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on psychiatry and psychology

Emotional Support by a Pet (Dog or Cat) as Treatment of Depression and Other Psychological Problems

Abstract: For many people with psychological problems, pets are a valuable support.

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Emotional Support by a Pet (Dog or Cat) as Treatment of Depression and Other Psychological Problems

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question  Local help Info


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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 23 Aug 2008.

What do you think of a pet (dog or cat) for a client with depression or other psychological problems? What is the effect of a pet for emotional support and self-care? Can a pet be a treatment method?

Answer:

Many clients say that taking care of a pet is one of the best methods of emotional support and stress relief. It helps you get activated and may force you to take some exercise (walking the dog) on a regular schedule. Talking about pets and pet care can be a good start if you want to communicate with other people. Many clients with eating disorder or a personality disorder love a pet because it can be a source of unconditional love and companionship.

Having a pet is not possible, or a good choice, for everybody. Allergies, other medical reasons or lack of money might exclude this option for you. You also have to consider a long-term responsibility for the animal. It must not be a substitute for human beings and contacts and must not be used as as the object of personal frustration and aggression.

If you do not want (or are not allowed) to have a pet you might think about watching animals in nature, reading about animals or watching a film on TV...

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