You might not think it possible but hamsters can easily get depressed. Usually it’s something simple that triggers it, e.g. cleaning their cage and the hamster feeling like they’re not in their home anymore. When a hamster is depressed, they will likely sit in a corner, facing the corner and sleeping while sitting up. I kid you not. It is the most depressing thing ever.
There are preventative measures you can take, e.g. leave some of the old shavings in the cage, so the hamster can smell that she/he in fact is at home. But if you forget to do this crucial step, there is a chance for the next day or so that your hamster will sit upright sleeping in the corner not moving a muscle. And sleeping while sitting can’t be that comfortable… Especially because hamsters usually are snuggle bugs.
Humans are not that simple. You can clean my apartment (please, do!) and I will still feel depressed, the one is not contingent on the other. There have been days where I just wanted to lay in bed, my back turned to the world and not move. And I would do just that. Of course, everyone has days like that, but when I say, there have been such days I don’t mean every once in a while here and there after an exceptionally hard week.
No, these days come and they stay. I am fairly sure it is brought on by the dark and long Scandinavian winter nights, because I don’t feel like this in the summer or spring or fall. But once these days come, they consume me, similarly to me consuming froyo like there is no tomorrow. On these days, that easily turn into weeks, I feel deep sadness and the smallest thing can tip me over leaving me crying and powerless. The smallest thing seems too much to handle, for instance going shopping, going for a walk, getting dressed. I just can’t get myself to do it. There are temporary reliefs e.g. going for a run, reading a good book, eating chocolate, enjoying a night out… But getting to that temporary relief is one thing, as suggested, however, they do not last.
I tell you this because mental health is important and it can impact anyone. Just because I feel sad on some days, doesn’t mean I lost my sense of humor or that I should be handled with care. It just means that some days are extremely tough.
But I was aware of the issue and talked to my physician who suggested a light therapy, i.e. a bright light that shines in your face for about an hour every day. It looks like this:
And let me tell you. This one hour a day with super bright light shining in my face is a real lifesaver. Who knew that an hour of bright almost sun light could get me out of my sadness? Just like a hamster, that realizes you can make a new less smelly home with new shavings, so I too realized I can have an even better life-quality with just a lamp.
So listen to your body, take the symptoms seriously and take care of yourself. Especially during these cold and dark winter days!