According to a statistic by the ASPCA, Americans own a staggering total of 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats. Those numbers don't include other categories like birds, fish, and other reptiles. It's obvious that animals play an important role in our lives and even made them part of the family.
For people struggling with depression, pets can even play a more crucial role. They can become a source of companionship and comfort, leading to a positive outcome in our lives and improving our overall well-being. An Emotional Support Animal or ESA offers unwavering companionship to their owners helping them deal with mental and emotional difficulties.
Here are the top health benefits of emotional support animals for people suffering from depression:
Benefit #1 - Emotional Support
When you're suffering the effects of depression, you may, from time to time, experience bouts of loneliness. You feel isolated from the...
It's that time of year again for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the days are quickly getting shorter now and for many that means symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, depression and more. As a result, it can require the willpower of a polar explorer just to drag oneself out of bed in the morning!
One solution to combat these symptoms is the use of a dawn simulator. These are essentially alarm clocks that instead of waking you abruptly with loud and irritating beeping (that makes you want to smash the thing!), produce light that gradually increases in intensity to mimic the rising sun. Many models use full spectrum light which is closest in appearance to sunlight as well.
By working in this way you can set your dawn simulator alarm for any time in the morning when it's still dark outside and be woken in a way that is more...
Many people suffering from environmental illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and particularly multiple chemical sensitivity, lead very lonely existences. This blog entry will look at how pets can offer valuable company for some.
The symptoms of these disabling conditions such as fatigue, pain, and cognitive difficulties such as confusion, poor short term memory, and inability to focus, mean that sufferers are often unable to remain in their jobs or enageg in social activities. To make matters worse these symptoms and many others are aggravated by both physical and mental exertion, as well as environments that are noisy or have bright lighting - typical of work places and coffee shops, bars, and other places where people typically socialise.
It is a sad fact that people unaffected by these types of illness find it very difficult to comprehend what sufferers are going through, or even that they are ill at...
You may have seen in the news media this week that new research suggests antidepressant drugs may damage men's sperm and increase the risk of infertility. Researchers from Cornell Medical Center in New York found that some men given the common SSRI antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat) for four weeks had far higher levels of sperm with damaged DNA. Experts say this does not necessarily mean these men would have more trouble becoming fathers but that it was certainly a cause for concern.
So here we have another reason to look for alternatives to the antidepressant drugs which are prescribed to many millions of people every year. Earlier this year it was revealed that drug companies had buried studies showing that these drugs are largely ineffective in all but the most severe cases of depression. Before that paroxetine was linked to an increased risk of suicide.
In a previous blog I...
Back in February of this year the US government admitted that in the case of young Hannah Poling, a reaction to vaccinations she received had resulted in her developing autism.
This admission sent the media, bloggers and online autism forums into a spin with many seeing it as concrete proof that vaccines are the cause, or at least a cause, of the developmental disorder. Medical experts however maintained that Hannah had an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which they said, was extremely rare and so the same process could not account for a significant number of other cases of autism.
It now turns out however, that the medical experts may have been wrong! Results of a new study announced on Monday by the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) reveal that at least one in 200 healthy humans "harbors a pathogenic mitochondrial mutation that potentially causes disease." The landmark study is published in the current issue of the...
If you suffer from respiratory allergies such as hayfever I'm sure you know that symptoms aren't limited to the obvious sneezing, itching, runny nose and watering eyes. Of course these are very annoying and often distressing but what those who don't have allergies don't realise is that mood disturbances such as depression, irritability and insomnia are also a common result of allergic reactions and can be equally or more distressing than the obvious allergy symptoms.
There has been a flurry of media activity in the UK this week after researchers from the University of Hull published a study showing that for mild to moderate depression antidepressant drugs show no clinically significant benefit over placebo. In other words they are pretty much useless. It turns out that pharmaceutical companies have been 'selectively reporting' studies on the effectiveness
Around 7 years ago I had a test done called the Adrenal Stress Index (ASI). This test measures levels of the adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA in saliva samples taken at various points throughout the day. Multiple samples are needed to get an accurate picture of cortisol levels as they vary considerably during the day in everyone.