Beardie Anxiety

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Beardie Anxiety

Postby ComicBookMama » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:53 pm

I'll put it out in the open right from the start: I struggle with panic / anxiety disorder and depression.

Getting my Beardie, Figment, was a big step for me. I've wanted a Beardie for ages, but didn't think I had room for a 40BR tank. I also worried that I wouldn't be able to properly care for a Beardie, though much reading has helped with this. And I do think getting Figment was the right move; I think about him all day at work, and spending some quality time with him and watching him chow down on bugs is, at the moment, the highlight of my day. I look forward to when he's older and more resigned to being handled; at the moment he keeps trying to crawl up my arms to my shoulder, and I worry about him jumping off.

But the longer I have Figment, the more I want to know about Beardies in general and Figment in particular. That means I spend a LOT of time online, reading as much as I can... and that seems to have triggered my anxiety in a big way.

Did I make a huge mistake in buying from a pet store? Is he really going to be so much unhealthier than a breeder dragon? What if he's got worms? Adenovirus? Something else? What if he's a female and gets eggbound? What if he's not eating enough? What if he never really starts eating greens? Should I have gotten an adult instead of a juvenile? Young dragons are supposed to be fed 2-3x daily, and I can only feed Figment once a day because of work. Am I hurting him? What if I'm not handling him enough to tame him properly? What if I'm handling him too much? What if I'm not giving him enough variety in his veggies? What if I don't do the right things to keep him healthy during brumation? What if I really CAN'T handle a Beardie?

My mind is spinning with all these questions, and when I answer one, three more pop up. It doesn't help that I've just started teaching again after a summer off; this is a very stressful time of year. And my meds are being adjusted, since they don't seem to be working so well anymore.

I guess I'm posting this more to get it out of myself and away from my poor whirligig mind... I don't expect anyone out there can really answer all my questions, or take my anxiety away. That's why I'm sticking this here in Off Topic chat. If you, by some chance, do read this and know what PAD or depression feels like, I'd love to hear from you... how do you quiet those inner voices that make the fears and the blues swirl and roil about you? Does taking care of your Beardie help at all?

Hope I'm not totally alone in this...

-Chris
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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Re: Beardie Anxiety

Postby MrSpectrum » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:20 am

ComicBookMama wrote:Getting my Beardie, Figment, was a big step for me. I've wanted a Beardie for ages, but didn't think I had room for a 40BR tank. I also worried that I wouldn't be able to properly care for a Beardie, though much reading has helped with this. And I do think getting Figment was the right move;

Hi Chris,

Take a breath--let it out slowly. You're not alone; you can do this. IMO, if you think it was the right move, then it was. I might not say that about every case, but reading your posts & questions as long as I have, I have no doubts.

DISCLAIMER: The following are my own personal opinions; others may disagree or have differing POV.

at the moment he keeps trying to crawl up my arms to my shoulder, and I worry about him jumping off.

I think that's a higher probability while he's still young; as he grows older and gets used to things, the probability will decrease. Remember, BDs are semi-arborial; they like to climb (mostly trees) and survey their territory--it's millions of years of instinct. Being cold-blooded, they also enjoy your body heat. Why leave? :roll:
While he is young, you can reduce the chances of injury by keeping a hand/cover over him until you sit someplace where he won't injure himself if he does jump. I think he'd only do it if scared or exploring.
Chance of injuring himself while you're comfortably seated should also be low. What's he weigh, a few grams? When I kept anoles, they'd stay or jump off for the same reasons, and never get injured--they didn't weigh enough! :lol:

I spend a LOT of time online, reading as much as I can... and that seems to have triggered my anxiety in a big way.

There's no way to be sure, but I wonder if that might be partly due to the sources of what you're reading(?) I find that filtering--sticking to credible/respected sources, and avoiding... less credible/respected sources--helps stay focused on the constructive/positive.

Did I make a huge mistake in buying from a pet store? Is he really going to be so much unhealthier than a breeder dragon?

Water under the bridge. We can't go back in time, nor can we predict the future. Try to focus on what is rather than what might be or have been. You've got a nice beardie that you like! :)

What if he's got worms? Adenovirus? Something else? What if he's a female and gets eggbound?

These are all things beyond our control. BDs, like some other species (including humans) can live their entire lives with "bugs" and never show a symptom, nor suffer any detriment. It's only when these things go out of balance that problems arise, and that's when we rely on help from others (vets, other keepers...)
I think energy/effort is better spent on those things that we can control, and deal with the rest only if/when they happen.

What if he's not eating enough? What if he never really starts eating greens?

Those are the kinds of things that folks here probably have some experience with, and are more than willing to help.

Should I have gotten an adult instead of a juvenile?

At this point, it doesn't matter. You have Figment. Unless you're willing to surrender him to a rescue, and then adopt an adult, let's focus on what is.

Young dragons are supposed to be fed 2-3x daily, and I can only feed Figment once a day because of work. Am I hurting him?

Rather than worry about hurting him, let's see if we can't improve/solve the situation. Perhaps we (or someone) can figure a way to auto-feed him when you can't. I once posted a thread asking if anyone had experience with using a feeder run cup with BDs. No-one had (IIRC) but something like that might work. Other folks have undoubtedly faced the same challenge; I think it's worth a thread discussion of its own.

