Pets and Mental Illness

by Carley CooperBFMC 2014 Photo Directory

Do you have pets? I do. I have two. One is a feisty little lovebird with a big attitude. His name is Chicklet. I got him when he was 8 weeks old.  My other pet is Maggie. She is my 1 yr & 10 months old doggie(a Shih-tzu). I got her when she was 14 weeks old.

I love both my pets.  They are wonderful, cute, the loves of my life, and a handful. I love it!  If I had a bigger apartment, I’d have even more pets.

‘No Pets Allowed’ Should be Illegal Everywhere!

I waited a long time to get Maggie. In my last apartment I wasn’t allowed to have pets. Which was a big disappointment after I found out, because it meant I had to get rid of the dog I had previously for 10 years. I found in the past that having a dog helps my bipolar disorder a great deal.

Pets are People Too!

Your family pet can be and should be more than just a pet. It is another member of your family. They feel unconditional love just as you do. They like to receive it as well as give it. They know when you’re down and they want to help you. They do that by staying close to you. Did you ever notice that?

Your pet can be a best friend, or even like a child. You can share secrets with them, and they will not judge you. They can help bring you lots of laughter and joy. They like to be touched just like you do too. Their personalities are as varied as they are for people. Some are stubborn, timid, mild mannered, mean, grumpy, shy, happy, sad, or any number of other things. But one this is common among them all... they love their master!

When you get a pet when it’s still a baby, you have to take care of it like a baby.  For example, a new puppy will get you up at night for pee-pee and food.  They need a vet when they are sick and at vaccination time.  They need to be potty-trained and taught new things and commands.  They need to be watched so they don’t get into too much trouble on their own.  It’s a big responsibility, though it will help you in ways you never dreamed of. 

When I’m down and don’t want to do anything other than stay in bed with the covers over my head, I realizeIMG_3225 that I can’t. Being a pet-parent means that they are depending on me to care for them. It forces me to be active and productive instead of hiding from the world. No matter how I feel, or what the weather is like, Maggie needs to be let out in the yard for pee-pee time, fed, played with, and loved. No matter what I feel like she is happy to see me when I get home. It’s wonderful having someone greet you at the door with so much love and a waggly tail.

You Need a Pet!

I highly recommend getting a pet if you don’t have one and you’re struggling. It doesn’t have to be a dog that needs to be walked daily, if you really don’t want to do that. Though, personally, I’m a huge doggie fan and I think everyone should have a one. Doggies are so awesome!  In the past I’ve also had hamsters and fish.  My brother had ferrets.  My nephew had a turtle and rats.  You could also get a cat, gerbil, rabbit, guinea pig, mice, or even a horse.  Anything that can help you to get your focus off of yourself and your struggles, and loves you back, is a joy every day. Trust me, it is so worth it.

Forever Different

Book Cover - Forever Different by Christine F Anderson


Forever Different: A Memoir of one Woman’s Journey Living with Bipolar Disorder


Christine F. Anderson


by Carley Cooper

Before I even started this book I was drawn to it just by the title 'Forever Different'.  My first thought, as a Bipolar sufferer myself, was 'someone else gets it'.  I was right.  Even though this story is so much different from mine, there are many similarities.  I could plainly see the highs and lows in her life; the symptoms and characteristics of Bipolar Disorder.  It's a great read.  It not only shows a great example of a life with Bipolar, it is also an exciting story.


Starts Strip 5-stars

ANNOUNCEMENT: Carley Cooper, Author!

This is a very exciting announcement or me!  I am now a published author.  My first book was released last month.  It is a work that I co-wrote with author, Daphne Tarango, and 8 other inspirational writers.  I am very excited about this project because it will help inspire so many who are suffering with mental illnesses. 

Let me tell you all about it:

Groove Book Cover

Title: Groove: Stories to Refresh How We Think and Feel About Our Mental Illnesses


Designer: Suzanne D Williams

Published:  December 1, 2014 in Paperback. 


  • January 12, 2015 - Groove is in the top 100 in two Amazon categories (Mood Disorders and Depression), and is on the "Hot New Releases" list
  • December 18, 2014 - Groove is now available in Kindle on Amazon
  • December 14, 2014 - Groove is now available in Kindle, and other formats (Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, Older Sony Readers, Tablets, Kindle, PDF, BeBook, Older Palm Devices, TXT, HTML) on Smashwords

Buy Groove at these fine online retailers:


About Groove: 

You're one of the millions of people who struggle with mental illness. You struggle in silence, hoping to avoid stares, whispers, and prejudice. But society’s judgment has also become your inner voice. Guilt, shame, and low self-worth have entrenched themselves in your mind and heart like old grooves of sun-hardened soil. These false beliefs need loosening, turning, tilling, and ploughing until the old grooves give way to new grooves of God’s Truth.

In Groove: Stories to Refresh the Way We Think and Feel about Our Mental Illnesses, mental health advocate Daphne Tarango and nine inspirational writers tell how they've overturned the old grooves and false beliefs about their own mental illnesses. Groove offers encouragement and firsthand experiences from men and women who know what it’s like to have mental illness. You'll relate to their inspirational stories about relationships, coping skills, managing symptoms, career and home, life stages and milestones, even stories about their pets, the holidays, and much more.

Groove includes 52 thought-provoking stories, one for each week of the year. Each entry ends with a series of questions so you can reflect and dig deeper grooves on the topic for that week. As you read Groove, you'll learn how to build new grooves using God’s word and how those new grooves can change your life, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you carry yourself. You can even read and work through the questions with a small group.

Whether you're recently diagnosed with a mental illness or have struggled with mental illness for years, Groove can help you refresh the way you think and feel about your mental illness, all by believing and applying the Truth in God's word.