The Power Of Pets In Mental Illness
Can animals really have an impact on mental health?
YES YES YES!!
I like animals more than humans most of the time, Fact. They don't judge me, they give huge dollops of selfless love and they just want to be your friend. This is a relationship made in heaven as far as i am concerned!
My fur baby Alfie has saved my life more times than he is even aware of. Many times i have got well for him, not wanting to leave him on his own because he literally is my baby. I have had people bring him to visit me when I have been hospital and seeing him walking off has given me a lot of motivation over time to get well. If I cry he licks my tears, if i'm sad he knows....If I'm anxious he too becomes an anxious slightly neurotic dog which is strange but almost beautiful that he is that much in sync with me.
There are times where all I want is an "Alfie cuddle" as I call them, the smell of him makes me feel calmer, he just makes me feel better!!!
So many were against me getting him while I was in a desperately bad place thinking I would not be able to look after him, which was a fair argument as I could barely look after myself! He was, however the best £350 that i have ever saved and spent. He is part of me and I love him an incredible amount.
Animals are very theraputic. I particularly love dogs, their eyes just make me melt but I believe a real connection with any animal is possible and it can, I believe have a huge positive impact on people with mental illness.
COURTNEY FROM ALL THINGS MENTAL HEALTH HAS SHARED HER STORY OF THE IMPACT OF HER DOG AND MENTAL HEALTH
"The companionship that a pet has to offer to people is an amazing way to help reduce stress & anxiety that a person may be experiencing!
I am a person who has had multiple amounts of different pets throughout my 17 years, these have included goldfish, rabbits & dogs. Currently I have a dog and have had him for 7 years now and he has been a great comfort and has helped me through extremely tough times. I am 17 years old and have been diagnosed with depression & anxiety. I am currently on medication for this, but self-help is an essential part of trying to overcome the difficulties.
One thing I have found extremely useful in reducing stress is my dog. I am a person who is scared of being judged by others but I know one thing and that is my dog will never be able to judge me. Some people may think that speaking to pets is stupid, but I find that talking to my dog is great therapy. He gives me a reason to get out of bed everyday and this is something I need as motivation as sometimes I would rather just stay in bed. He has given me something to live for when I’ve been at the lowest points of my life.
Having a dog is great for helping me with my anxiety and to reduce stress. When I’m stressed I take him out for a walk, this gives me time to ‘clear’ my head and have time to myself. Sometimes time alone and clearing your head is the best therapy.
It is proven that exercise is a great way to help mental health.
Studies show that having a dog can have positive benefits on both physical and mental health! "
MARGARIDA FROM DAISY AND THYME HAS ALSO SENT ME HER THOUGHTS TO SHARE!
"Since I developed anorexia I’ve been at war with myself. My days were pretty much the same and there was nothing to look forward to.
I’m much better now and Blossom has been a great help. My life changed when I adopted her. My lovely cat brought joy into my life; she makes me smile every day. I no longer feel lonely. In fact, I feel loved!"
I'm not saying that everyone with mental health issues should rush out and get a pet as obviously circumstances vary greatly but I wanted to share that there really are huge benefits to having an animal in our lives and although there may be judgements that we shouldn't get one because we have difficulty looking after ourselves sometimes, actually sometimes pets are just the friends we need to help us along.