There are a number of possible causes when it comes to explaining why millennials tend to be more depressed than past generations, and those explanations include overbearing parents, the rise in unfair expectations, lack of a good night’s sleep, and overall difficulty when it comes to being successful in such a worn-out economy. Because of this, more and more millennials are turning to medication to help ease their symptoms, but when drugs aren’t enough to placate their anxiety and stressors, they may turn to other self-care based remedies.
These possible remedies include exercise, allowing for mental-health days in their schedule, and, as we’re going to get into, investing in a furry friend to help brighten their days.
EverydayHealth offers a detailed list of the reasons why dogs and other pets are so ideal for someone suffering from mental health issues and working toward recovery, including:
- Offering unconditional love
- Altering behavior in a positive manner
- Acting as a distraction from everyday woes
- Promoting touch, which releases serotonin and dopamine in your brain
- Urge us to be more responsible, which promotes mental health
- Lower blood pressure
Whether that be friends and family, or a dog, or cat, there’s just something uplifting about interacting with another living creature that’s happy to see you, too. It’s hard to find something else more capable of lightening a person’s mood than a happy dog, tail wagging and tongue hanging out, eager to interact and play, no matter who they are to them. It could be a total stranger, or a proud doggy-parent, and the dog will be excited either way.
With the prevalence of depression and other mental health issues in millennials, then, it’s no surprise that there exists an equal rise in pet-ownership among millennials, according to a study by Trone Brand Energy and Brakke Consulting.
Not only do our favorite four-legged friends offer positive vibes just by being themselves, but they also have a special way of promoting socialization between humans, as well. In the source article linked above, it explores about how most millennials consider owning a pet to be an effective way of making more friends, which, unsurprisingly, also contributes to easing the symptoms of depression.
Of course, not only is it important for youth and young adults to have social lives in order to avoid falling into a period of loneliness and depression, but it might be even more crucial for the older adults to have outlets for socialization, as well, as the age group is more prone to depression and other feelings of loss or inability to do the things they might’ve while younger. Not only do dogs give them the chance to meet new people, but also offer more opportunities for exercise, going outdoors, as well as just having someone in the house they can play with should they live on their own.
So whether man’s best friend offers you good energy with his his fuzzy self alone, or if he opens doors to more opportunity for branching out and making new friends, dogs have so much to offer when it comes to assisting those who struggle with mental health. And while they may not take the place of more conventional methods of mental health care, such as prescription medication and counselling, they can certainly take some of the weight off.