Psychiatric Service Dogs

How a Psychiatric Service Dog Can Help Someone with PTSD

If you or someone you know struggles with PTSD, you understand firsthand just how hard it can be to face this mental health issue. One treatment option which can help is a psychiatric service dog. Read on to learn how a psychiatric service dog can greatly benefit someone struggling with PTSD.

What Is a Psychiatric Service Dog?

A psychiatric service dog is defined as a dog that is trained to perform a task to benefit an individual with a mental illness. Similarly, to the way a seeing eye service dog guides a person with a physical disability around, psychiatric service dogs aid individuals with mental health issues. A service dog is considered necessary medical equipment under the ADA and can go virtually anywhere with an individual.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress-related disorder that affects 6.8% of individuals at some point in their lives. PTSD can develop from exposure to a variety of psychologically traumatic events, such as experiencing sexual abuse or assault, a life-threatening event, natural disaster, or unexpected death of a loved one.

What Tasks Can Psychiatric Service Animals Perform

Psychiatric service dogs can be trained to do a variety of tasks in order to help someone with PTSD. Some of these tasks include interrupting flashbacks, waking the individual up from nightmares, reminding the individual to take their medication on time, standing on pressure points to calm them down during panic attacks, creating safety by watching an individual’s back or blocking approaching strangers, or serve to provide physical balance during panic attacks or flashbacks.

Other Ways They Can Help

Another way psychiatric service dogs assist individuals with PTSD is by providing a comforting presence. Having a furry face that is always filled with unconditional love and affection can boost someone’s spirit when they are battling PTSD and other mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Having a service animal can also help bridge the barrier to more and better social interactions with other people, helping to overcome the isolation that often comes with PTSD.

Psychiatric Service Dog Qualifications

In order to qualify for a psychiatric service dog, you must be diagnosed with a mental illness by a mental health professional. This mental health professional must write a PSD letter stating your need for a psychiatric service animal. Next, you must train or find an already trained dog who can perform a task directly related to your mental health struggle. One easy and fast way to get registered is by visiting Untied Support Animal today.

PTSD can be a challenging mental health issue to face and overcome. But recovery can be made easier with the help of a psychiatric service dog. A service dog can perform a wide variety of tasks that will help make everyday life easier for a struggling individual, as well as providing comfort and joy. Find out if you qualify for a psychiatric service animal today at United Support Animal.