While physical inabilities are obvious, there are also less visible mental disorders. However, they have an equally negative impact on the life of the human who suffers from them. That is why a lot of attention is paid to the therapy of brain frustrations, involving service dogs in this process as well.
How service dogs can be useful?
Service animals, mainly dogs, are no longer something outlandish. They have become an integral part of the therapy of men with inabilities. Although the most widespread class of helper animals is guide dogs, there are other varieties are designed to facilitate the life of humans with dysfunctions.
The range of assistance for which service animal is trained is huge. Moreover, at the last stages of training, the animal is additionally disciplined depending on the dysfunction of its future handler and adjusted to his or her disability-related needs.
For example, service dogs are educated to give special signs to people with hearing impairments. Besides, the animal can help its handler with mobility issues. With the help of a special harness, service dogs can pull a wheelchair or even become a prop for their owners while walking.
Another group of service animals is therapy dogs. These animals usually provide comfort for patients during treatment in nursing homes. A psychiatric service dog is a special subspecies of a therapy dog. They are expressly trained to perform various assignments for benefit of individuals with mental health issues.
Regulations on the use of service dogs to help people with psychological disorders
If a man suffers from any psychological or emotional disturbances, a service dog may be appointed to him or her as extra therapy. To get a service dog you have to contact your therapist that will give you a note to confirm the presence of mental illness. After that, you can appeal to the organizations that specialize in the training of service animals.
All rights and freedoms regarding service dogs and their owners are regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You can find information about the health conditions that give humans a right to qualify for a service dog. In addition, ADA states the freedoms of helper animals, for example, access to public places.
Psychiatric service dogs
Psychiatric service dogs succor patients with poor mental health conditions. The list of psychological frustrations in the treatment of which service dogs can help includes but is not limited to obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Furthermore, a service dog can help treat more serious mental maladies such as bipolar disorder, social and anti-social disorders. A dog promotes the development of communication skills, helps to concentrate and formulate thoughts more clearly, and makes a person more sociable and easy-going.
Service dogs are also often used to relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. This frustration is often common among veterans who returned from war or hot spots.
Service dog for anxiety or depression
Anxiety and depression are by far the most extended mental frustrations. And if a mild form of these ailments can be overcome with a couple of visits to a psychotherapist, then for serious forms another therapy is required.
For instance, service dogs are trained to identify the anxiety attack before it happens. They can bring needed medications and reduce the symptoms, like high blood pressure and rapid heart rate. Long walks in the fresh air are also useful for coping with anxiety. The presence of a dog for a walk makes it safer for humans. This applies to both the protection of the owner from strangers and the aid that the animal can supply in case if a panic or anxiety attack occurs outside the home.
If the owner suffers from depression, the dog can remind him or her to take medication, relieves emotional tension and burden, and is also an excellent reason to change the environment and take a walk if necessary. In addition, if the person is in a critical state, the dog can bring a phone or call 911.
Emotional support animals
An emotional support animal is an animal that ensures necessary spiritual endorsement. ESAs often accompany men who feel constant loneliness and light forms of depression. It has been proven that a dog as a companion contributes to the improvement of the emotional state and the renewal of the psychological resources of all who come into contact with it.
In addition, the dog promotes the evolution of such traits of the owner’s character as attentiveness, punctuality, and concentration. The animal boosts the level of self-confidence and helps to feel safe. Dog owners become more outgoing and companionable and make new acquaintances more easily.
Other mental illnesses for which service dogs can be helpful
PTSD is often a root cause of anxiety in humans. Service dogs succor patients with this diagnosis to socialize safely. A dog assists to overcome phobias and fears and also helps to cope with nightmares. Moreover, an animal helps to calm down and regain consciousness faster during panic attacks.
Service dogs are often attached to kids with autism. For them, the dog primarily serves as a protector. The animal defends its handler from strangers, but at the same time does not allow the owner to feel cut off from society.