Living with dogs, cats, and other non-human animals is a perfectly normal thing and prevalent in many cultures that exist today. Profiting from your business can produce great satisfaction and even have therapeutic goals.It is therefore not uncommon for many people to decide to identify with all kinds of specimens on a daily basis by offering them the roof of the house and the care they need.
However, when the coexistence with animal life forms becomes a simple accumulation of animals that share an increasingly restricted space, we are probably talking about cases in which the Noah’s ark syndrome.
What is Noah’s Ark Syndrome?
Someone with Noah’s Ark Syndrome he can’t cope with the uncontrollable urge to pile up pets at home. These new guests can be abandoned dogs or cats, purchased pets, etc.
Both the person and the animals see their quality of life diminished at a time when space and hygiene are scarce and the caregiver cannot provide the necessary care that these animals need. It is important to keep this in mind, as this syndrome is not limited by the number of animals captured but by the fact that they cannot contain the desire to accumulate animals, so that they cannot be cured. path.
Thus, a person who takes in many pets should not have Noah’s Ark syndrome if they are fully aware that the means and resources at their disposal allow them and themselves to live better than they do. if he had not welcomed them (and that corresponds to reality).
Some signs of Noah’s ark syndrome
So, when a person has this syndrome, it is very easy for the context in which they live to have the following characteristics:
- The person tends to not let anyone else into their home.
- Inside the house, it is difficult to find open spaces that are not occupied by an animal.
- There are no demarcated spaces or partitions between the areas of the house dedicated to people and animals.
- The house has poor hygiene and there is feces and hair coming from many common traffic areas.
- The animals are not vaccinated and the caregiver does not comply with the legal provisions governing the possession of pets.
However, any situation can have peculiarities, so adherence to these characteristics should not be synonymous with diagnosed Noah’s ark syndrome.
Causes of Noah’s ark syndrome
The concept of Noah’s Ark Syndrome is relatively new and has not yet been accepted by the entire community of mental health professionals. This is why, among other things, that its causes and the factors that influence it are not yet well known.
However, it is believed that Noah’s Ark syndrome is often one of the ways in which obsessive-compulsive disorder can be expressed, although it can also be expressed when the diagnostic criteria for this disorder are not met. . Its origin can also be found in the dependence on an unfavorable social dynamic model: maintenance of social isolation from others, adoption of beliefs related to misanthropy, etc.
In addition, from the available data, it appears that the people most likely to respond to the typical features of Noah’s Ark syndrome are populations of seniors, Who often live alone and socially isolated and may seek the companionship of animals. The accumulation of pets in an uncontrollable manner has a negative effect not only on their health, but also on their social relations: these people are socially stigmatized for their lonely habits, lack of hygiene and signs of anxiety and nervousness typical of those who live in poor conditions.
This is why the psychological intervention in these people is oriented both towards the individual of the person presenting the syndrome and towards the collective: their community of neighbors, their family, etc.
Treatment of Noah’s syndrome
This syndrome is a complex problem, therefore requires multidisciplinary treatment.
People with Noah’s syndrome rarely turn to help because they are unaware of the problem they have. When they receive treatment, it is generally thanks to the complaint of certain neighbors or relatives, so it is patients who go to a psychological consultation resulting from medical and legal services or from the pressure exerted by their families.
But the complexity of these patients is not only in getting them to attend therapy sessions, but in lack of willpower. this makes them passive individuals in the face of treatment, Which greatly complicates the therapeutic task.
Much of this treatment focuses on social skills training and the need for these subjects to be part of the community through different activities. We must not forget that these are patients with a high level of loneliness. As has been said, the support of family and neighbors is key to their recovery and to avoiding isolation.