Whether you’re a cat, dog, rabbit or guinea pig owner you probably already know the comfort and companionship a pet brings to your life.

Did you know that there is actual research that has been carried out to validate that owning a pet brings health benefits to those who are suffering with a mental illness.

I have two black cats, aptly named Felix and Cossima (Bonus points if you can figure out who my cats are named after) who prance around my house like they own the place. They rub against my leg, purr at me or meow for some food/attention. This bond with your animals releases a chemical called serotonin, which is a chemical in your brain that is associated with happiness.

Most individuals who suffer with bipolar are also treated with a drug called lithium, as well as an anti-psychotic. Lithium, like pets also increases the serotonin chemical within our brains. So in theory if you have a pet and take lithium you should (should being the word) be happy. I know my pets bring me happiness.

So having pets is a win win in my mind.