Did you know that you can get a therapy animal, preferably a dog, to help you deal with the symptoms of depression? People who suffer from mental health problems are at a higher risk of suffering from chronic illnesses. On average, Americans who suffer from a mental health illness die twenty-five years earlier than those who do not.
Here are several ways that a therapy dog can help you:
They Recognize Panic Attack Signs
A therapy dog will help people who suffer from panic attacks that are caused by PTSD. They are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of a panic attack and they offer you comfort during such times. Moreover, your dog can respond to your panic attacks by blocking strangers from getting near you when you are having an episode.
This type of help from a therapy animal can help you regain your composure faster and lessens the severity of the attacks.
Establishing a Sense of Purpose
Most of the time, people who suffer from depression feel as if their lives have no purpose. This feeling is more likely to lead them into an emotional tailspin. When you get a therapy pet, you can focus on taking care of it and this will give you a new purpose.
Being in charge of the emotional and physical wellbeing of an animal is very powerful. You will know that the pet depends on you for food and exercise, which will give you some motivation to get up in the morning.
Power of Unconditional Love
Some people just need 100 percent love and acceptance to overcome depression. If you suffer from this mental condition, then you must be familiar with the feeling of loneliness and emptiness that comes over you sometimes. When you get a therapy pet, it will help you to get out of your head and enjoy spending time with it, which lessen the symptoms of depression.
A dog is a loyal friend that will give you unconditional love no matter how useless you feel. Some people say that therapy dogs have saved them during their darkest moments.
A Regular Schedule
Having a therapy pet can help you to develop a routine, which will be good for you. On each day, you will have to feed your dog, take it for a walk, and care for it. If you are struggling with depression, having a routine will help you to get your mind off the negative things that are floating around in your mind.
Regular walks – you can introduce physical activities into your life by taking regular walks with your dog. Doing so will also help you to keep lifestyle disease caused by inactivity at bay.
Exercise – exercising is one of the best ways to reduce the severity of depression symptoms. Although it might be hard for you to motivate yourself to go outside, having a dog that depends on you will push you to do it.
Forming a Connection
Nowadays, people use the internet for social interaction. If you do this often, you will lose the interpersonal connections in your life. When living with depression, forming a connection with a therapy pet is the first step towards reconnecting with people. Many mental health doctors blame the rising numbers of people suffering from depression and anxiety on lack of interpersonal relationships.
All the above things prove that getting a therapy pet will help you to lessen the severity of your condition. Although taking care of a therapy dog will not be a smooth ride for people who suffer from depression, the benefits are well worth it.