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4 Ways My Dog Helps Me Fight Back Against My Depression

Living Well

May 09, 2024

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Image by Elizabeth Drucker; Design by Bezzy

Image by Elizabeth Drucker; Design by Bezzy

by Elizabeth Drucker

•••••

Medically Reviewed by:

Joslyn Jelinek, LCSW

•••••

by Elizabeth Drucker

•••••

Medically Reviewed by:

Joslyn Jelinek, LCSW

•••••

Besides bringing joy into my life, my dog brings me purpose. Having a pet has played an instrumental role in my healing.

There’s a little ball of fur that perks me up in my depression.

Her name is Ashley, and she is a Welsh Corgi dog who makes me smile every time I look at her. Here are some of the things she does for me, just by being Ashley.

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1. She gets me out of the house

Ashley needs exercise every day. She requires walks every few hours, around the block.

This helps me to get out of my house and feel the wind on my face. I also get to see my neighbors, many of whom have dogs, too.

Exercise is essential for battling the symptoms of depression.

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2. She gives me purpose

Taking care of an animal makes it necessary to get out of bed. In addition to being taken for walks, Ashley needs to be fed. She needs food and water several times a day.

I also just enjoy spending time with her, sitting on the couch and petting her.

Being with her and taking care of her boosts my mood every day.

3. She motivates me to take my medication

When I look at Ashley, I want to stay alive.

I know that to stay healthy, I need to take my psychiatric medications, as prescribed.

She helps me stay with the program — to continue seeing my psychiatrist, going to therapy, and doing all the things I need to do to stay healthy and take care of her.

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4. She brightens my mood

When you’re living with depression, it’s important to find things that boost your mood.

Ashley is so cute that whenever I look at her, I smile. She has this way about her that makes me feel less depressed just by looking at her.

Ashley just makes me happy even when I’m down in the dumps. When she looks at me with her big brown eyes, it’s hard to focus on my depression.

The takeaway

When I look for coping skills to bring me out of my depression, sometimes, I don’t need to look further than my dog, Ashley.

She gives me something to stay motivated and on the right path to my recovery. And being responsible for keeping an animal alive, by feeding her and providing daily walks, gives me something to live for.

Ashley saves my life every day, just by being herself. Dogs can give you an excuse to fight back against depression. They promote responsibility and are just plain cute.

Ashley is the number one tool in my battle against depression, and I’m alive today partly because of her!

Medically reviewed on May 09, 2024

Join the free Depression community!
Connect with thousands of members and find support through daily live chats, curated resources, and one-to-one messaging.

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