Research Shows Those Who Suffer From Mental Illness Benefit From Owning A Pet
Why do Mentally Ill People Actively Choose to Suffer Alone?
In a nutshell: Mentally ill people typically suffer from behavioral symptoms that can cause anti-social behavior. Unfortunately, these anti-social symptoms present a misconceived perception to others who consequently confuse their mental illness with social ineptitude.
For those looking in, a person who has a mental illness may seem awkward, unusually reserved, and even overtly hostile at times. To make matters worse, the misunderstanding and skewed perception of their mental illness will often result in cruel persecution and stigmatization of the mentally ill person's condition. Instead of seeking necessary treatment for their mental illness, the stigmatized person is then more than likely to keep their emotional pain to themselves - thus exacerbating their psychological condition.
The Solution to Mentally Ill-induced Loneliness: The Pet Store
Helen Brooks, a mental health researcher from the University of Manchester, led a psychological study that involved lonely, mentally ill people and household pets. According to Dr. Brooks and her research team's findings, those who have mental illness can alleviate their depression by simply adopting a pet.
Brooks and her team's research proved that owning a pet significantly improves the mental state of those who suffer from stigmatized mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Volunteers who participated in the psychological study agree with Brooks's team's conclusion. "[Pets] don't look at the scars on your arms," one participant said. "They don't question where you've been."
As to why the participants are drawn to the companionship of non-humans, Brooks believes it is because animals don't judge the mentally suffering - who likely have trust issues with people.
"The routine these pets provide is really important for people," says Brooks. "Getting up in the morning to feed them and groom them and walk them, giving them structure and a sense of purpose that they won't otherwise have."
To read more on this subject, click here: Pets Help People Manage Serious Mental Illnesses: Shots