One man discovers a dog’s role in helping with depression.
Depression is the second leading cause of death between 15 to 29-year-olds in the world according to the World Health Organization. Approximately 259 million people across the world suffer from depression today. Rob Osman’s story was not too different. It took him years of hard work to overcome his mental illness. He even pursued a psychology’s counselling degree, hoping to hack the disease. But nothing really stuck. After all the remedies and suggestions, he noticed that he always felt a little better while walking his pet dog, Mali. He soon realized the therapeutic effect of the dog walk and became enthusiastic about helping mates access the benefits. And so, he started “Dudes & Dogs.”
A walk with pets
Whenever Rob took Mali for a walk, he immediately felt a sharp uptick in his mood. No matter how his day went, or how low he felt, going out with Mali for a walk had an immediate positive effect. One particular incident that Rob remembers is an especially low day. It was windy, damp, and cold outside. Rob did not want to do anything, let alone get out of the house. But Mali didn’t care. He was excited to go out and play! Rob had no other option but to oblige. As soon as he stepped out of the house, he noticed a change in his temperament.
Dogs are furry antidepressants!
Expressing feelings has long threatened to topple the idea of masculinity. At the risk of generalizing, men frequently resist help for their symptoms. Their depression and other mental health issues also go unreported because of a lack of awareness regarding its treatment. Rob wanted to change prevalent attitudes towards this disease. Osman believes that Dudes & Dogs helped him come out of his depression.
Dudes & Dogs aims is to change the perspective of the next generation. Rob began by inviting his friends and their pets for a walk with him and Mali. Sometimes it would be a quiet walk, but there were instances where his friends began opening up. The combination of exercise, a furry companion and a friend in need proved to be the secret ingredient to their mental relief. Dogs act as unwitting antidepressants and allow their human friends to get silly with them!