The Benefits of Dog Ownership
Unfortunately, those who suffer from migraines are more likely to experience mental health illnesses including bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. Missing work, family functions, and social events is common for those constantly battling with migraine headaches. These absences can put stress on relationships, finances, and work life, leaving a person with extreme anxiety. Never knowing when your next migraine is about to strike or constantly anticipating the debilitating pain of a migraine can also lead to depression in migraine sufferers.
Fortunately, owning a dog can significantly reduce symptoms of depression. Studies have shown that dogs instinctively form close bonds with their human ‘pack’ members, providing loyalty and affection when they need it the most.
The sheer presence of a dog is calming. Physically petting your dog can reduce blood pressure and increase feel-good chemicals in the brain. The benefits of having a dog for those with depression go far beyond the calming presence, however. Dogs are also a great source of entertainment and unconditional love, which on its own can be enough to brighten their owner’s day.
In addition to reducing migraine triggers like anxiety and stress, dogs also offer companionship on the days that you’re curled up in the dark with a migraine attack.
The last thing many of us want to do when we’re in pain is socialize. But a life with migraines can also be lonely when we constantly have to miss out on social gatherings or family events due to a migraine attack. Having a companion to sit with and offer unconditional love when you’re in pain can be incredibly soothing and offer a distraction from your migraine episode.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to pet therapy for those who suffer from migraines. Dogs can be trained to predict an imminent migraine episode, allowing you to prepare in advance or attempt to prevent the migraine from occurring altogether. They can also help you de-stress, aid in relaxation, minimize symptoms of depression, and offer companionship on your lonely migraine days.
How has your dog helped you?