help - need to make a decision and afraid to

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/9/2009 6:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had anxiety/panic off and on for years but thankfully never needed meds etc. I love animals and had 2 cats but one died last year. Prior to getting each one I had horrible panic and felt sick with fear and couldn't go through with adopting from rescue or shelter but fortunately each time a relative gave me one. This won't happen this time so have to find one myself. I have been looking now for almost a year and each time I find one and meet it and arrange to adopt it I go into terrible panic and have to make an excuse not to go through with it or take it home. I tell myself just don't bother but then I find myself wanting so much to help a homeless cat that I feel horrible for not doing it plus I really want another kitty to love and I start looking again and each time I think I will be ok. So now have met a wonderful cat and supposed to go back tomorrow to adopt it but ever since yesterday when I told the rescue I am going to adopt I have been in a state of horrible anxiety and couldn't sleep last night or relax today. Its not a situation where I can take the cat back and neither would I want to subject a cat to that. I am afraid if I go through with it I will suffer a horrendous panic attack and I don't know how I will cope. Should I give up or should I go through with it somehow? Please don't think I am the wrong person to adopt, I love my furkids so much and anyone who knows me would say I am a great animal parent its just this stupid fear I have that its going to all go wrong. I thought of fostering but found same thing happens to me. Thanks for any help, I need to let them know tomorrow.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 318
   Posted 7/9/2009 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I love cats too although I have a dog. I love the last cat I had so much that I use his name (butter) in all of my screen names. I was so hurt when I moved out of my moms house and my landlord said I couldn't bring him I almost changed my mind about moving. So with that being said I know how you feel about your furkids. Is there anyway you get someone to adopy the cat for you. Maybe go down there with them and choose then have them come back to do all of the paperwork or whatever. Maybe this will take away from the anxiety of doing all of the decision making. Hope this helps.

This too shall pass...

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 7/9/2009 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Aloe,

Sorry to hear about your trouble with adoptions. Have you figured out what about this bothers you? Is it the paper work, the possible home visits, the cat not accepting you?

If its the paper work. You can always ask to take it home and fill it out as you feel comfortable. Home visits rarely ever happen if at all. And well cats love anyone who will be the slave to them. I have 7 furbabies. All but 2 were rescues.

Ok I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for many many years. So what I am going to say maybe be blunt. But I can't come up with another way to say it.

So here it goes.

Anyway so what if you have a panic attack while getting this done. You wont die. You will be very nervous and gittery. Maybe even have to exit to the bathroom to gather yourself. So what. You can do this. Face your fear and get it over with. Nothing bad is going to happen. A good thing will come of you going down and bringin home a furbaby. As that is one more kitty that is saved. Have someone drive you so that way after the event is over and your tired, stressed and just plan blah someone else can handle the drive back. And you can sit and visit with the new addition to your family.
Buckle down and just do it. Face your fear and get it over with. You will/should be proud of yourself once its all done. And give yourself a big pat on the back.
Have the person going with you fill out the paper work and you just sign it. While they are filling it out you visit with your new baby and relax.

I wish you luck. But I do say buckle down and just do it. You have to at some point face your fears. You will live!

Take care

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/9/2009 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
first I want to thank BOTH of you for responding, it means so much to me. Cary-Ann for a second I thought you were going to tell me I wasn't fit to adopt but then I read what you wrote and I am so grateful. Its true, if I let this opportunity go I will be so sad and so will this cat but if I see it though I will be proud of myself. I am sick of this fear running my life, I am going to try and follow it through. Please be there for me if I do and if I need some help, I guess I am fearful of going into a panic and never coming out of it or something equally unlikely. Chances are I will panic but with help I will get through it and as you said, I will live. I also told myself that putting myself through this stress on an average of once a month is probably more harmful than getting it over with once and for all! I don't really know what it is that scares me, I think its that I will feel I made a mistake or that things won't work out. I think I am afraid of disappointment, had a few in my life. I am no youngster and I am adopting only mature or senior pets from here on out and I suspect some family members are going to be looking at me and thinking oh she is going to be heartbroken again so soon, since I was a child (terrible childhood) for some reason I hate people feeling sorry for me or thinking I am pitiful. Thanks again, so kind of you both, I know others have it worse than me, thank God other than this my anxiety/panic is not a big problem. Seems to focus around big decisions and the fear of making mistakes I guess :(

