The Effects of Animals on Mental Illness

Hey there folks, Dremulf again, here today to talk about Animals finally.


In a recent study, which was reproduced multiple times, it was found that a person with Severe Depression, experienced a 30% reduction in stress hormones in their blood after just 10 minutes of petting a dog or cat, it rose steadily, up to 70% by the end of 30 minutes, and stayed there. (please keep in mind there is some variation to these results, these stats I have given are the Median Averages)

This is just the effect of dogs and cats on people with depression, it dos not include the effects on people with psychotic symptoms or the effects on people with illnesses like Autism or ‘mental retardation’.

However, I can tell you from experience, as someone with psychotic symptoms, that the results are promising. If experiencing an episode of psychosis, I suffer far less from delusions while with my pets than if simply ‘put away’ for my own safety.

As for how it works with people with Autism? just look it up folks, it is EVERYWHERE!!, the little boy in Florida with his Chickens, the girl in California with her guinea pig, who after 12 years of never speaking, actually spoke!

And people with other mental handicaps, like clinical retardation (not the same as calling someone  a retard, but I have little knowledge of Clinical Retardation, so I wont pretend to know about it) they also see improvements, you often see these people in special homes, where they get 24/7 monitoring and treatment. These homes are increasingly inviting therapy animals to visit, because the staff see incredible changes in their wards.

A good example is a home near me where I sometimes volunteer, after they started bringing therapy animals (there is a dog, a pair of cats, and a potbelly pig) their patients are happier and calmer, and some of these special needs adults, who only speak when they need something, have begun to hold broken conversations with staff.

However, please do not assume that you can just bring your pet dog to a place like that, these animals have to pass a series of behavior and aptitude tests to become CERTIFIED therapy animals. The difference between a therapy animals and a pet is in the training and the insurance coverage, a pet dog who scratches or bites, will not be covered by insurance, however a certified therapy dog will be.

So the next time you see someone who doesn’t look disabled with a service dog, keep in mind that mental illness can be just as debilitating  as a physical one.


Author: Dremulf

J-I am Schizophrenic dog owner who wants to spread the message that Mental Illness is not a death sentence, and that animals can cure almost any ailment of the heart and soul. B-I am a farmer and dog breeder who suffers from Schizophrenia. I am a huge supporter of the military and can be a bit rough around the edges.

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