6 Reasons Pets Are Fantastic Therapy for Mental Health
I’m a firm believer that pets are a fantastic thing for mental health. I have a mini zoo at home; we have three dogs, a rabbit, four guinea pigs and a hamster. In my opinion, pets really are a fantastic form of therapy; without mine, I don’t think I would be here. That’s the truth. They help me manage my bipolar disorder and keep me going in several ways.
1. They give you routine.
Pets give you a routine. They need to be fed, watered, cleaned out, given attention and, if you have dogs, walked at certain times during the day. For me, at least, it keeps me on track.
2. They give you purpose.
They give you something to be responsible for, which gives you a purpose during the day. This is something that even on bad days makes me feel worthy and gives me a reason to get out of bed.
Related: Learning the Difference Between My Mental Illness and Myself
3. They keep you company.
They keep you company so you are never alone. Even if I am isolated, I’m never truly on my own because I have them there.
Related: 26 Memes That Are Too Relatable If You're a Millennial With Mental Illness
4. They give you someone to talk to.
It’s a way to get out your thoughts and feelings without judgment because they certainly don’t talk back. If you’re lucky, they’ll act as though they’re listening.
5. They love you.
They give you complete and unconditional love; no matter what mood you are in or what you look like, they adore you and are always there for cuddles!
6. They encourage you to get outside.
My dogs get me out of the house even on days when I otherwise wouldn’t leave the house at all. They must be walked, and I love them, so that is my motivation. At times being out can start to lift my mood.
For all these reasons and more, pets really are a fantastic form of therapy for me and I’m sure for many others.
Read more stories like this on The Mighty:
5 Things You Need to Know About Your First Time in a Psych Ward
Why This Viral Therapy Meme Isn't Really About Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande
'Sharp Objects' Episode 2 Recap: 'Dirt'