Saturday, February 1, 2014

Depression - Can Dolphins Relieve Depression Symptoms?

There are various treatments for depression but this one can be not only original, but also effective. Swimming with dolphins can be an effective therapy for depression according to a research carried out in Honduras. It was known that these animals had healing properties for other diseases but not alleviating depression.

Under support of biophilia theory, which shows how human health and well being are dependent on our relationships with the natural environment, the research showed that swimming with dolphins is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.

According to the British Medical Journal a randomised controlled study of animal facilitated therapy with dolphins in the treatment of depression.

The study was performed in Honduras with 30 patients diagnosed with mild or moderate depression. 50 per cent of them were assigned to the experimental group and the other 50 per cent to the control group.

Patients of the experimental group swam and snorkelled in the water with dolphins for one hour a day during a two-week period. Meanwhile, patients of the control group exercised the same water activities, but without dolphins, in order to control the influence of water and the natural setting.

Antidepressant drugs or psychotherapy were discontinued for all patients at least four weeks before the research and they were also not allowed to take drugs during the study. The average severity of the depressive symptoms was more reduced in the experimental group than in the control group.

The experts that led the study stated that effects caused by the animals were significantly greater than those of just the natural setting. They also explained that the emotions raised by the interaction with dolphins may explain the mammals' healing properties.

Participants from both groups reported lasting improvement and did not require treatment even three months after the study. Which This suggests that in patients with mild or moderate depression, using drugs or conventional psychotherapy may not be necessary when biophilic treatment with animals is used, they conclude.

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