Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • Oliver was an extremely dashing,

  • handsome, charming and largely unstable male

  • that I completely lost my heart to.

  • (Laughter)

  • He was a Bernese mountain dog,

  • and my ex-husband and I adopted him,

  • and about six months in,

  • we realized that he was a mess.

  • He had such paralyzing separation anxiety

  • that we couldn't leave him alone.

  • Once, he jumped out of our third floor apartment.

  • He ate fabric. He ate things, recyclables.

  • He hunted flies that didn't exist.

  • He suffered from hallucinations.

  • He was diagnosed with a canine compulsive disorder

  • and that's really just the tip of the iceberg.

  • But like with humans,

  • sometimes it's six months in

  • before you realize that

  • the person that you love has some issues.

  • (Laughter)

  • And most of us do not take the person we're dating

  • back to the bar where we met them

  • or give them back to the friend that introduced us,

  • or sign them back up on Match.com.

  • (Laughter)

  • We love them anyway,

  • and we stick to it,

  • and that is what I did with my dog.

  • And I was a — I'd studied biology.

  • I have a Ph.D. in history of science

  • from MIT,

  • and had you asked me 10 years ago

  • if a dog I loved, or just dogs generally,

  • had emotions, I would have said yes,

  • but I'm not sure that I would have told you

  • that they can also wind up with an anxiety disorder,

  • a Prozac prescription and a therapist.

  • But then, I fell in love, and I realized that they can,

  • and actually trying to help my own dog

  • overcome his panic and his anxiety,

  • it just changed my life.

  • It cracked open my world.

  • And I spent the last seven years, actually,

  • looking into this topic of mental illness in other animals.

  • Can they be mentally ill like people,

  • and if so, what does it mean about us?

  • And what I discovered is that I do believe

  • they can suffer from mental illness,

  • and actually looking and trying to identify mental illness in them

  • often helps us be better friends to them

  • and also can help us better understand ourselves.

  • So let's talk about diagnosis for a minute.

  • Many of us think that we can't know

  • what another animal is thinking,

  • and that is true,

  • but any of you in relationships

  • at least this is my case

  • just because you ask someone that you're with

  • or your parent or your child how they feel

  • doesn't mean that they can tell you.

  • They may not have words to explain

  • what it is that they're feeling,

  • and they may not know.

  • It's actually a pretty recent phenomenon

  • that we feel that we have to talk to someone

  • to understand their emotional distress.

  • Before the early 20th century,

  • physicians often diagnosed emotional distress

  • in their patients just by observation.

  • It also turns out that thinking about

  • mental illness in other animals

  • isn't actually that much of a stretch.

  • Most mental disorders in the United States

  • are fear and anxiety disorders,

  • and when you think about it, fear and anxiety

  • are actually really extremely helpful animal emotions.

  • Usually we feel fear and anxiety in situations that are dangerous,

  • and once we feel them,

  • we then are motivated to move away

  • from whatever is dangerous.

  • The problem is when we begin to feel fear and anxiety in situations that don't call for it.

  • Mood disorders, too, may actually just be

  • the unfortunate downside of being a feeling animal,

  • and obsessive compulsive disorders also

  • are often manifestations of a really healthy animal thing

  • which is keeping yourself clean and groomed.

  • This tips into the territory of mental illness

  • when you do things like

  • compulsively over-wash your hands or paws,

  • or you develop a ritual that's so extreme

  • that you can't sit down to a bowl of food

  • unless you engage in that ritual.

  • So for humans, we have the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual,"

  • which is basically an atlas

  • of the currently agreed-upon mental disorders.

  • In other animals, we have YouTube.

  • (Laughter)

  • This is just one search I did for "OCD dog"

  • but I encourage all of you

  • to look at "OCD cat."

  • You will be shocked by what you see.

  • I'm going to show you just a couple examples.

  • This is an example of shadow-chasing.

  • I know, and it's funny and in some ways it's cute.

  • The issue, though, is that dogs can develop compulsions like this

  • that they then engage in all day.

  • So they won't go for a walk,

  • they won't hang out with their friends,

  • they won't eat.

  • They'll develop fixations

  • like chasing their tails compulsively.

  • Here's an example of a cat named Gizmo.

  • He looks like he's on a stakeout

  • but he does this for many, many, many hours a day.

  • He just sits there and he will paw and paw and paw

  • at the screen.

  • This is another example of what's considered

  • a stereotypic behavior.

  • This is a sun bear at the Oakland Zoo named Ting Ting.

  • And if you just sort of happened upon this scene,

  • you might think that Ting Ting

  • is just playing with a stick,

  • but Ting Ting does this all day,

  • and if you pay close attention

  • and if I showed you guys the full half-hour of this clip,

  • you'd see that he does the exact same thing

  • in the exact same order, and he spins the stick

  • in the exact same way every time.

  • Other super common behaviors that you may see,

  • particularly in captive animals,

  • are pacing stereotypies or swaying stereotypies,

  • and actually, humans do this too,

  • and in us, we'll sway,

  • we'll move from side to side.

