Can Pets Help with Bipolar Disorder?
We have three cats. Since our dog passed away several years ago, I’ve been the one holdout in the family in our decision to get another dog. I like the freedom of being able to take off for a couple days without having to figure out “what to do about the dog.” Besides, bringing a clueless dog into a house with three crafty, conceited cats seems to me to be borderline animal cruelty.
Still, I value the psychological benefits of having a dog around. The cats help, too, but dogs are quite different – typically a little more clingy, which is often what you need when you’re down in the dumps or feeling that the entire world has turned against you.
I started doing some research on the use of service animals in the treatment of bipolar disorder and found a couple things online:
However, I’m more interested in reading what you have to say. If you have a pet (or pets) please share your experiences and insights of pet ownership as it relates to bipolar. Do you find that your pet helps you maintain mood stability? How so? Describe a time when one of your pets assisted you in an emergency situation. Do you have a pet who serves in the official capacity of a service animal? If so, what specific tasks does your pet perform to assist you?
Some additional resources:
Kraynak, J. (2009). Can Pets Help with Bipolar Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 28, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar/2009/12/can-pets-help-with-bipolar-disorder/