How to choose a pet to overcome depression


exist Multiple benefits in having the company of a pet at home. It is shown that pets help overcome one of the most common psychological diseases such as depressionn and either full or part time, the relationship with a dog or a feline can bring physical and psychological benefits to the overall health of the person.

Jeremy Barron, medical director of the Beacham Center for Geriatric Medicine at Johns Hopkins, made a report that said heBetween humans and the care of an animal there is a proven connection and thatIt provides a variety of health benefits. Just having a dog, it decreases the stress hormone called cortisol. At the same time the interaction between people and their dogs raises levels of the welfare hormone called oxytocin, the same hormone that unites mothers with their children.

A 84% of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder who have been provided with a trained dog significantly reduced their symptoms and 40% were able to reduce their medications, according to a recent survey. The benefits of reducing cortisol and increasing oxytocin from having a pet also help keep blood pressure at adequate levels.

On the other hand, a 2011 study found that those who owned a pet had a better self-esteem and determined that pets provided better social support than humans to mitigate depression. The daily affection that animals deliver causes an increase in mood in people and gives them joy and hope, being a support and injection of optimism.

The reluctance is one of the characteristics of people suffering from depression, but adopting a pet, whose livelihood depends on you, can make you get strength from where you thought there were not, such as to take her for a walk, clean her, feed her and give her the attention she needs, so that your emotional problem goes to the background. Having a pet also helps to cope with symptoms of fatigue and lack of illusion Y His company takes away the feeling of loneliness and sadness.

Depression is considered the disease of our era, every day more and more people join the long list that suffer at some time in their lives this ailment.

Depression is known as a condition that makes it impossible for people to take their lives in a normal way to the point that it can trigger other diseases that can be lethal.

While the exact causes of why people experience severe episodes of depression are not known, it is also associated with stress, anxiety and low self-esteem.
However, it has been proven through numerous investigations that the presence of a pet in the house can cause people with depression to get out of this state and recover their lives.

Today we will talk about the tips you should keep in mind to choose a pet to overcome depression.

How to choose a pet to overcome depression?

Animals have always been the best company for people, whether children, youth or adults. Their presence makes people feel much better, maybe it's because of the constant affection they show or maybe because of the care we have about them, they make people with these pictures feel they have something to live for and get up every morning and They help as part of a therapy process.

However, choosing an animal that allows us to treat our depression should not be taken lightly. At the end of the day, the animal is a living being that will depend entirely on us as we are and that is why it implies a huge responsibility on our part that we should not forget. This is why we will give you the following tips for choose a pet to overcome depression:

1. What we like: First we must think of a type of pet that we like. There are many people who prefer cats over other animals as an example. It is always important to think about our favorite animal that is domestic, so it will be much easier to start with therapy.

2. Affectionate: one of the factors that we must consider when choose a pet to overcome depression, it must be a very affectionate animal. Some animals are usually very independent, not very expressive or with difficult characters, not recommended for this type of therapy.

For cases with depression it is also advisable to adopt a pet to feel that we are helping another being who is also having a bad time, not to mention that we give him a great opportunity to have a home.

3. Puppy or older?: Many people consider that a puppy dog ​​is not a good idea for a person with depression because they are very moved and need a lot of dedication. However, others affirm that it is, since a link is created between the animal and the person from the beginning. Dogs or adult or older animals are also a great option, especially when they come as protectors as they will be grateful. In any case it is important to do what we consider best for us knowing that we can take good care of the animal we choose.

4. The race: It is known that there are some breeds of dogs and cats that are usually more recommended for older people, with depression or other problems due to their affable character and quiet behavior. The labradors They are one of the dogs, among others, that are most used to care for children and adults with problems.

However, before acquiring an animal, it is highly recommended to consult with the doctor who is taking the depression patient so that he or she may recommend this type of therapy.

How to choose a pet to overcome depression is a tip for General Topics, and talks about General Topics.

Pets and depression

The affection, support and loyalty that our pets offer us are enough for any gray episode in our life to become a multicolored rainbow. The optimism they express when they see us arrive, the desire with which they play or how they lick us in the face is often the only thing we need to feel better.

The benefits of having a pet are innumerable. One of them is the possibility of curing or reducing depression. The unconditional love of your dog or cat is usually more genuine than that of people. But beyond becoming hermits or antisocials, we can enjoy your company to mitigate the pain.

According to the studies, Animals have the ability to significantly reduce all types of negative feelings. Fatigue, stress, sadness, grief, loneliness, anguish and depression leave as if by magic when we are close to our pets.

The two classic companies that can achieve this are the dog and the cat. It is proven that when we stare at our dog, the brain produces more oxytocin hormone, known as "happiness." On the other hand, hearing the purr of a feline near us relieves anxiety and immediately puts us to bed.

How to choose a pet to overcome depression?

We already know that pets help those who suffer from depression (among other emotional problems). The next thing we have to take into account are the characteristics that this animal has to fulfill in order to become our friend, family or therapist.

First of all the dog or cat must be calm and relaxed. This means that for example the more "energetic" races such as yorkshire, poodle or boxer would not be allowed. But attention because it also depends on the temperament or the character of the particular animal. Let's check well how it is on a daily basis.

