Pet adoption is beneficial to our mental health, study finds.
Issue 1 - December 2018
A Study on mental health finds pet adoption has mental health benefits
The old saying 'mans best friend' may be a little more important than ever before, after a study recently published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research that according to the findings, adopting a pet could offer respite to those with severe depression that has low rates of remission and cannot be easily treated with antidepressant medications or psychotherapy.
The study carried out by Portuguese researchers, enlisted 80 volunteers with severe depression and found that by them adopting a pet “enhanced” the effects of antidepressant medication for a significant minority of their volunteers.
The researchers asked the study members to adopt a pet as part of their therapy, out of thirty-three participants that accepted the invitation to adopt a pet, twenty people chose dogs, and seven a cat was the pet of choice.
The participants' depression symptoms were evaluated over twelve weeks, with checkups taking place at four and eight weeks.
By the end of the study, the results found that more than a third of the group who adopted pets had improved their scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and Global Assessment of Functioning Scale to the point where their symptoms could be considered mild.
Even your pet at home can be a therapy pet if treated and appreciated correctly, so let us go and hug a pet to better our mental health.
James Green 17/12/2018