My Fish Cured My Depression
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

My Fish Cured My Depression

Okay, not really, but he certainly helped.

60
My Fish Cured My Depression
Maggie Joyce

Okay, just as a disclaimer, my fish didn't actually cure my depression. But, he certainly helped in easing the intensity of it.

For the past four years, I've struggled with falling into and pulling myself out of major depressive episodes. My college experience has not particularly helped with this, either. The one thing no one prepares you for in college, or adult life in general, is the loneliness. Although spending time alone to get to know yourself can be a positive thing, too much of it can be detrimental to your mental health. In this sense, college is a recipe for disaster. Especially for someone who lives alone, like me.

My apartment often felt desolate. It was just me, which I enjoyed, but as the hours and days passed, it got quite lonely. Also a recipe for disaster for a person with depression.

After yet another random spell of depression, I was fed up. I was done being sad and lonely, and I wanted to try something new – other than school – to keep me occupied. I made the spontaneous decision to buy a fish.

My first dose of reality came from the PetsMart worker. I never realized how much maintenance went into keeping a fish tank, even for a little Betta fish like Hades (my amazing fish, featured below).

Maggie Joyce

After taking all of this in – the filters, heaters, water de-chlorinators, cleaning contraptions, food, decorations, gravel – I still felt like it was a good decision for me, even if it was more than I anticipated.

I felt like an anxious mother-to-be. I stayed up late browsing different fish forums. How do you properly care for a Betta? How much do they eat? When should they eat? Do fish sleep? Do I need to keep the water at a certain temperature? How often should I change the water? Are they okay when left alone for a few days?

I was initially overwhelmed. But once I went back to PetsMart and picked out Hades, I knew I had made the right decision. Walking up to the Betta section and seeing half of them dead and the other half staring off into space, I picked the little guy whose fins wouldn't stop flapping once I walked by.

After letting him get settled in his tank and watching him swim around, exploring his new home, I felt so content. I felt like I had rescued something in a way. Hades went from the depressing life of a Betta in a pet store, contained in a plastic cup, completely isolated – to a totally decorated and personalized tank, in his forever home, with me.

I feel completely cheesy writing about a fish in this way. But people tend to gloss over the fact that fish are just as much a pet like a dog or a cat. They are living, breathing animals that need our help to survive and flourish. Knowing that I have something that relies on me to take care of them has made a complete turn-around for my mental health. Watching him swim around, or even greeting me at the front of his tank when I walk past, has lifted my spirits from the low places they have been in lately.

I used to think nothing of coming home after a long day. But now, I open my door and see the glow of his tank from the corner, and it brings me peace.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

911
We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Sports

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

1405
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

1388
Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Relationships

Hittin' the Road Playlist

With the end of August approaching more quickly than many of us would like, the preparation for school is happening in more ways than just one.

3981
http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2014/08/11/635433794713320635180099351_road%20trip%20playlist.jpg

The car is all packed. The money you saved (and didn't spend online) from your summer internship is secured quietly in your bank account. The immediate reunion with your long-distance college friends is set. The real question on everyone's minds is: do you have the perfect melody to jam to as you journey back to school? 

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

20 Quotes That Will Make You Smile Today

Everyone could use more self-care and without the judgement...

5670
20 Quotes That Will Make You Smile Today

Welcome to a new day and a new opportunity to be our best selves. Here's a list of 20 quotes about self-care, self-love, positivity, and finding inspiration. Carry these quotes with you throughout your day for positive upliftment!

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments