According to a recent research conducted in United Kingdom, pets play a very important role in resolving the mental issues of their owners. Researchers found that majority of pets were seen as the most valuable and central social support in owners’ lives, providing confident and genuine relationships. Such sort of support is usually not available through human ties.
Lead study author Helen Brooks of the University of Manchester stated;
“Although the value of therapy animals for mental health problems is well documented, the nature of the role pets play in the everyday management of serious mental illness is underexplored. “Pets are of significant value to those managing serious mental illness and should be considered a mainstay rather than a marginal source of support.”
Nearly 54 people with long-term mental health problems were interviewed and the triggers that lead to caused or led to deteriorated health were focused. In the period of study, it was found that pets helped their human owners build a stable mental condition; limiting the symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts, and other related disorders.
The study participants received a diagram with three concentric circles around a square representing the pet owners. They were asked to write in the names of people, places and things that gave them support. Of the 54 participants, 25 considered their pets to be part of their social network. About 60 percent placed pets in the closest circle to them, and 20 percent placed them in the second circle.
Thus, the study concluded that the extent of depression of those who have pets vary in nature when compared to those who do not have pets.