Written by Josephine Lategan
Dogs are more than humanity’s best friend. Did you know that certain service dogs can be of great help for people dealing with clinical depression?
Dogs are more than humanity’s best friend – they’re indispensable to our lives. Working dogs come in all shapes and sizes, doing everything from rescuing hurricane victims to guiding visually challenged people through the streets and comforting kids with cancer.
Did you know that certain service dogs are officially recognised by the medical profession as a support for people dealing with clinical depression? Once a qualified mental health professional has diagnosed a human patient with depression, a dog can be ‘prescribed’ as part of the treatment.
Life is full of adventures, ups and downs, and while we may suffer defeats, like losing a job or a relationship breakup, we usually recover after a time. For some people, just waking up is difficult and it’s difficult every time. Those with the condition suffer a range of tricky symptoms from persistent and overpowering anxiety to disabling antipathy and emotional instability, sleep loss, lethargy, disillusion, self-loathing and low self-esteem. Trauma, abuse and neglect can contribute to the condition. Depression compromises one’s ability to work and play but luckily it is medically recognised and treatable. If you have been medically diagnosed with depression, a dog may be just what the doctor ordered!
It’s not only pills that can be prescribed to help a human get well. Pooches can be, too. Dogs help humans with mental and emotional struggles in three ways:
How Emotional Support dogs help with depression
Oh yes. It goes both ways, and upbringing and environment have a lot to do with it. Just like humans, doggies can experience trauma from neglect or abuse, and they have brains prone to chemical imbalance, too. If you notice your hound has lost her appetite, lost interest in playing and sighs a lot, she might be depressed. She might also be physically ill, so…
Get to a vet for a clear diagnosis quick-quick. If your pup is more bored than borderline, there are a few simple ways to raise her happiness quota and yours.
Dogs can help humans facing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Schizophrenia, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, suicidal tendencies and phobias. In all instances it is essential that a qualified medical practitioner give an accurate and verifiable diagnosis.
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