While scientists aren't exactly sure why it works, a group of recent studies have found strong evidence that animals have the power to positively impact our mental health. From cuddling with cancer patients in the hospital to helping recently widowed seniors cope, four-legged companions are providing social support. Nearly every major hospital across the country has a therapy animal program, and the response to the animals has been overwhelmingly positive. People are reporting feeling less lonely, anxious, or stressed when the animals are around. If you need to speak with a highly qualified mental health therapist in Columbus, OH, reach out to Legacy Freedom. Call now!
Researchers say that how we interact with animals and the benefits animals provide for us make them an essential part of our mental well-being. Dogs and cats aren't the only animals that provide mental and emotional health benefits. One of the most studied therapy animals is the horse. These beautiful creatures have been involved with physical and mental health care since the 1860s in Europe. Leading a horse around a pen or grooming the animal has been shown to help both children and adults cope with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you're looking for something a little easier to cuddle, the guinea pig has also been used to help make socializing less stressful for some. When those with autism played with a guinea pig, they were able to interact with their peers with less stress. There were more smiles and more laughter with the animal present. Rabbits and turtles have been shown to reduce anxiety and stress. Holding and caring for living creatures makes a difference in people's mental and emotional well-being.
Unlikely animals like crickets and fish also have therapeutic benefits. Brightly colored fish have helped those with Alzheimer's disease pace less, experience less agitation, and eat more. The fish also helped the study group be more active and attentive. Crickets were given to a group of older adults who were asked to care for them for eight weeks. At the end of the trial period, the study participants reported feeling less depressed and were more active.
Helpful Mental Health Therapist in Columbus, OH
People living with mental health conditions like PTSD, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety all reported that having a pet provides them with a sense of security, stability, and meaning in their lives. Having a pet and interacting with therapy animals can help improve your mental and physical health, but if you find yourself struggling with serious mental health issues, it may be time to seek additional help.
At Legacy Freedom Columbus, we have helped thousands of clients overcome their mental illnesses through our holistic approach to mental health care. By combining traditional talk therapy with alternative therapies, our clients learn to develop positive coping methods and identify the root of their mental illness. Our team works with you to create a care plan that is focused on your needs, not just your mental illness. Our physical therapist and dietitian help you heal through proper nutrition and gentle exercise. One-on-one and group talk therapy helps you find the support and understanding you need.
Stop letting your mental illness control your life. Connect with our mental health therapist in Columbus, OH today and begin your healing journey!
Learn more about the benefits of pets on your mental health in our next blog post.