Reptiles and Mental Health

I know there are quite a few of us on here that acknowledge the ways keeping and breeding reptiles have helped us in different ways. Through not having enough money to pay the bills sometimes to panic attacks that affect our daily lives. Here’s a place where you can talk about that, and the way reptiles have helped you through those rough patches in life.

For me, reptiles got me out of a really bad depression slump. Before this, I kinda just sat in bed self isolating and sleeping. Reptiles also helped distract me from bad PTSD flashbacks and nightmares. It gives me something to do, and if I feel myself slipping back I get up and go research, read, talk about, or look at reptiles. It’s given me something to aim for career wise, it’s led me to a whole new group of amazing people and a new community to interact with. It’s generally helped me out in more ways than I can put on here.

And I’m grateful for that. And I’m grateful for this community that I can share it with. I don’t know all of you (yet), but I hope this thread is just one more way to get to know new people in this community.


I have suffered from panic attacks my entire adult life. Unless someone deals with these same issues you will have a hard time finding people who understand what you going through. I completely get it! With that being said keeping and breeding snakes has been the one thing in my life I have never lost interest in. It for sure helps me gives me something to preoccupy my mind with since it is going what feels like a million miles an hour. I think the key is finding something that you love and makes you happy! This will keep you thinking about positive things! Snakes is mine! Hang in there remember you control your brain not the other way around!!!


I have chronic anxiety and OCD (not OCPD), which often results in panic attacks. Working with reptiles as a hobby has helped me during my more vulnerable moments, and has so far helped me and my partner cope with the pandemic. Taking care of our animals is an immense stress relief and distraction for both of us, and we get the joy of seeing them come out of their shells and interact with us a lot more. Reptiles have also helped me to get into communities like this one, where people genuinely care that individuals and their animals are doing well.

When I can’t get up and work on an enclosure or an animal’s temperament, I generally look around at pictures of my animals, other people’s animals, or animals I would like to work with in the future. I also tend to sketch out plans for the reptile room and research the tools, racks, enclosures, and other necessities I would like to get for current and future animals. All of this generally helps me when I’m feeling anxious or having trouble organizing my thoughts into something useable, be it for work or home life.

I’m so glad reptiles have helped you through rough spots in your life, I hope they continue to do the same in the future! :heart:


My animals have helped me get thru some tough times. They help keep your mind of problems. The only bad thing is every know and then big financial issues pop up and the what if’s pop up…What if I have to sell one or all of them if money get real tight? I’d probably get super depressed.

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After the death of my father last year, one of the only things keeping me going through my depression and grief was my ball pythons. I kept running through the pairing I had planned. Then I started volunteering at another keeper’s facility with hundreds of ball pythons. I was given the opportunity to help plan some pairings and manage the breeding rotation. Doing this job and managing my own small collection really took my mind off things and gave me something to look forward to, a future that might be worth living for.