What if I'm not handling him enough to tame him properly? What if I'm handling him too much? What if I'm not giving him enough variety in his veggies? What if I don't do the right things to keep him healthy during brumation?

All good questions for this forum. Tell folks what you're doing, and you'll get multiple answers on how to improve the situation.

What if I really CAN'T handle a Beardie?

Asked & answered. Chris, you can do this if you want to.
We've ALL made--and will continue to make--mistakes. That's human. It's how we deal with and learn from those mistakes that counts. :)

Venting is therapeutic. I've done it a few times (with pseudo tags), and folks here are picking up on some of my pet peeves and hot buttons.

I find keeping a healthy sense of humor/laughing every day is also therapeutic. (I watch a lot of OLD WB cartoons. :wink: )

YMMV
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Re: Beardie Anxiety

Postby JumpinJellyfish » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:15 am

Getting your meds sorted/balanced should help, but in the meantime, all you can do is what we all do - just do the best you can. If you want to check in on him when you're not home, consider getting a Wyzecam. They're under $30 and have free services and great features. I have one on each end of Norbert's enclosure. :0)
Never knew I could get so happy about poop, or so comfortable with bugs. :-D
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Re: Beardie Anxiety

Postby ComicBookMama » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:42 pm

MrSpectrum wrote:I think that's a higher probability while he's still young; as he grows older and gets used to things, the probability will decrease. Remember, BDs are semi-arborial; they like to climb (mostly trees) and survey their territory--it's millions of years of instinct. Being cold-blooded, they also enjoy your body heat. Why leave? :roll:
While he is young, you can reduce the chances of injury by keeping a hand/cover over him until you sit someplace where he won't injure himself if he does jump. I think he'd only do it if scared or exploring.
Chance of injuring himself while you're comfortably seated should also be low. What's he weigh, a few grams? When I kept anoles, they'd stay or jump off for the same reasons, and never get injured--they didn't weigh enough! :lol:


I'm definitely doing that - keeping a hand over him until I sit down in a safe spot. I'll try to be less anxious about him jumping off - I guess I'm thinking of my experiences with rats, which would jump as though they thought they had wings! :shock:

Figment did do the funniest thing the other day... he jumped onto my hand, which was a first, ran up my arm to my shoulder, then paused and waved at me when I looked over at him. I could almost see him thinking, "ULP! Hooman much bigger from here! See, dragon ain't no threat!" :lol:

MrSpectrum wrote:There's no way to be sure, but I wonder if that might be partly due to the sources of what you're reading(?) I find that filtering--sticking to credible/respected sources, and avoiding... less credible/respected sources--helps stay focused on the constructive/positive


I'm trying to stay mainly on this forum; I did glance at a few FB groups, but wasn't impressed. I think I'm just reading too many of the "help me" posts and extrapolating; after I had my son, my mother took away all my parenting books because I was reading too much and getting panicky. This may be very much the same sort of thing going on. :oops:

MrSpectrum wrote:These are all things beyond our control. BDs, like some other species (including humans) can live their entire lives with "bugs" and never show a symptom, nor suffer any detriment. It's only when these things go out of balance that problems arise, and that's when we rely on help from others (vets, other keepers...)
I think energy/effort is better spent on those things that we can control, and deal with the rest only if/when they happen.


Very good advice, that. Thank you.

MrSpectrum wrote:Rather than worry about hurting him, let's see if we can't improve/solve the situation. Perhaps we (or someone) can figure a way to auto-feed him when you can't. I once posted a thread asking if anyone had experience with using a feeder run cup with BDs. No-one had (IIRC) but something like that might work. Other folks have undoubtedly faced the same challenge; I think it's worth a thread discussion of its own.


I will make a post on that, then. I admit I was afraid to at first; I thought it was pretty much asking to be flamed ("What did you get a young beardie for, if you can't feed it the right number of times per day????") but from what I've seen, there don't seem to be many flamers on these forum boards. I'll suck it up and give it a go.

MrSpectrum wrote:Chris, you can do this if you want to.
We've ALL made--and will continue to make--mistakes. That's human. It's how we deal with and learn from those mistakes that counts. :)

Venting is therapeutic. I've done it a few times (with pseudo tags), and folks here are picking up on some of my pet peeves and hot buttons.

I find keeping a healthy sense of humor/laughing every day is also therapeutic. (I watch a lot of OLD WB cartoons. :wink: )

YMMV


Thank you again. I have a strong tendency to not want to make ANY mistakes, and to get unreasonably upset when I prove myself to be fallible and human. As long as I don't hurt my Figment, though, I'll do my best to learn from what mistakes I do make. And I'll try to keep a sense of humor about things... I'm a bit deficient in the humor department, but I'll try! :)

~Chris
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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Re: Beardie Anxiety

Postby ComicBookMama » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:47 pm

JumpinJellyfish wrote:Getting your meds sorted/balanced should help, but in the meantime, all you can do is what we all do - just do the best you can. If you want to check in on him when you're not home, consider getting a Wyzecam. They're under $30 and have free services and great features. I have one on each end of Norbert's enclosure. :0)


Thanks for the advice - I may just do that, getting a Wyzecam! I could stand to have a direct line to my dragon during the day. :)

And yes, the sooner I get these stupid meds balanced, the happier I will be on SO many levels. Thanks again for the reassurance.

~Chris
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
User avatar
ComicBookMama
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Posts: 129
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