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 7/9/2009 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I also say GO FOR IT! Also, you might want to reach out to the shelter for help. I have volunteered at a few. Most have contracts where if you can't keep the pet it can go back. But you know this isn't going to happen as you have had pets before. If it is the social phobia aspect call the shelter and tell them you want to adopt x cat (or have someone call for you) and tell them that you would like to go in their off peak hours, in a private room. They may even let you come before they open or after they close. Tell them that you have a hard time getting out and if you have to reschedule your appointment you are still taking this kitty you are just having trouble getting out there to do it. Many handicapped people adopt and have to make special accomdoations b/c they are in a wheelchair, or blind, etc. If you tell them what is going on they might even just interview you over the phone and let a friend pick the kitty up for you. You CAN do this and you will be so proud of yourself after. It is a commitment but cats are very self sufficient. You can go away for a night and it will be fine w/ a bowl of food and bowl of water. Dogs on the other hand are very needy. I have one of each.
27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/10/2009 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks for all the wonderful support and encouragement. I think what I fear the most is that I will go into a panic attack when I get home after adopting. Anyone know a good way to control an attack so that I will be ready to deal with it? I am also afraid that the panic will not stop! Oh it would be so much easier to forget about adopting but I don't want to do that, been doing that over and over again for almost a year. Getting to this point and then making an excuse (sorry but also telling a lie) to not see it through :(

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/10/2009 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I think I am just afraid of picking the wrong one to adopt, its so silly I know. Had this before a few years ago with my dog thank God one of my daughters gave him to me so that sort of negated any fears as I knew if things weren't right she would take him back but of course fell totally in love with him and he was mine forever. My cat one of my sons gave to me and because he loved him so much so did I. Now for some stupid reason I am just afraid of panicking. One time about 5 years ago I adopted a dog that was in a very nice foster home, drove all the way home with her, had a massive panic attack and drove her all the way back and made an excuse. I should have given myself time but I didn't but thank God the dog had a nice foster home to go back to, I am sure if I had got it from a shelter it would NOT have gone back. All I remember is that I felt I had made a terrible mistake. This from someone who has had animals all her life and never thought twice about getting one whether it was a dog or a cat or a goat or a horse. But now I am so afraid BUT determined to try.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 7/10/2009 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Well my Furbaby friend. You have nothing to worry about with cats. As long as you are there maid in waiting your good to go. But if your worried about picking the wrong cat. Spend more time at the shelter. Don't jump just because the cat is cute, or furry. Pick it by its personality. That way there will be no mistake if you like him/her or not.

But really when it comes to cats they love there owners as long as they are king/queen of the house.

I'm so bad with my cats that if they are asleep in my computer chair or on the couch. I will go sit somewhere else. They rule the roost here. they have even destroyed my couch. But oh well. I love them to death. All 7 are indoor cats. We let them out side on leaches or in the fenced in front yard and that is a family affair. Making sure non jump the fence and bolt. To many things can happen to them out here in the desert. And I could not handle the loss of another cat.

I think if you will just accept the fact you might have a panic attack and instead of worrying about it plan for it. Plan a course of action and stick to it. No ands, ifs, or buts, about it. You WILL do it this way. Just do it. And if you have an attack while driving home. Plan on getting home FIRST. Before you make a rash decision to take the animal back. You must complete the trip. Get all the paper work done and the adoption finalized and have a friend or family member bring the cat home to you.

FYI panic attack have never not gone away. Your body will get to tired to be able to handle one for a extreme amount of time.

I think you have associated your panic with the last pet experience dealing with adoption. And that is why you still have trouble with it. The best way to combat this is to just do it. Don't give up on yourself.

If you have another attack while adopting this furbaby work through it. Don't let this monster win. And with every win pat your self on the back and be proud of yourself. Every step counts.
Remind yourself you are stronger then this stinkin anxiety. You will win this war over wits.

Take Care My Furbaby friend.


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/13/2009 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Can you get someone else to drive you there, like was suggested before? That way you could take your 1/2 valium in the morning to chill you out and with having another person driving, you don't have to worry about being loopy and driving.

You are going to have to figure out if this kitty is the right thing for you or not? No one here can make that decision for you. If it is too much for your anxiety, maybe its best you don't go get the kitty. I think all will be fine. But this is a decision you will have to make about what is best for you.

Good luck
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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