Throughout the years, human beings have had to relate to other living beings to be able to live in harmony, but beyond the balance between the needs of each one, emotional bonds have originated that allow a relationship more closely. Therefore, having feelings towards animals is natural, since many of them, mainly mammals, have become pets that are considered a member of the family.
Many people feel attached to animals, especially their pets, because they represent the great company, they provide moments of joy and love without judging or demanding something in return, and you can always count on their occurrences and their faithful presence. But the truth is that all these attributions that individuals give to animals are human qualities that they want the rest of the people around them to have, and since they are not, they see them reflected in them.
From a psychological perspective, the love that people feel towards animals says a lot about their personality, since they are generally sensitive, cheerful, compassionate, noble, friendly, and very sentimental. However, most individuals who feel strong emotions towards these beings, unconsciously try to consolidate an authority that they do not have in their environment, which is why it has been shown that by having pets, the self-esteem of these people increases, while the feeling decreases. of loneliness.
Individuals who love animals enjoy benefits that allow them to lead a happy life, maintain a sense of humor and a good mood, as they are people who laugh often at the actions of their pets, they learn to be more tolerant, They constantly experience positive emotions and spend at least a few minutes a day to go for a walk with their faithful companion, which increases their physical and psychological well-being, resulting in a decrease in stress and anxiety.
More and more species are joining the list of animals with which assisted therapies can be performed, as various studies point out the important benefits they have; And although this type of assistance serves as a treatment for individuals with various medical conditions, research in the area allows us to know the results that people who love animals can obtain thanks to their constant interaction with them.
The love for animals makes individuals aware, that they are more attentive to details, that they are happy about little things, and that they learn to care about the problems and needs of the people around them, always with the encouragement to help. Despite this, it is possible that some subjects go beyond the limits of normality and end up distorting the meaning of true love towards animals, either by adopting certain maladaptive behaviors or manifesting obsessive disorders.
How to recognize a person who loves pets?
You might have been informed that you have a specific love for creatures, or you might need to know the number of is in the gathering of the people who love pets. Well without further ado, these are the most common behaviors of someone who prefers animal company, even before humans:
- Too many photos: The photos on social networks of a pet owner are 80% of their dog or cat and 20% of moments with friends or family. In the same way, an excessive number of images on his cell phone and a betraying wallpaper are conclusive proof of this.
- Dinners with your pet: A true pet owner has dinners with his dog or cat. Sharing the moment to eat with your pet and preparing a chair for her is already something natural for those who truly love animals.
- Excess hair and scratches: As a kind of transformation, a pet owner is characterized by multiple scratch marks, hairy clothing, and destroyed laces. His black clothing is never really black and seems to have some resistance to injuries made by sharp nails.
- Use a different type of voice when an animal is nearby: A pet owner, regardless of the animal that approaches, will speak to it as if it were a child. This is undoubtedly unbalancing behavior for many, but for others who understand the cuteness that owning a pet represents, it can be quite spontaneous.
- Cancel outings more than usual: A notorious pet owner will look for more excuses than usual not to leave their pet alone and spend more time with her. Just like our favorite people, pets have this knack of catching us, especially when it comes to someone who has a soft spot for them.
Without a doubt, more people who love pets are what is missing to have a better world for our animals. However, remember that all excesses are bad, so do not forget the nature of your pet and never try to humanize it; This would be making love to the extreme of obsession, which is not good for you or your pet.
Why do some people develop excessive love for animals?
When love towards animals becomes an obsession, a series of extremist attitudes are triggered that are diagnosed as excessive disorders, since individuals manifest unusual, grotesque, and abnormal behaviors, which are associated with mental problems. The reasons why a subject develops excessive love towards animals can be varied, however, the most frequent are:
Human beings need to relate to others, socialize and share anecdotes, moments, and experiences, that is why when they feel that they do not have a person to accompany them, listen to them and love them, they end up clinging to the animals because they give them the feeling of the company that they long for and cannot find in their environment.
Some people fear loneliness, so there are cases in which excessive love for animals does not arise as a consequence of it, but as a preventive measure against the threat of being alone at some point. Although loneliness is not the only cause by which excessive feelings towards these beings are triggered, it is the most common, especially because the rest of the reasons are related to the feeling of isolation.
It is important to emphasize that at any age excessive love for animals can begin to develop, so if a child feels that his parents do not have time for him or do not pay the proper attention, he may begin to appreciate more the company of your pet, which can also happen to an elderly person who thinks he is a nuisance to his relatives.
