I've often seen it written that Therianthropy or Otherkinity are not the only reason a person might feel nonhuman. I'd like to discuss those other possible causes and gather more information about them. Perhaps this info could be helpful to people who do feel nonhuman but who don't feel that Therianthropy or Otherkinity is the answer to why. I know there must be other causes that I'm not thinking of right now, so I'd really like help developing this list.
Here a few that I can start with.
In the early days of the Therian community when a person formed a bond or working relationship with a spirit guide it was considered Therianthropy. However, from my understanding, we've moved away from that idea because of the distinction that spirit guides are an independent entity and outside influence to feeling animal-like.
I've worked with spirit guides and teachers myself, and for me personally those experiences differ from Therianthropy. Please let me know your opinion on this.
Can creating a tulpa cause a person to feel nonhuman if that tulpa is nonhuman? I'm not very familiar with tulpas, so any input is welcome.
Animal-hearted or Other-hearted
People can obviously feel connected to animals without identifying as nonhuman. Some Animal-hearted people do claim to have shifts similar to Therians though.
It's fun to create characters and act out being someone or something else. This can be a positive interest or outlet. It's easy to feel connected to anthropomorphic characters like Balto. Mimicking these characters and their animal behavior can and does occur.
Here are a couple sources about Experience Taking.
Norman, Abby. “The Psychology of Fandom: Why We Get Attached to Fictional Characters.” The Mary Sue, 19 Aug. 2015, http://www.themarysue.com/the-psychology-of-fandom/.
Hsu, Christine. “Psychologists Discover How People Subconsciously Become Their Favorite Fictional Characters.” Medical Daily, 14 May 2012, http://www.medicaldaily.com/psychologists-discover-how-people-subconsciously-become-their-favorite-fictional-characters-240435.