was depressed.
I went to the hospital and later told my family about my condition.
And I told him that I wanted to rest for a while.
From that day on, I feel like something started to change.
We may receive inquiries from customers about pet loss.
How long have they been with pet, what kind of habits do pet have, where is a good place to go for a walk, and the story of pet last moments etc…Customers may be looking for someone to share their grief with.
But if they talk like that, I think they are already on their way to recovery.
Because they can recognize their pain and talk to others. Little by little it will get better. In fact, we may receive a thanks letter or e-mail after they get well at a later date.
The most painful ones may be those who cannot cry, those who cannot ask others for help, and those who are holding themselves back.
If you have someone who will listen to you, please be depend on their kindness. I think that when someone listen your words you become feel better.
Reference article: I want someone to listen to the lonely feeling of losing a pet
days to overcome
The loneliness of the death of a pet is not a simple matter that time will solve. Some people say that the sadness does not go away even after many years.
It took me about four years to recover from depression and be able to lead a normal life.
Let’s get better little by little.
I’m sure the pets are also waiting in heaven for their masters to regain their smiles.
Related article: How long will pet loss last?
Relationship between pet loss and depression
The symptoms of pet loss and depression differ from person to person.
I will just tell you my experience.
The difference between pet loss and depression
When a pet has just passed away, everyone feels loneliness and pain. We can’t do work or housework, and we don’t feel well.
Many people would like to take time off from work. I think everyone who has a pet is in a state of falling. However, it usually takes a few days to a few weeks to get well and you can return to your normal life, albeit painfully.
But, there are people who do not get well no matter how many days or months pass.
If the depressed state lasts for a long time (medical institutions said it takes more than 2 weeks) and it affects your daily life, you may be depressed due to pet loss or other stress.
Pet loss is not the only cause of depression
It seems that pet loss may not be the only cause of depression.
If you don’t feel well after a few days, think about whether there is a cause other than pet loss.
For example, don’t you have work stress? Have there been any changes in your lifestyle?
They can also make you sick.
For details, please refer to When pet loss is severe and you can’t recover, if there is a cause other than pet loss.
In my case, after losing my beloved dog, I no longer have a place to relieve stress.
I was getting stressed little by little every day. I didn’t realize it myself.
It seems that some of our customers are sick for reasons other than the death of their pet.
In some cases, the child becomes independent or continues to be cared for by a parent.
I often heard that one person in the family has become severely pet-loss.
If the symptoms are more severe than other family members, try to find the cause other than pet loss. At times like this, I think it’s important to take care of your family.
Reference article: How to cheer up your family when you lose a pet
Sometimes loneliness comes back
Depression seems to get better little by little while repeating good times and bad times.
I was the same.
When I wasn’t feeling well, I sometimes lamented that I was going back to a hard life.
But it’s temporary and will go away in a few days.
It will get better little by little while repeating it.
Even after all these years, I still remember my beloved dog who passed away.
Some emails from customers:
“I thought I had gotten over the pet loss, but I’m still thinking about my deceased child, and it seems like it’s no good.”
We’ve known each other for a long time, so I think they rely on me.
They are crying on the phone and I can only listen.
I listen to their stories because I hope it will make them feel better.
Some days it makes us smile. Some days we cry.
Let’s repeat these and get well little by little.
I lost my dog too, and it’s been over 10 years. Since I am doing this job, I am reminded of my dog Mook almost every day. I often cry when I read customer’s emails.
I think that’s good.
No matter how many years pass, the sadness of not having a pet doesn’t change
I didn’t lose anything because I cried today.
When you want to cry, don’t try to force yourself to smile, just cry properly and smile when you feel better again.
I think it’s okay if you live while repeating smiles and tears.