Despite the fact that February is the shortest month of the year, for many humans though, February can often feel like the longest and most depressing one as well; and especially this year.
Aside from the most obvious reasons why February can feel like the longest and most depressing month of the year when it’s actually not is due in part to many of us having to suffer through bitter cold temperatures and shortened hours of daylight each day; most of which seem filled with grey skies and falling precipitation rather than sunshine and rainbows. For others, February also feels long and dreaded because of holidays like Valentine’s Day that can bring with it a feeling of sorrow instead of love.
Of course this year February comes with an added bonus. We are now eleven months into living in a Global Pandemic and that in itself is enough to make any month feel like its never ending and for any human to display some signs of depression.
But what about our pets? Can they feel similar effects due to the winter blues or maybe even the effects associated with living in a Global Pandemic? In short, yes they can and we have started to notice lately that Maggie seems sad and possibly even a little depressed.
She has never been one to enjoy the winter weather or bitter cold temperatures (she’s just like her momma) but still it’s difficult to know for sure if that is what’s causing her sudden change in mood and several odd behaviours without first ruling out anything that could potentially be physically wrong with her because it’s not like she can really vocalize her sadness to us.
But once we have ruled out all other potential issues, I may have to call upon the world renowned “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan for some much needed help.
I’ve been living with a severe anxiety disorder on a daily basis for more than six years now (yup old news, I know) and I’m pretty certain by now that it’s something I will live with for the rest of my days. But I also suffer with a panic disorder and although I don’t experience panic attacks quite so often, they seem to be happening more and more frequently lately.
Many people think that anxiety and panic attacks are one in the same, but they are not. They often exhibit some similarities when it comes to symptoms (i.e: heart palpitations, chest pain, numbness or tingling sensations, shortness of breath and nausea), but unlike many of those regular symptoms that seem to follow me around on a daily basis, a panic attack will come on much stronger, often very suddenly and involve intense and overwhelming fear (panic).
The other day I wrote a blog describing a panic attack that I had experienced the night before (https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/today-is-a-new-day) but what I left out was that I have not just been experiencing them more frequently, I have actually been experiencing them EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for the past week or so, and last night was no exception.
As I lay in bed feeling anxious last night (surprise, surprise) my thoughts quickly intensified and without any further warning a feeling of panic and impending doom set in and before I knew it I was in the depths of a full blown panic attack, fearing that something very, very bad was about to happen.
Rich lay helplessly beside me, holding my hand as tears ran down my cheek. I was hyperventilating and felt like I wanted to pull my hair out and jump out of my skin. The next thing I remember happening was Maggie laying on my chest licking my face. I truly believe that dogs can sense their human’s emotions and body language. They just seem to know when the right time is to snuggle up beside you or even help to wipe away your tears. It’s so much more than just a sixth sense and I’m really grateful to have this added layer of protection in my life when I need it the most.
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