Don't ever buy pets as a gift or on impulse. It's not the solution to depression.
Yes, pets are wonderful stress and depression relievers, especially for the Holiday Blues, but they are not a panacea nor are they disposable. Adoption should be done with a clear head and a full understanding of the responsibilities and financial stresses involved: pet food, pet beds, collars, leashes, $1000+ Vet bills, training, and possible destruction of your furniture and floors. Instead, consider petsitting for a friend or volunteering at your local pet shelter or pet rescue like Molly's Mutts and Meows in Los Angeles.
I turned to the one thing that always gives me comfort: cute cats and dogs.
But I don't have any pets. This allows me to look after my clients' pets whenever they need me. So what am I to do without my own huggable, furry, fluffiness, who is always happy to see me? I Google.
When the Cute isn't Enough
GETTING REAL HELP
Cute pictures of dogs and cats are the simplest and cheapest form of therapy, but it's not real therapy by any means. For those suffering from depression, PTSD, or considering suicide, please call or visit:
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline
Call to get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area.
Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
They have online chats or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak to someone.
For those in the Los Angeles County area, you can also visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ivpp/injury_topics/Suicide/suicide_hotlines.htm
For Military Families, Press 1 for Crisis Line
Veterans are especially vulnerable to PTSD depression and need help the most. Veterans Crisis Line can do online chats and its completely confidential. They sacrificed themselves for our country. They deserve all the help they need and more.
"Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That's a suicide every 65 minutes. As shocking as the number is, it may actually be higher. The figure, released by the Department of Veterans Affairs in February, is based on the agency's own data and numbers reported by 21 states from 1999 through 2011. Those states represent about 40% of the U.S. population. The other states, including the two largest (California and Texas) and the fifth-largest (Illinois), did not make data available." (http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/21/us/22-veteran-suicides-a-day/)