Depression impacts millions of people in the United States and around the world. It’s one of the most common mental health disorders, and according to the World Health Organization, more than 280 million people have some type of depression. Depending on the person, depression can manifest in different ways, so it’s always important to consult with a licensed mental health professional if you think you might be dealing with depression.
If you know you have a depressive disorder, coming up with a comprehensive depression treatment plan can help. While medications and therapy are the best places to start, emotional support dogs (ESDs) can also help someone who struggles with depression.
Read on to learn more about depression treatment plans and how an emotional support dog can help.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a commonly used phrase to describe a plethora of mental health problems, but it’s important to understand what it truly is before enacting any type of treatment plan. According to most sources, depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness that can’t always be overcome.
Furthermore, depression can lead to a lack of sleep, loss of appetite, weight gain, and other mental health problems. Therefore, a solid depression treatment plan can help alleviate all of these symptoms.
What Does a Depression Treatment Plan Look Like?
Depression is handled in a handful of ways that depend on the person and how they react to the treatment. Initially, medications might be used to help people balance their levels of serotonin. Medications like Lexapro are common, and people may need to take these medications daily for several months or years. In some cases, people can stop taking medications and overcome depression over long periods.
Depression treatment plans may also include therapy. The most common types of therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). These therapy methods help people open up about their depression and give them the tools to manage the symptoms on their own.
Depression treatment plans aren’t always the same, so the medication and therapy that works for one person might not work for someone else.
Incorporating an Emotional Support Dog into a Depression Treatment Plan
When it comes to a depression treatment plan, an emotional support dog can play a vital role in helping you feel better. They can apply deep pressure therapy (DPT) to help you if you’re going through bouts of stress and anxiety, and they can also help you maintain a general sense of satisfaction.
What’s more, emotional support dogs can also help you get out of bed and get moving. Plus, if you train an emotional support dog, they can help you take medications and function more like a service dog.
Who Is Eligible for an Emotional Support Dog for Depression?
Anyone who is diagnosed with depression is eligible for an emotional support dog. As long as you speak with a licensed mental health professional, they can recommend you for an ESA letter. You can speak with your therapist about emotional support animals to connect with a therapist online when you work with a reputable organization like US Service Animals.
How to Register Your Emotional Support Dog
When it comes to including an emotional support dog in your depression treatment plan, it’s essential to register your emotional support dog with a reputable organization like US Service Animals.
To get started, all you need to provide is some information about yourself and your emotional support dog. You’ll have to provide your full name, the dog’s name and weight, and some general information about your dog’s temperament. From there, you can schedule a call with a licensed mental health professional who can write you an ESA letter.
Once you register your emotional support dog, it becomes protected by laws like the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which allows your dog to stay with you in almost any living situation.
Enact a Depression Treatment Plan and Conquer Your Depression Today!
Depression treatment plans don’t have to solely rely on medication. It’s beneficial to take a comprehensive approach to treat mental health conditions, and incorporating therapy and an emotional support dog into a depression treatment plan can help you start to feel better faster. That said, always make sure you speak with a doctor before enacting any type of treatment plan.