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.
Pets, the study suggests, help provide emotional connections and companionship that can be difficult while struggling with mental disorders.
For one participant, the responsibility of being a pet owner helps keep him anchored when he’d rather retreat from reality.
This is just one more reason to be grateful for the animal companions in our lives!