Pets have been found to help aid in mental illness management based on research findings. Researchers from the U.K. surveyed over 50 adults with long-term mental illness to uncover the role which pets play.
The responses unveiled that 60 percent of respondents placed pets in the central and most important circle – above family, friends and hobbies. Twenty percent of respondents put pets as second.
For some, having a pet nearby offers an immediate sense of calm, and for others, pets help alleviate symptoms associated with mental disorders.
Study lead author Helen Brooks explained, “The people we spoke to through the course of this study felt their pet played a range of positive roles. They felt that their pets helped them manage stigma associated with their mental health by providing acceptance without judgment. Pets were also considered particularly useful during times of crisis. Pets provided a unique form of validation through unconditional support, which [the patients] were often not receiving from other family or social relationships.”
The study suggests that pets offer a great deal of support and can help manage mental disorders.