HOW ANIMALS ARE HELPING WITH TEEN DEPRESSION AND TROUBLED YOUTH

Animal therapy can be very therapeutic and helpful for many people struggling with addiction, depression, and anxiety. Some rehabs have animal therapy, and some allow inpatients to have pets. And it’s not just struggling adults who have found the benefits of being close to animals, and it can also help with teen depression and troubled youth as well.

*People reported about one teen, Naomi, a junior in high school in South Carolina, who has been struggling with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, but she’s healing with the help of a pit bull she calls Twinkie. Yes, pit bulls have the stereotype of being mean, fierce dogs, but they’re often very sweet creatures, and Naomi is trying to help erase the stigma surrounding pit bulls as well because many won’t adopt them.

*Twinkie is a service animal that helps Naomi deal with her issues. “She really knows when I’m feeling down,” she says. “When I need some help, she’s always there for me.” And considering a pit bull is helping Naomi heal from her emotional issues, she tells People, “There is some hidden gold inside of those animal shelters.”

*And animals that help you through your emotional troubles don’t have to be only dogs. As one college freshman told The Loquitur, she rescued a rabbit that’s become her “emotional support animal.” For many, animals help you how to be responsible when you’re struggling with emotional problems. The rabbit, named Runt, “depends on me, so I can’t sit in my bed anxiety ridden. She keeps me on my toes, and she keeps me busy.”