The separation of the couple can mean a great trauma for many people, this can even be one of their worst episodes, and not knowing how to cope with it could trigger other more serious problems.
Most people have experienced emotional pain at least once after breaking up with a loved one. Under such circumstances, it seems to such a person that the whole world is falling apart and that there is no strength to continue living without his soulmate.
Getting through a breakup in a healthy way
People who lose their partner to widowhood or divorce don’t really feel alone and cope better when they have the help of an important ally.
The balm after the loss of a partner, due to widowhood or divorce, seems to be the company of a pet. According to a Florida State University study published in The Gerontologist, the presence of a pet can help reduce feelings of depression and loneliness in people over 50.
There is evidence that social support networks are actually beneficial in maintaining mental health after stressful events, despite the frustration we experience in later life when we experience significant social loss, the study notes.
The research team compared people who experienced the loss of their partner with those who did not have to deal with a similar event. They then investigated whether the effects of divorce or widowhood differed for people who had a pet when they lost their partner.
The results showed that all the people who lost their partner experienced higher levels of depression. However, people who didn’t have a pet had a more significant increase in depressive symptoms and more loneliness than those who didn’t have a pet.
A pet is the perfect ally to overcome a loss
In practice, people who had a pet and were lonely due to widowhood or divorce did not feel really lonely, they did not feel more lonely compared to older people who had not lost their partner.
It’s normal for depression to set in after a loss, but we can usually adjust it over time. On the other hand, persistent loneliness is associated with increased mortality and faster onset of disability.
Our findings show that pets may help avoid the negative loneliness consequences of a loss.