logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Painting
Heart Disease
Horror Literature
Dating
Hiking & Backpacking
SF/Fantasy Books
Healthy Foods


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Depression Site

BellaOnline's Depression Editor

g

Treat Your Depression With Dog Therapy

Guest Author - Kitten Kristine Jackson

Some of the most common symptoms of depression are loneliness, sadness, feeling worthless and unloved, and feeling as if you have no purpose in life. What if I told you there is someone who could help with all these symptoms? Well, there is, and he or she is as close as your local animal shelter or pet shop.

Any kind of pet is beneficial, but dogs are particularly loyal and affectionate. They depend on us, which gives us a sense of purpose because we feel needed. And how can you feel worthless when you are loved and showered with affection?

Dogs, especially certain breeds, like close physical contact with their “people mommy” (or “daddy”). With such a close buddy, those feelings of loneliness are greatly reduced, or sometimes disappear entirely.

Petting a dog is not only soothing to the dog, but it is also very calming for us. It has been found that petting a dog lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels in humans. In a feature article on WebMD, Jeanie Lerche Davis writes that playing with a pet may elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, lower cholesterol levels, and increase immune function.

“Therapy dogs” are used in many health care facilities. The dogs visit the facilities, giving patients a chance to hold, play, and cuddle with them. The visits from the therapy dogs lift the spirits of the patients, and in many cases, also reduce the patients’ levels of pain.

Feelings of sadness decrease significantly in those who own a dog. I can speak to this from personal experience. When my father died last year, his little black dachshund came to live with me. (Dad called her P.J., short for Precious Jackson. I call her Peej, short for P.J.) Peej and I went through several months of intense grieving, and during that time, holding her gave me a great deal of comfort and peace.

Gradually, Peej’s cute, sweet little personality began to re-emerge, and the more she returned to herself, the more I returned to myself. I can’t see her sitting up, doing “high jumps,” stomping her hands at me, or “putting it in reverse,” without laughing! I open the front door so she can see out, and I laugh as she barks and growls at people walking down the street. (She thinks she’s bad!)

Words cannot express the love, comfort, peace and joy that little Peej has brought into my life. In losing my Dad, I was given a precious blessing in the form of a little brunette with a very long back and super-short legs, who has been instrumental in decreasing my depression.

If you are suffering from depression, and adopting a pet is possible, I urge you to give it a try. Granted, it is an important responsibility, but that’s part of the beauty of it. You get love, affection, companionship and joy, as well as a sense of worth and purpose, all wrapped up in one sweet little furry package. What more could you ask for?


Davis, Jeanie Lerche. 5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health. WebMD, 2004.
Add Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy to Twitter Add Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy to Facebook Add Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy to MySpace Add Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy to Del.icio.us Digg Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy Add Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy to Yahoo My Web Add Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy to Google Bookmarks Add Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy to Stumbleupon Add Treat+Your+Depression+With+Dog+Therapy to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Depression Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2013 by Kitten Kristine Jackson. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kitten Kristine Jackson. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Rayna H. Battle for details.

g


g features
Simple Ways to Ease Depression

Feeling Good Book Review

Depression Newsletter

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor