How Pets Can Help To Improve Your Mental State


No matter where you live in the United States, mental illnesses are far from uncommon – in fact, with better tools of diagnosis and a better understanding of the brain than ever before, mental illnesses can now be more accurately diagnosed than ever. For many people, anxiety and depression – two of the most common types of mental illness, at least among those that are readily diagnosed here in the United States – can mar their ability to function and live as productively and joyfully as they would like.

And the data surrounding the rates of mental illness more than back up this claim, as they show that anxiety disorders of various types have been diagnosed in as many as 40 million adults alone throughout the United States. Posttraumatic stress disorder alone, also known as PTSD, impacts the lives of more than seven and a half million people all throughout the country. And depression affects the lives of millions more.

And while we typically talk about mental health and mental illness in regards to the adult population, children can certainly also feel the negative effects of mental illness in their lives as well. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that one of of every seven very young children (those between the ages of two and eight) have been diagnosed with some type of mental illness, be it a mental disorder, a behavioral disorder, or even a developmental disorder. For children who are suffering from mental illness in their day to day lives, the world can certainly be a very terrifying and lonely place indeed.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get help for various mental illnesses. Therapy, of course, comes in all shapes and sizes and can be hugely beneficial for just about everyone who deals with mental illness, no matter what type of mental illness it might be. Medication can also be helpful, especially when symptoms are acute. And while many people choose to stay on some type of medication for the long term, many of those who deal with mental illness are able to wean off of it at some point.

But for the treatment of symptoms, pet therapy for depression and anxiety can be hugely beneficial. In many ways, pet therapy for depression and anxiety disorder (such as a social anxiety disorder or PTSD, among others like OCD) works simply because we love animals so much. In fact, the data that has been gathered on the subject even shows that nearly half of all families here in the United States have a dog, if they don’t have more than one. In addition to this, about half of these dogs are so beloved that they are even allowed to sleep on the beds of their owners.

Pet therapy for depression and anxiety can simply mean just owning a pet in the first place, but pet therapy for depression and anxiety can also encompass legitimate emotional support animal registration as well. In order for a pet to quality to provide pet therapy for depression and anxiety and be registered as an emotional support animal, a certain amount of required training will be necessary. Typically, qualifying for an ESA letter will also mean directly talking to a professional in the field of mental health, as such people will be able to more clearly see whether or not an emotional support animal is necessary, for, something like overcoming social anxiety disorder or another mental illness.

But if an ESA is necessary, the impact of pet therapy for depression and oftentimes anxiety can be more than beneficial in the long run, as pet therapy for depression and anxiety can not only lower levels of stress, but can help to actually improve the overall mental state of a person who is struggling with mental illness, especially if they don’t have many support systems in other aspects of their life.

At the end of the day, mental illness is unfortunately far from uncommon here in the United States, though it is often very treatable. From talk therapy to pet therapy for depression, there are many ways to seek help for depression and anxiety in the U.S.

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