Secondly, It might be a good idea to acquire a pet that has already passed its puppy stage. This happens for several reasons: because an adult animal requires less attention than a young one and because we will know more or less what their habits or behaviors would be. In the case of elderly people with depression, a dog or cat over 5 years old would be perfect.

Third, because the dog is usually better company than the cat in these cases. It is not necessary that the defenders of the cats become defensive, but that they understand that if the owner feels depressed or sad, they will need a pet to “accept” pampering at any time of the day. Cats tend to be more independent and prefer to be alone. Further, dogs need more attention: with the fact of taking them out for a walk we can put aside sadness.

Pets as therapy?

Many are the Benefits of having a pet. One of them is the possibility of curing or reducing depression. The unconditional love of your dog or cat is usually more genuine than that of people around you.

According to several studies, animals have the ability to significantly reduce all kinds of negative feelings. Fatigue, stress, sadness, loneliness, anguish and depression leave as if by magic when we are close to our pets.

It has been proven that when we stare at our dog, the brain produces more oxytocin, known as "the hormone of happiness". On the other hand, hearing the purr of a feline near us relieves anxiety and calms us immediately.

How to choose the right pet for this treatment?

We already know that pets help those who suffer from depression. The next thing to keep in mind are the characteristics that this animal has to fulfill in order to become our friend, family or therapist.

First, we must choose a dog or cat that is calm and relaxed. Let's not opt ​​for the most energetic breeds, but you also have to inform yourself about the animal's behavior on a day-to-day basis, according to its character.

The second thing to keep in mind is that it is a good idea to choose a pet that has already passed its puppy stage. First because an adult animal it requires less attention than a young and second one because we will already know more about his behavior or his habits.

Finally, you have to keep in mind that to treat depression a dog is usually a better idea than a cat, for the simple fact that cats are more independent. A dog will accept pampering at any time, and that is what the depressive owner will do well.

You could think for example in adopt a stray dog. An animal that will be eternally grateful for having rescued it from the hardship of its previous conditions. You will receive daily samples of love and these will be your best medicine.

If for reasons of space, time or money you cannot afford to have a pet at home, today there are already many animal assisted therapies To treat this kind of ailments. Or you can volunteer at an animal shelter or visit your family member with a pet.

I don't feel like being with people

The normal thing when you suffer a case of depression, is that you do not feel like being with other people. Not even you closest friends or your family, the ones that are closer. But the truth is that without that warmth of love it is more difficult to end depression.

The love and support of your loved ones is like a optimism injection, that although we move away from these people during these depressive moments, we could also obtain them from animals.

The animals are perfect showing unconditional love and the benefits of having a pet To overcome depression are many. It is about you discovering that unconditional love, without second intentions and without hypocrisy that a pet gives you.

You may not even want to have a pet, but the truth is that it could help you a lot in recovery. The animals are the best antidote to loneliness and down self esteem.

A pet makes you feel a dear, helpful and responsible person that he must take care of his animal's needs and that, in addition, he is able to do it. Having an animal makes you draw strength from where you didn't have them to walk and feed him, leaving problems in the background.

Logically the world of pets is very varied, and you may not know which one is the most suitable to help you in a case of depression. The best is the classic: choose a dog or a cat.

The choice obviously will depend on your tastes, of the needs you have and even of your own abilities to take care of your pet. But you must keep in mind that dog or cat, can be your support to overcome this bump.

A dog always you demand attention to play or to go out To walk to do their things. And a cat will be willing to give you the caresses you need, but without the physical effort that the dog requires.

So don't forget it. Are you at a time when you need help, but you don't feel like having anybody waiting for you? ¡¡Choose a dog or cat and gift your time! They will give you the support you need to overcome your depression.

In addition, having a pet improves your condition by ...

Another tip would be to adopt a stray dog. Why? Because there is no more grateful animal in the world. If any furry is loving with its owners ... imagine how this soul will be that has been rescued from all the hardships we can imagine. It will not reach his life to return that favor. The love samples you will receive daily will be your medicine against depression.

Finally, if you can't have a pet at home because of space, time or money, We recommend that you do a dog or cat therapy from time to time. How? Going to an animal shelter, visiting a family member or friend who has a pet or simply showing affection to an abandoned dog. You'll see how you feel better instantly!

Alert: this can happen if your dog tries marijuana

(CNN) - His name is Valor, he is half Labrador Retriever, half Great Dane and goes everywhere with Sergeant Charles Hernandez. But Valor is much more than a pet: Hernández considers him his personal doctor.

When Hernandez had seizures, Valor nibbled his leg long before he knew something bad was happening. The dog takes him out of conflict and jumps on him during his anxiety attacks to calm him down. Along with his medications, Hernández says that the dog has helped him with his symptoms as a result of a post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I'm alive again," says Hernandez, 49, who lives in the Bronx, New York, and is now retired from the United States National Guard. "What keeps me going is my dog."