In addition to being good companions, people also tend to perceive that animals are faithful and friendly beings, so that after having gone through a personal disappointment, such as a love breakup, the dismissal of a friend, the death of a family member, or the loss From employment, individuals tend to become closer to animals and show greater affection for them.
When people go through personal disappointments, it is common that they do not feel like sharing their misery with other subjects or that they believe that no one understands them because they are not in the same situation; But despite this, they feel that they can count on their pet since it has always been there when they need to be heard, it is loyal and with its playfulness, it tries to cheer them up at all times.
In this sense, creatures can change individuals’ mindsets, which can be of incredible assistance when people attempt to escape melancholy or need an accomplice to try not to feel ruined. But the problem arises at the moment when subjects believe that their pets are indispensable and develop an excessive love for them.
Individuals with low self-esteem tend to always place themselves below others, question everything they do, and underestimate their achievements, they generally have such a bad perception of themselves that they live by commenting on their defects to others, which is why it is common for people to their environment begin to attribute flaws that they themselves claim to have and use the inferiority complex against them.
Among the benefits of loving animals and constantly interacting with them, is the increase in self-esteem, because they show affection without judging people, they are good company and they become dominated by humans, and in If they are pets, they become their owners, which makes people with an inferiority complex feel more self-confident since they are capable of training them.
The fact that subjects with low self-esteem feel more competent when being with animals, can cause them to develop an excessive love and therefore an obsession to be continuous with them since they consider that it is the only way in which they can overcome their condition and feel superior.
Eccentric people are those who always attract attention for their unusual behavior and their way of standing out from the environment, generally due to their style, that is, their clothing, haircut, accessories, among other things; these types of individuals usually consider their pets as part of themselves, so they also display them in the same way.
More and more animals are receiving aesthetic treatments and designer clothes since eccentric people have the need to show off equally eccentric pets; but this can become an obsession, as individuals develop an excessive love for animals so great that it becomes unhealthy.
Animals are living beings that have characteristics that allow them to survive in their natural habitat, so subjecting them to so many treatments, painting their fur, or cutting it too often, can cause permanent damage. People who are obsessed with including their style in their pets do not measure the consequences of their actions, so it is very important to raise awareness about it and determine when this extravagance becomes a pathology.
Can excessively love animals generate pathologies?
When individuals develop an excessive love for animals, they do not realize that they are undergoing a change in behavior, which is part of the evolution of certain pathologies that are characterized by the manifestation of maladaptive attitudes, and in some cases abnormal, that is they reveal when some type of mental disorder is experienced.
Generally, these symptoms are usually noticed by people who are in the family nucleus of the affected person, because on a few occasions they themselves recognize their situation. Among the most common pathologies that are associated with excessive love for animals are:
Manias are variations in the state of mind that cause alterations in the behavior of individuals. There are many types of manias, including those that are related to excessive love for animals, such as zoomania (obsession with animals), ailuromania (exaggerated feeling towards cats), or cynomania (love for dogs).
This disorder causes people who suffer from it to adopt strange attitudes, caused by the obsession they feel; However, there are no concrete actions that individuals carry out when they suffer from manias that are the product of excessive love for animals since the practices they carry out will depend on the level of satisfaction they provoke. Although it is known that the most common acts are the accumulation of animals or Noah’s syndrome and zoophilia or bestiality.
The term mania is often confused with madness since it is a mental illness characterized by the fact that the individual is fascinated by an animal, activity, or object, which causes him to adopt unusual and exaggerated behaviors when he thinks or is in the presence of that that induces manic episodes.
Among the symptoms of mania can be found: euphoria, agitation, difficulty concentrating, inability to fall asleep, irritability, logorrhea (speak quickly and without syntax), reactive attitude, loss of modesty, among other characteristics.
Noah syndrome or accumulation of animals
Most of the people who suffer from excessive love towards animals tend to develop a compulsive hoarding disorder, which is also called Noah’s syndrome. This pathology is characterized by the fact that the affected individual takes more and more animals home, generally of the same species, until reaching an extreme point where unhealthy conditions become notorious and harmful to health.
The uncontrolled herding of animals is a consequence of an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that is caused by feelings of loneliness and sadness, since individuals suffering from this condition observe these lonely and defenseless beings and feel that they can provide them with a place in the to inhabit, in addition to love and understanding, which are factors that constitute avoid that they too are seeking to fill.
