Anyone who has a pet knows that the effect that they have on us as humans is much more than we could ever express to do their value justice. Animals are pure and innocent creatures, but they are also extremely intuitive and affectionate as well. They have a sense of loyalty to the people that adopt them that is truly unmatched. So it really is no surprise that they do have a huge role to play when it comes to helping people who suffer from depression. We’re going to go deeper into this matter and explain why pets are credible anti-depressants.
Emotional Support Animals
The results of extensive research into the effects of animals on depression has been so impressive that now it is actually used as a credible form of treatment. People who suffer from depression, anxiety, and a number of other mental disorders are often encouraged to get an Emotional Support Animal, so much so that there are centers that provide this service in particular. If you do a bit of research, you’ll find credible centers that can actually provide you with trained animals that can emotionally support you, hence the name “support animal.” They are more often than not dogs, because dogs have high levels of emotional intelligence and are known to take action to actively work on keeping their owners busy and preoccupied, also in providing care and attention in a way that helps guide them towards recovery from their mental disorder.
Raise Levels of Dopamine and Serotonin
No matter how awful you feel, you can’t help but smile when you see your furry friend. They force you to become active, whether it’s to keep them happy by playing with them, or by taking them for a walk. This has been proven to elevate the dopamine as well as serotonin levels in our bodies, which helps to overcome depression.
They Encourage Interaction
For those suffering from depression, at any level, they often find it more and more difficult to interact with people, and soon isolate themselves, which results in less interaction and therefore affection. Having a pet forces a person to interact- they must feed them, keep them preoccupied, pet them, and take them for a walk or groom them. Even though these might seem like isolated events these simple activities force a person going through depression to interact and feel emotions that they otherwise have forsaken altogether. A pet allows them to remember the value of touch and affection, and communication.
They Teach Us Responsibility
When a person suffering from depression has a pet, no matter how depressed they are, they know that they could never neglect their pet when it comes to the necessities of life. In turn, they are also forced to take care of themselves. This is a great way to bring a person out of depression because a sense of responsibility gives them a sense of purpose as well. It’s hard for people who suffer from depression to find cause and purpose, and they can dwell in dark thoughts for a very long time. However, by having a pet, this turmoil is broken down as they feel that another creature feels their presence and values it. The fact that their pet needs them and depends on them to feel good and to simply stay alive makes a great difference for a depressed mindset.
They Don’t Judge You and Take You As You Are
Your pet will never look down on you or think less of you because you were not behaving in a cheerful manner or couldn’t do something on any given day. They sense when you’re happy and when you’re upset, and they always react accordingly. They sit by your side, offer a paw of consolation, and lay their heads upon you to remind you that they care. Sometimes, all a person needs is just companionship without judgement or words or expectations, and animals certainly offer this unconditionally.
Having a pet means a lot more than just thinking an animal is cute and you want to take them home. They soon become a part of your life and your family, and experience the ups and downs of your emotions, as they are very much in tune with you. This is why pets are clearly extremely effective when it comes to treating depression, and you’ll find that all the factors mentioned here are more than just credible and are truly effective when it comes to dealing with a person that suffers from depression and anxiety. Sometimes when humans don’t know what to do, the best solution is to have a pet do the job, as they know how to do it best.