More and more Americans are buying dogs for mental health needs, experts say. In the case of animals such as Valor, used for psychiatric services, dogs are specifically trained to help people with mental illnesses similar to how dogs are trained to help the blind.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suffered by veteran military is one of the most important reasons for the increase in demand for these types of dogs, said John Ensminger, a New York lawyer and author of Service and Therapy Dogs in American Society (Dogs for Service and Therapy within the American Society).

Unlike guide dogs for people with more obvious physical disabilities, there is a very large gray area on whom a dog can be assigned to accompany him everywhere - from restaurants and shops to airplanes - where dogs often do not They are admitted.

Why people receive dogs as psychiatric support

There is enough evidence that for some people interacting with pets produces biochemical changes in the brain, says Hal Herzog, a professor of psychology at the University of Western Carolina.

"In a way, we could all use a psychiatric service or a therapeutic dog because of the incredible amount of stress we are subjected to," says psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, author of Coping with Terrorism: Dreams Interrupted (Coping with Terrorism: Dreams Interrupted).

Caring for a pet helps people feel less scared, more self-sufficient and safe. It makes them pay less attention to their own fears, he said. By owning a pet, you can "prove to yourself that you can take care of another living creature (...) It assures you that you can take care of yourself."

Various categories of dogs have emerged that provide care for people with mental health problems, as described by the American organization Heeling Allies:

The first category is made up of dogs that offer psychiatric services, (such as Valor). These are individually and intensively trained dogs for those with mental disabilities. The Psychiatric Service Dog Society has a lot of information about these dogs and how they can be trained.

Then come the emotional support dogs, who provide comfort and motivation to people with disabilities. These dogs can board airplanes and live in houses where they usually would not be accepted, if the corresponding documentation is available.

Finally there are dogs for therapy, which help a large group of people. For example, Chloe, Esminger's dog, whom he takes to hospitals to comfort patients.

One of Lieberman's patients is a woman who is under a lot of stress because her house was repossessed. It also faces a lawsuit and a counterclaim about the potential loss of its multi-million dollar property, Lieberman said.

The woman must travel a lot since her children live on the other side of the country, and her mental state is such that sometimes she can't even get out of bed. In this case, Lieberman compares the dog with a baby blanket: they evoke feelings of comfort and being taken care of. "It makes him remember those less traumatic times," he said. "It's a connection with the past."

Hernandez joined the National Guard in 1996 and was one of the first to respond to the call in the zero zone on September 11, 2001. He was sent to Iraq from 2004 to 2006.

While in Iraq, Hernandez suffered a spinal cord injury that limited his ability to walk in addition to a traumatic brain injury. It also changed inside. He became violent and agitated, had nightmares, uncomfortable thoughts and dreams.

"Not all wounds are visible," he said. "This is how I explain it to people."

Hernández received a service dog in 2010 through the HEAL Project, which is part of ECAD, an organization that trains and raises assistance dogs. The HEAL Project grants a service dog to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders. Hernández is still a HEAL Project volunteer.

"He knows if something is wrong and I can't decipher it," said Hernandez.

Paul Aragon, a 29-year-old retired veteran also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, but his only treatment is his dog. Aragon got his dog, Zoey, in October, when his medication stopped working. Zoey "keeps me calm," he says.

Aragon, who studies motorcycle mechanics at the Universal Technical Institute in Orlando, takes Zoey everywhere: to dinner, to the movies, on plane trips, even to school sometimes.

But not everyone recognizes dogs legitimate help. Hernández and Aragon have had incidents where people have questioned that they bring a dog to public places. Hernandez even filed a lawsuit last year, claiming he was kicked out of a fast food restaurant because of his dog. The dispute was resolved out of court.

In its stipulations to implement the amendment on people with disabilities, the US Department of Justice defines service animals as "dogs that are individually trained to carry out work or perform tasks instead of those people with disabilities." This may include alerting and protecting a person who is suffering from a seizure, reminding a person with a mental illness to take their medications, calming a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack, or performing other tasks. The stipulations dictate that those dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals.

The other face

Although some people try to train their dogs for themselves, this decision often fails because it takes a lot of experience to choose the right dog, train it, and develop a relationship between the dog and the person, says Darcie Boltz, executive director of Heeling Allies

A dog with a unique temperament is required to be effective in this work, and animal welfare problems can occur when a dog is mistakenly selected or trained to become a dog for psychiatric service, Boltz said.

Lieberman recommends to his patients that dogs wear a certain type of jacket that identifies them and that there is not so much stigma and confusion when taken to places where they are usually not admitted.

And let's not forget the welfare of animals, says Lori Marino, a professor of psychology at Emory University. While for some it is beneficial, there is concern that the animals themselves may suffer emotionally. When dogs are taken with depressed and anxious people, the animal may become anxious and depressed.

Marino has worked with a homeless dog shelter, assessing whether some prospective owners are a good match for some dogs. There are times when a prospective owner says "I love this dog because I am depressed and need something to encourage me," Marino said.

“I always deny those people the request. It is not fair for the dog to go to a house that is not emotionally healthy, ”he said. A dog "should not be used as medicine."

But for people like Hernández and Aragón, dogs are a medicine that keeps their post-traumatic stress disorder under control. Hernandez has become an avid defender of service dogs.

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