Wednesday, May 14, 2014

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

“To know that you do not know is the best.
To think you know when you do not is a disease.
Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.”
― Lao Tzu

       May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. Along with traditional therapies many psychologists and researchers continue to document the amazing benefits and healing power of animals. Pets can serve as important sources of social and emotional support for all of us. Individuals facing significant health challenges such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or severe depression have shown significant improvement in overall quality of life from pet companionship. According to research published by the American Psychological Association  pet owners were just as close to key people in their lives as to their animals, indicating no evidence that relationships with pets came at the expense of relationships with other people, or that people relied more on pets when their human social support was poor or unreliable.  The results of the study were reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology®, published online by APA.

     According to researchers, "  We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions,” said lead researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD, of Miami University in Ohio. “Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extroverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners.”

      In the video above, highly decorated U.S Army captain, Luis Montalván would never back down from a challenge serving two tours of duty in Iraq.  However, after returning home from combat, the pain of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder ultimately took its toll. Luis Montalvan soon found himself unable to face the challenges of every day life such as climbing stairs or riding a bus to the VA hospital. He began to drink more and more, eventually cutting himself off from all the people he loved. Alone, unable to sleep, alienated and suffering with chronic pain, Luis began to wonder if he would ever recover. PTSD is a debilitating reaction to trauma  that affects a human beings biological and psychological functions. Although not completely understood, those who suffer from PTSD  symptoms have shown incredible response to music, art, and especially companion animal therapy.

     For additional information about Mental Health Awareness Month visit

No comments:

Post a Comment