Otherkin & Emotional/Mental Health: Dealin’ with It


This is taken from my post on a forum just a moment ago. If you find it there, that’s why.

Being kin can be difficult to handle for some folks, but if it seems like it’s causing severe emotional or mental discomfort, it needs to be addressed. Mental health can be a real pain to work with and maintain when you’re also kin, and they can make everything a hot mess. I can really empathize with not being able to seek help in the situation you’re in. But there are things you can do in the meantime to develop better coping skills.

It sounds tacky but meditation is a really great thing. I’m a psych major and my professor actually had us do a mindfulness meditation session in one of our early classes. It did a LOT for everyone in our group. Being able to focus on the now rather than the past or the future is incredibly important to our global/general functioning as the humans we all are now. Focusing on the natural energy of the world around you in the moment you’re in now can really keep your brain from wandering into the future or past where all or most of your stress lies. If you can’t do this alone, there are lots of guided meditations out there that you can use instead that will give you similar exercises. A youtube search of “grounding meditation” can help you here. There are other meditations geared specifically for otherkin, as well, and you may find these beneficial too.

Determine if it’s an otherkin problem, a mental wellness problem, or both. Sometimes what we think are “kin feels” are actually the result of some intense brain business. Things are going on upstairs. Chemicals are all over the place doing some interesting but sometimes worrisome stuff. Take some time to reflect on why you feel the way you do. Have you been dealing with things at school or at home that might cause this? Sometimes it’s not actually the result of being kin, but rather being in a tight spot. By identifying the source of the issue, you are better equipped to deal with it properly and as healthily as possible.

Stay busy and occupied. I find that engaging in multiple hobbies or tasks is beneficial when I’m stressed or anxious. Keeping yourself reasonably distracted lessens anxiety by keeping you from even thinking about the thing you’re worried about. Doing homework, drawing, playing music, taking up a new hobby or interest and studying it to exhaustion, reading, cleaning, etc. However, this does not work for too long; eventually you’ll run out of things for a little while, or just just be exhausted and miserable all the time from overdoing it, and you’ll never solve the problem because you kept hiding from it. Remember, all things in moderation; don’t wear yourself out trying to be comfortable, or you’ll defeat the purpose entirely.

If you have a pet, spending time with them can be really helpful – especially if it shares a species with you as an otherkin. Everyone has heard it by now; according to studies, petting a cat or dog alleviates stress and depression. This is actually pretty true for the most part. Animals make us feel calm, and I still don’t quite know why. I’m not sure anyone 100% knows. But having a pet to play with and even talk to does wonders for us, and for them, too! You can tell your pet the things you can’t tell others. It might not understand you, but it’ll at least listen and not be judgmental. You can also find comfort in the sound of a cat purring or the snore of a puppy. Maybe playing with and cuddling your pet rats or watching your fish swim around are more your thing. Maybe you have a bird to chat with. If you have a pet or even a few pets, spend time with them. You at least won’t regret it.

Spend time in places that make you most comfortable, but don’t hide in them forever. You can’t live in the library right now. You gotta go out and go to class or meet up with friends eventually. Keep your comfort space valuable by not overusing it. Push your boundaries. Get out of your comfort zone little by little. Build up your natural emotional defenses rather than building synthetic ones. This way, if things get especially rough, you will appreciate your sanctuary even more when it cushions a larger blow. Comfort should benefit you in the long term, not hold you back.

Stop focusing on your otherkin business for a while. This actually does wonders if you’re having otherkin-related problems. Realizing you’re otherkin is a big deal for most people but don’t let it consume everything. It should not be something you’re thinking about every second. You don’t constantly think about how many toes you have. You don’t think about your age all day. You don’t think about your gender all day. When you think about something constantly, it becomes an obsession and obsessions can really damage your life. Try to think about something else for a while, because your identity is not going anywhere.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be medical or psychological advice. These are essentially life hacks and do not substitute for professional diagnosis or any form of structured therapy. I am not a doctor or therapist (yet). The only person who can diagnose you with any significant degree of certainty and validity is a person on the outside with a medical/psychiatric license. Because of this, I advise you to take my advice with a sizable grain of salt.

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