SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A brilliant study published last month in the Journal of Unconventional Psychiatry finds that standard anti-depressant medications may not be the final answer in treating major depressive disorder. Researchers at the University of Western San Francisco found that a program of regimented puppy exposure was as effective as first-line treatment with any one of the major first-line depression medications, such as Fluoxetine, Sertraline, or Citalopram.
The study was small (20 patients) but rigorous; the intervention arm involved a minimum of 3 hours of structured daily puppy exposure over a period of 8 weeks. The control arm of the trial received standard care with psychiatrist visits and initiation of a first-line antidepressant medication. Results were striking; patients in the puppy arm reported similar improvement in depressive symptoms and fewer harmful side effects. Side effects in the control (anti-depressant medication) arm included weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and dry mouth. Allergies to pet dander and being soiled with canine feces or urine were the only adverse events reported in the puppy arm.
Alternative medicine enthusiasts are embracing the results with a publicity campaign called “Puppies Won’t Make You Fat: Get a Litter and Get Happy.” Leading scientists are also intrigued by the data.
“Puppies are the breakthrough we’ve been seeking for years!! They were right in front of us with their cute little wet noses.” said Beatrice Bicklesteiner, a leading psychiatrist at Brugham and Men’s Hospital in Boston. “This opens the door to a whole lot of tasty questions about neuro-modulation and domestic pets. I can’t wait to get a bunch of puppies into my lab.”
Not everyone is excited about these results, however. Big pharma is already fighting back against these new results with an ad campaign called “Prozac Never Pooped on Anyone: People need Pills not Puppies.” Animal rights activists have also voiced concern about the use of puppies for therapeutic effect, saying that making puppies spend 3 hours a day with people who are clinically depressed could be bad for the puppies’ own emotional formation.
To experience the mood-altering effects of puppies on a smaller scale, follow the video link below. The therapeutic effect is maximized when one watches the entire video in a quiet environment several times in sequence.
While more research is undoubtedly needed to confirm these findings, the Daily Medical Examiner will remain your source for the latest in the groundbreaking field of puppy therapeutics.
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