A loyal dog can help depression. My dog has definitely changed my life in the sense that I find a new perspective to look at life. I had never thought that a pet can bring you so much joy. He helps keep my mood up because I’m “forced” to smile and laugh everyday at the silly, mischievous things he does. He forces me to exercise when playing with him and walking him. And exercise is so important for a depressed person.
New studies show having a dog in a nursing home can reverse loneliness, increase residents’ self esteem, and has the added benefit of making even withdrawn people come out of their shell to chat. AAT is also now being used to help abused children and those with psychiatric disorders, where it has shown to significantly increase their coping abilities and self-efficacy.