Animal Instinct (Therapy for depression)

Learn how I beat Depression

I was ghostwriting a book for an Australian gent who lost the use his legs recently. It wasn’t just he who had been affected by the accident that day. His wife too had suffered major ramifications as a result. Whilst he had found other means top keep his mental health in a good place in the aftermath of the accident, like jumping out of airplanes, and getting up in front of 1000’s of people making motivational speeches using his experience and converting it into clear cut rules by which to live life, his wife had no such rules.

Since that day she saw him there by the roadside after falling from his motorbike she was hit by the trauma of it all. This trauma was only compounded by a breakdown of sorts in communication between the pair, and she was left in the throws of a trauma related anxiety and depression that she still has not overcome completely almost eight years on. She told me that whilst she is on medication for the mental ailment, the line of therapy she has gone down is a little different than the orthodox. Much like her husband who is the World’s only paraplegic skydiver Dale Elliott, she takes an unorthodox route to goal also.

Her therapy for depression is with animal kind, and I can see how it would work. I have seen too that animal therapy is coming into use more frequently in nursing homes, and places where death is imminent. The connection with the animal is easier to make perhaps than a connection with people. She told me how she does not know how she would have gotten through it all if it weren’t for ‘Molly,’ she told me how, and I related this to Dale’s readers in the book “Can’t Walk Can Fly” in her own words. How she had difficulty in driving by herself in the wake of the accident, and family would help out by driving her every which way. When their services were no longer available though, and it was back to herself alone she would bring their now ten-year-old pooch Molly with her in the car. “I couldn’t very well crash the car with the dog in it” she said.

She said that and I believed her, that this dog being there was enough to stop her losing her concentration (a symptom of depression) and driving off the road, stopped her easily putting her suicidal thoughts into action by careering purposefully off the road. In many ways having ‘Molly’ as her ‘rock’ alongside her, those eyes looking up and in need of the hand that feeds her, that mutual need was a therapy for depression for this man’s wife.

Just now I have been down the fields in the rural place where I live. I came upon three horses that reside in this field belonging to the workers on my family farm. This was the first time that I have ever seen them, but when I climbed over the gate one in particular raced over to me at a gallop, his white hair soon brushing up against me and clinging to my pullover. He seemed to be trying to eat my shoes as he nipped and rubbed his head against my body. He took my pushing my hand against his head, rubbing his crown as the friendly gesture that it was intended to be, and bathed in the attention of the human being.

I felt better, he felt better, I wasn’t feeling bad prior to his racing over, but I did notice a lift in my mood when I made the connection with him. It may not always be possible to find a human being eager to let us rub them, there is something about requiring therapy for depression that leaves us less capable of handling the complex rigmarole of dating or keeping a relationship with a member of the opposite sex steady. With animals however, they draw quarter for you in your mental decline from your best. It is as though they somehow can feel that there is an issue, and in their own way (although as a meat eater I sometimes don’t like to put a face and a personality to my food) they want to help you.

The animal connection is a valuable bond in getting over depression, its use is set to increase, and like the wife of my paraplegic superman you too or the loved one in your midst who is suffering from depression, may benefit from animal therapy. It is a basic form, and a little unorthodox easy to forget about when there are so many other therapies on offer, but so too it is easy to imagine how bringing an animal into the life of a depression sufferer could be of benefit to that person.

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Learn how I beat Depression

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