Does being a furry mean I am depressed?
This article will explain if being a furry means you are depressed. It will discuss the relationship between the two, and even explain how being a furry can help a person cope with being depressed. Aside from that, the article will explain what it means to be a furry
Does being a furry mean I am depressed?
Initially, it was assumed that people that were part of the Furry community would have a higher rate of depression. And not only that, it was thought that they would have a higher rate of mental health issues in general when compared to the general population.
And even though that may be true for some conditions, such as bipolar disorder, that is not true when talking about depression. It is known that the rate of depression among furries is no higher than in the general population.
On the other hand, it seems that there is a high rate of suicide within the community, and it is something they constantly worry about.
It seems that the rate of suicide among furries can be so high because they are part of a community that is extremely stigmatized, and may have gone through extensive bullying throughout their lifetime. With time, this can harm their mental health, leading them to suicidal thoughts.
And even though they can have suicidal thoughts because they are furries, it seems that being a part of the community also offers then some protective factors against suicide.
That is because when they are involved with the community, it can give them higher self-esteem, as they have a better sense of their identity, and are accepted for who they are in the community.
This also leads to a higher sense of self-acceptance, and affiliation, which can often protect people against suicide. So being a furry won’t be a determinant factor if a person will be depressed or not. But they may have to face their struggles, and as they do, being a part of the furry community may help them cope.
Let’s discuss in what ways a part of the furry community will help a person cope with depression.
How can being a furry help a person cope with depression?
Being a furry can help a person cope with depression because of the sense of connectedness, identity, and support that can come from the furry community.
When a person is depressed, they may feel extremely alone. The condition acts in two manners in that context. First, it makes the person lose interest in all things, so social interaction can be the furthest thing in the mind of a person going through depression.
With that, they can begin to withdraw from other people little by little. Aside from that, depression can make the person feel worthless, so they have this deep-seated belief that they are not worth being friends with and that they are better left on their own.
Depression can also make the person feel like they have no energy at all, and because of that, going out, and gathering with people can seem impossible.
So when you are depressed, and you manage to be in an environment in which people are accepting, extremely caring, and supportive, although it won’t be the cure, it can be something that helps you through depression.
What does it mean to be a furry?
Furries are people that create a new identity for themselves as an animal, which they call fursona. That can be the identity of a single animal or the mix of traits of multiple animals.
The personality that is created is often an idealized version of who that person wants to be. And even though they are usually dressed as animals in their gatherings and conventions, it is important to differentiate furries from those people that believe they are non-humans, which are called therians.
According to the research made by Simpson, in 2018, the Furry community is mostly formed by people that already have forms of artistic pursuit, such as writing, or creating digital or physical art.
As for the demographics of the furry community, it is mostly formed of males, which are 67% with age between 18 and 25. The rate of females in the furry community is 23%, and 10% of the community identifies as Genderqueer, or non-binary.
As for sexual orientation, it seems heterosexual orientation is the least common among furries, being only 25%. As other forms of sexual orientation represent the rest of the community.
Being a Furry can often mean that people around you won’t understand, or even judge you. But, because they are such a friendly community, being a part of it can offer you a great deal of support and a sense of belonging.
Even though the community is mostly online, they are often making gatherings and conventions which help their members to have more fulfilling relationships. And for them, as said before, the social connection that is made with other furries is extremely important.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How being a Fury can help me cope with depression?
What is post-con depression?
Post-con depression, also called Post-com syndrome, is something that Furries will often experience after they have been to a Furry convention, or a format. Post-con depression can cause the person to experience symptoms of depression, such as loss of appetite, insomnia, and sometimes even headaches.
A person may feel like that for numerous reasons. Some physical matters can lead them to it, such as the physical exhaustion after a long period of social interactions, the lack of sleep that can come from it, or even the poor diet furries can experience during that period.
Aside from that, there are emotional reasons why people can experience Post-con depression. It can happen because once the convention is over, people will need to care for their real lives, and they can feel unhappy about it. They may also have trouble adjusting to the separation from their friends, which whom they spent a long period with.
Being a furry, and leaving a convention, also implies that the convention-goer will have to deal with the social status they have in reality. They can be extremely popular in the furry social life but can feel depressed as their social status is not the same elsewhere.
Other reasons can lead furries to experience post-con depression. It can happen because they stepped out of their bubble, and are now seeing that other things are happening in the world, or finally because they realized they have spent more than they could during the meet-up.
To cope with post-con depression, it is recommended that convention-goers will care for their bodies, and talk about their past experiences at conventions. Aside from that, keeping in mind that there will be other conventions ahead can be extremely helpful.
Why do people become furries?
There are a few reasons why people will become furries. They can do that because they are people that identify with the movement, which means that they have an interest in the process of creating a new identity, and they have an idea of one or more animals that can relate to what they think of themselves.
Here, once again it is important to realize that furries are not people that will base their identity on the furry they create. But they will be able to enjoy what this new persona they have created brings into their lives.
In some ways when a person becomes a furry, it is something that will bring them the opportunity to deal with how shy they are. When they wear their suits, they can feel like it is possible to deal with their shyness and their sense of being antisocial better than they would in real life.
What are the countries that have the most participants in the furry community?
The country that has the biggest furry community is the United States, which has 34,9% of the entire furry community in its territory. They are followed by Canada, with 16,5%, and China, with 11,1%.
The fourth-biggest country in furry community is the United Kingdom, with 9,1% of the community, followed by Germany, with 8,2%, and Finland with 4,5%. After those countries, come Australia, France, and The Netherlands, each with 1,3%, and finally Portugal, with 1,1% of the furry community in its territory.
Should I be worried if my child is a furry?
Research has shown that there is no need for you to worry for your child if they are furries, as there would be if they were part of any other Fandom. What happens in that environment is that the participants will have discussion groups and events that focus on what they are passionate about.
As seen before, there may even be some benefits to being a furry, since they are often a quite welcoming community, that is open to having people that will have their fursuit, but also people that are interested in this line of discussion, and that want to participate in their events and meetings.
With that said, it is important to highlight that the first contact your child will have with this community will most likely be online. And because of that, you should make sure that they are only participating in safe websites so they don’t put themselves in danger.
Do all furries have fursuits?
No, research within the furry community has shown that only about 25% of the furry community has, and wears a fursuit. Showing once again how the community is extremely open to everyone that has an interest in similar things as they do.
But they don’t necessarily need to have the complete attire to participate in the online community, and even at the conventions, or furmeet. Everyone is welcome and is free to have a great time in those environments.
This article explained if being a part of the furry community is a sign of depression, and discussed the relationship between the two. Aside from that, the article explained that in some ways being a furry helps people cope with depression. It also showed what it means to be a furry.
If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.
Simpson, M. (2018). Risk and protective factors for SADness in the furry community: An exploration of suicide, anxiety, and depression within the furry community (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12093