Kind Reddit users have rallied around a man who wanted to hide the effects of his depression from his dog.
Reddit user 'justmadethistotellu' wrote a post detailing his battle with depression and his efforts to conceal his condition from his beloved pet. According to the poster, his dog is highly-attuned to his mood swings and tries to cheer him up by licking his face when he starts to cry.
He said he knew his post sounded stupid but was looking to see if the community would be able to help him out. He wrote: "I am very depressed. I cry most days, I go to work and come home and don't really do much but stare at my wall, don't have any friends etc.
"I play with my dog a lot, take her on long walks, and take care of her because she doesn't need to suffer just because I am. But I can tell it makes her sad when I'm sad. She whimpers and tries to climb all over me and lick my face until I stop crying. I've tried to just smile a lot and use sweet voices to her but I can literally tell she is not buying it. She just ignores the toys I throw for her and treats and tries to comfort me instead"
Since the publication of his post yesterday (January 30), hundreds of sypathetic commenters have helped out with their own tips and advice.
One user replied: "Your dog just wants to love you and support you, you should let her. However, if you aren't already, you should also go to a doctor to treat your depression."
Some pointed out that the only way to help his dog was to get better himself.
Another commenter said that it was paramount that he find a way of taking his mind off his problems and move on with his life.
While other dog owners shared their experiences suffering from depression
Some sympathetic commenters on the thread even offered to lend an ear when he was in need of personal help.
Their offers of help "meant the world", according to the man who wrote the post.