In my twenties the stigma was severe, and by the end of that decade I had no friends. I became isolated.
At this time we began to adopt stray animals. They became my companions.
Animals will always know if you have a mental illness. But they do not care.
An animal wants a safe, clean, warm home, and food to eat. They also hope for affection.
If they get those things, then they are happy.
They will come to understand that sometimes their owner will cry or show signs of a mental illness. They either ignore this, or will try to help.
This is so different from human beings.
I am so grateful for the animals in my life, and the comfort and companionship they have given me.