Pets in Recovery
Pet therapy is one of the newest trends amongst mental health professionals, and it’s not only being used for those with depression. It can also be helpful for people with more severe forms of mental illness and those who are struggling with substance addiction. Chelsea By the Sea’s Huntington Beach residential treatment programs understand the critical role your pet plays in your life and recovery, and they’re a welcome part of our community.
The New Trend of Pet Therapy
Research is slowly growing on the psychologically beneficial effects pets can have on their owners, and more treatment centers are adopting the pets in recovery standard.
Pet therapy is another term for animal-assisted therapy in which dogs and similar pets are allowed to be with a person who is struggling with some mental struggle or addiction. Some therapeutic pets have been allowed in hospitals and nursing homes to give patients with chronic illnesses comfort and distraction from their health problems. People who participated in pet therapy have reported feeling more optimistic than they did before they were allowed to interact with a pet while in treatment.
Effects of Pets on Mental Health
The psychological effects of pets on humans are widely spread and not contained to just one type of emotion. Therapy pets have been used in emotional work to relieve people of worrisome thoughts and feelings of social isolation. Pets do not talk like humans do and therefore cannot judge others in the same way a human could potentially do, so it makes sense that pets have this initially unrecognize ability to make people feel at peace. They do this through their presence and non-judgment, both of which should decrease feelings on loneliness.
Comforting distraction from unpleasant symptoms is another effect pets have been reported to have, along with physical activity which has been shown to reduce symptoms of addiction, increased social interaction, and increases in one’s sense of self-worth.
Pets and Substance Addiction
Pets tend to act as mediators between the person and negative emotional states like depression, worry, and irritability. Irritability and depression are common withdrawal symptoms that go across the board of many addictive substances. The distraction pets provide can help someone who is thinking about using drugs again to reconsider. This effect may be able to prevent a relapse if a pet can distract someone from any withdrawal symptoms or carvings they may be experiencing.
The way pets increase self-worth can help someone struggling with an addiction realize that they are worth more than the drug they are addicted to. This and increased social interaction may serve as a wake-up call to the reality outside addiction.
How to Overcome Addiction
Addiction can often feel like a prison cell, and you may feel like you cannot relate to anyone due to the stigmas of addiction. If you feel this way, please contact Chelsea By the Sea at 1 (844) 31-CLEAN. We will help you find California addiction recovery centers so you can get the support you need to overcome your addiction. Chelsea By the Sea offers a pet-friendly environment with medically assisted detox, family interventions, residential treatment, and referrals to other treatment centers if our services are not fit for your unique needs.