We are all familiar with service dogs like guide dogs. Dogs that help people who have lost their sight and hearing to live independently can always feel appreciated and gratified by humans. However, the dogs that help people suffering from mental disorders are not well known. On the eighth day, the Telegraph reported on amazing dogs helping people with mental illness.
It was in the 1970s that service dogs first began to function. Elaine Smith, a nurse who loved dogs, found that patients with physical or mental illness had lower blood pressure with more time with their dogs. After that, we introduced dogs for physical and mental disorders. The patients felt happy and calm when they were with the dog.
Recently, it has been found that dogs with veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are very effective.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) refers to a mental impairment that persists for more than a month after encountering a physical injury or a life-threatening serious condition.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very high probability for soldiers returning from work in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of soldiers suffering trauma during combat is estimated to be between one third and one half.
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder include hypersensitivity, reemergence of shock through nightmares, panic attacks, aggressive behavior, avoidance of feelings, suicidal ideation, and hallucinations.
The US Veterans Association said one veteran committed suicide every 65 minutes.
About half of PTSD patients recover within 3 months. However, there is a high likelihood of recurrence and depression after recovery.
Therapeutic dogs are comforted with great healing effects for those injured in body and mind in battle.
Rick Yount of the Department of Defense in Bethesda, Maryland, found that attaching therapeutic dogs to soldiers suffering from PTSD improves impulse control, reduces stress and depression symptoms, and restores proper emotional expression. Even the frequency of nightmares is decreasing, reducing the number of painkillers taking sleep.
These amazing dogs learn how to help patients calm and control their emotions when they panic or suddenly get angry.
When a patient strokes a dog, oxytocin is secreted and it feels safe. Most importantly, it is the fact that patients take care of their dogs and escape from their illnesses and regain their daily and life goals.