Those who suffer from Noah’s syndrome go through an evident change in behavior, as they lose interest in showing a good presence, expanding their circle of friends, going out to recreation, and having fun, in addition to their lack of concern for cleanliness, order, appearance, among other things. Although people who suffer from this disorder also cope with depression, they generally do not seek help and take refuge in the security they feel among animals, which are actually what keep them tied to negative feelings and cause them to develop emotional dependence.
Zoophilia or bestiality
When people develop excessive love for animals, they create very strong emotional bonds with these beings, as much as those that an individual can feel during infatuation or when they have a great sexual desire for another subject. In this sense, zoophilia or bestiality is known as the physical attraction that people feel for animals, as a result of the pleasure they get from having sex with them.
Bestiality is considered a behavior disorder, caused by mental alterations that cause the individual to project strictly human thoughts, sensations, and emotions towards animals. Although it appears to be a fetish, zoophilia is generally performed by a single individual, that is, it is not a practice in which a couple involves an animal as a third party during sexual intercourse, although there could be exceptions.
This activity constitutes mistreatment because although the person with excessive love towards animals feels good and really has strong emotions towards them, this practice is traumatic for pets.
Most of the time after being victims of zoophilia, animals develop nervous affections and hide from the attacker, because they are afraid of being approached and hurt; a situation that is not considered by the person suffering from the disorder, as they are not aware of the seriousness and consequences of their actions.
How to control excessive love towards animals?
The pathologies that develop due to excessive love for animals cause affected individuals to suffer serious consequences at a psychological level, since their mood is regularly altered, they acquire repetitive behaviors that are not healthy and they can even suffer from anxiety attacks if at any time they want to be with their pets and cannot.
The first step in controlling excessive love for animals is to be aware of the problem. On many occasions, those affected do not recognize their situation and refuse to accept the advice of their relatives, but sooner or later their rhythm of life is affected by their obsession, and it is at that moment that they realize that their behavior has truly changed…
Going to a psychologist is extremely necessary to determine how serious the problem is, diagnose a specific pathology and evaluate the consequences that this has brought to the life of the affected person. In general, psychotherapy is the only treatment that is used in cases of excessive love towards animals, although sometimes, depending on the severity of the patient, the specialist may decide to prescribe anxiolytics or antidepressants to help the speedy recovery of the patient. individual.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most used in cases of excessive love for animals, as it is the one that addresses both mental and behavioral disorders. This type of therapy specializes in determining the reasons that led the patient to develop the pathology, with the aim of changing their feelings and thoughts about it; while it is also dedicated to reversing the consequences of the disease, through the behavioral aspect, which in these cases is characterized by the acquisition of irregular and maladaptive behaviors.
In each patient, the treatment for excessive love towards animals varies depending on the symptoms manifested and the evolution that the psychologist notices, therefore there is no exact number of sessions that the affected person must attend or a single method to implement the cognitive-behavioral therapy, as there are several techniques that will be used by the specialist according to the individual needs of each subject. However, the faster people become aware of their disease and want to reverse it, the easier it will be to manage their condition.
Overcoming the pathologies that are caused by an excessive love for animals is possible, the person may relapse and feel that he will not be able to handle it, but with the help of a psychologist who constantly evaluates his situation, he will surely be able to improve his behavior and leave forward, thus managing to control his disease and therefore his emotional dependence.
Importance of controlling excessive love for animals
Most individuals who develop excessive love for animals do so as a result of negative feelings, such as the case of loneliness or disappointment since being in permanent contact with animals allow them to occupy the same life in their lives.
Empty space that another person left; Although actually in spite of this, trouble is as yet present and is the thing that triggers episodes of despondency or tension. Individuals who overcome excessive love for animals are able to reconnect again with other subjects, open up to sentimental experiences and leave behind the situations that did not allow them to arise.
Some people believe that to overcome excessive love for animals they need to completely let go of their pets, not do charity work for these beings or stop caring about them, however in all actuality this isn’t true. It is simply necessary that the affected person be aware of their situation, recognize their pathology, and want to follow the necessary treatment to control that obsessive behavior that keeps them anxious, worried, and on permanent alert.
Controlling excessive love for animals is very important to be able to regain an emotional balance that is sustained by a constant state of mind, as this is what allows people to function in their environment fluently, without unpleasant or unpleasant behaviors.
psychic alterations that affect their social relationships. When individuals control this love, they feel healthy, they detach from the ties they had towards animals, and are able to expand their horizons and enjoy life, without the need to emotionally depend on a pet, which allows them to return to being. free and live fully.