Proven Facts That Dogs Can Help You With Depression

It has been scientifically proven that dogs help you to stay optimistic and keep negative thoughts under control.

Depression is a life-crippling illness that eats away at your will to live and negatively impacts your self-worth. In most cases, seeking therapy is the first step you should take to alleviate these symptoms. While therapy is undoubtedly a big part of any recovery plan that aims to curb depression, we cannot forget the importance of other simple forms of treatment. Emotional support animals (ESAs), and particularly dogs, have been proven to be of great help for patients suffering from depression. Although getting a dog is a huge step, it might be the right choice for you. If you are interested in becoming a proud dog owner, here are a few facts that assert that adopting a little furry friend can help with depression.

Dogs Enhance Your Mood

Since depression is extremely tricky to treat, therapists usually depend on medications and sessions to help their patients recover. Antidepressants and mood regulators can make up for the lack of certain important hormones and help you stabilize your mood. What if we told you that you could augment the effects of such medications naturally? It has been scientifically proven that dogs encourage the production of two essential hormones: dopamine and oxytocin. Having a dog allows you to stay optimistic and helps you keep negative thoughts under control. Who thought that a small fluff ball could do all that?

Dogs Help You Remain Responsible

When you experience a bout of depression, it is easy to simply stop taking care of yourself. In fact, most victims of this mental illness forgo basic self-care like showering or brushing their teeth. In some severe cases, it can become extremely difficult to even get out of bed.

Adopting a dog can help you break that vicious cycle, as you will have something to urge you to wake up in the morning. The mental health professionals of explain that ESAs can ease the negative emotions of anxiety and hopelessness commonly associated with depression by helping their owners become more productive and responsible. Being responsible for the well-being of another creature might be the wake up call you need to start taking better care of yourself and overcome your battle against depression.

Dogs Give You What You Need

To recover from depression, you need to invest time and effort into the things you are passionate about. For some, that can be sports, art, or some good company. Just like us, dogs have different and unique personalities. In this regard, you can choose from various breeds depending on your needs. Some strains are better suited for patients who want to rekindle their love of sports, while others are better fitted for people who simply need a good friend to cuddle with when things get hard. Dogs are capable of giving patients what they need to reclaim their old lives and boost their well-being.

Dogs Encourage You to Socialize

Being out and about, meeting new people, and even staying in touch with friends is sometimes impossible for those suffering from mood disorders. On the other hand, adopting a dog can be the key to solving that problem. Since having a dog requires you to take it out for frequent walks and vet visits, you will find that you are interacting with more people than before. Also, it enables you to meet people with similar interests and strike up new friendships. By mitigating your sense of isolation, dogs allow you to break out of your shell and open up to others, which is considered a firm step toward recovery. 

Dogs Motivate You to Exercise

Most patients believe that their physical health has no bearing on their mental state. However, that could not be further from the truth. If you are feeling unwell mentally, it is bound to reflect on your body adversely. Similarly, taking good care of your body by exercising and eating right enhances your mental state and gives you a boost of confidence. If you have trouble staying motivated, getting a fluffy buddy can keep you interested in exercising and staying in good shape. Dogs are full of endless energy that is joyously infectious. By merely playing catch with your dog, you can get your daily dose of exercise and feel better about yourself.

Battling depression can take its toll on you both physically and mentally; this is why you need to replenish your energy and stay motivated constantly. Not only are dogs great pets, but they can also help you on your journey towards recovery. However, you need to remember that having a puppy does not substitute medications and therapy, but instead, it works in tandem with those treatment methods. So, be sure to consult your doctor before getting your ESA.

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