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This study explains why pets can be so important for people with mental illness


By Daryl Lindsey, Hello Giggles

New research suggests that owning pets is a big help for managing mental illness.

Researchers published a study the journal BMC Psychiatry, in which they interviewed 54 adult pet owners living with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Of those interviewed, 60 percent ranked their pets to be part of their inner social circle.
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Pets, the study suggests, help provide emotional connections and companionship that can be difficult while struggling with mental disorders.

    “We know that social isolation is both a cause and effect of mental illness,” Dr. Helen Brooks told The Huffington Post. “People in this study told us that relationships often broke down because friends and family did not understand their condition, or that they did not feel motivated or able to socialize with others because of their condition.”


For one participant, the responsibility of being a pet owner helps keep him anchored when he’d rather retreat from reality.
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    “When you just want to sink into a pit and just sort of retreat from the entire world, the cats force me to sort of still be involved with the world,” he said. 


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Lifestyle Magazine: This study explains why pets can be so important for people with mental illness
This study explains why pets can be so important for people with mental illness
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