  • Many of us do this, and sometimes

  • it's an effort to soothe ourselves,

  • and I think in other animals that is often the case too.

  • But it's not just stereotypic behaviors

  • that other animals engage in.

  • This is Gigi. She's a gorilla that lives

  • at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.

  • She actually has a Harvard psychiatrist,

  • and she's been treated for a mood disorder

  • among other things.

  • Many animals develop mood disorders.

  • Lots of creatures

  • this horse is just one example

  • develop self-destructive behaviors.

  • They'll gnaw on things

  • or do other things that may also soothe them,

  • even if they're self-destructive,

  • which could be considered similar

  • to the ways that some humans cut themselves.

  • Plucking.

  • Turns out, if you have fur or feathers or skin,

  • you can pluck yourself compulsively,

  • and some parrots actually have been studied

  • to better understand trichotillomania, or compulsive plucking in humans,

  • something that affects

  • 20 million Americans right now.

  • Lab rats pluck themselves too.

  • In them, it's called barbering.

  • Canine veterans of conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan

  • are coming back with what's considered canine PTSD,

  • and they're having a hard time reentering civilian life

  • when they come back from deployments.

  • They can be too scared to approach men with beards

  • or to hop into cars.

  • I want to be careful and be clear, though.

  • I do not think that canine PTSD

  • is the same as human PTSD.

  • But I also do not think that my PTSD

  • is like your PTSD,

  • or that my anxiety or that my sadness is like yours.

  • We are all different.

  • We also all have very different susceptibilities.

  • So two dogs, raised in the same household,

  • exposed to the very same things,

  • one may develop, say, a debilitating fear of motorcycles,

  • or a phobia of the beep of the microwave,

  • and another one is going to be just fine.

  • So one thing that people ask me pretty frequently:

  • Is this just an instance of humans

  • driving other animals crazy?

  • Or, is animal mental illness just a result of mistreatment or abuse?

  • And it turns out we're actually

  • so much more complicated than that.

  • So one great thing that has happened to me

  • is recently I published a book on this,

  • and every day now that I open my email

  • or when I go to a reading

  • or even when I go to a cocktail party,

  • people tell me their stories

  • of the animals that they have met.

  • And recently, I did a reading in California,

  • and a woman raised her hand after the talk and she said,

  • "Dr. Braitman, I think my cat has PTSD."

  • And I said, "Well, why? Tell me a little bit about it."

  • So, Ping is her cat. She was a rescue,

  • and she used to live with an elderly man,

  • and one day the man was vacuuming

  • and he suffered a heart attack, and he died.

  • A week later, Ping was discovered in the apartment

  • alongside the body of her owner,

  • and the vacuum had been running the entire time.

  • For many months, up to I think two years after that incident,

  • she was so scared she couldn't be in the house when anyone was cleaning.

  • She was quite literally a scaredy cat.

  • She would hide in the closet.

  • She was un-self-confident and shaky,

  • but with the loving support of her family,

  • a lot of a time, and their patience,

  • now, three years later,

  • she's actually a happy, confident cat.

  • Another story of trauma and recovery that I came across

  • was actually a few years ago.

  • I was in Thailand to do some research.

  • I met a monkey named Boonlua,

  • and when Boonlua was a baby,

  • he was attacked by a pack of dogs,

  • and they ripped off both of his legs and one arm,

  • and Boonlua dragged himself to a monastery,

  • where the monks took him in.

  • They called in a veterinarian, who treated his wounds.

  • Eventually, Boonlua wound up

  • at an elephant facility,

  • and the keepers really decided to take him under their wing,

  • and they figured out what he liked,

  • which, it turned out, was mint Mentos

  • and Rhinoceros beetles and eggs.

  • But they worried, because he was social, that he was lonely,

  • and they didn't want to put him in with another monkey,

  • because they thought with just one arm,

  • he wouldn't be able to defend himself or even play.

  • And so they gave him a rabbit,

  • and Boonlua was immediately a different monkey.

  • He was extremely happy to be with this rabbit.

  • They groomed each other, they become close friends,

  • and then the rabbit had bunnies,

  • and Boonlua was even happier than he was before,

  • and it had in a way given him

  • a reason to wake up in the morning,

  • and in fact it gave him such a reason to wake up

  • that he decided not to sleep.

  • He became extremely protective of these bunnies,

  • and he stopped sleeping,

  • and he would sort of nod off

  • while trying to take care of them.

  • In fact, he was so protective and so affectionate

  • with these babies that the sanctuary

  • eventually had to take them away from him

  • because he was so protective, he was worried

  • that their mother might hurt them.

  • So after they were taken away, the sanctuary staff

  • worried that he would fall into a depression,

  • and so to avoid that,

  • they gave him another rabbit friend.

  • (Laughter)

  • My official opinion is that he does not look depressed.

  • (Laughter)

  • So one thing that I would really like people to