11 Mental Health Issues You Never Knew Animals Could Help With

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If you've ever played with a puppy and felt a rush of euphoria, you know how powerful spending time around animals can be. In fact, interacting with and caring for an animal can have profound effects on your health, and there a number of mental health issues that can be helped using animals. Interacting with pets can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, and if you're feeling like your typical line of treatment hasn't been doing the trick, you might want to start incorporating some quality time with animals into your life.

"Anyone who has ever owned, played with, or even watched a YouTube video of animals knows full well that there is something magical about them that deeply affects our moods, our biology, and our psyches," clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Nalin, PsyD, tells Bustle. "Dependent on the person, animals have been shown to improve mood, help regulate their emotions, assist those who have difficulty bonding with others, and in a more general sense, serve to open up guarded or skeptical people to the idea that therapy can actually be a tool for change."

Combined with therapy, animals can be a powerful tool for mental illness, and they can also provide a simple sense of comfort. Here are 11 mental issues you may not have realized that animals can help with, according to experts.