Dogs are humans’ best friends. And it is not shocking that they can actually help people, especially veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Veterans who have PTSD are continually seeking the services of dogs, as there have been studies and results to prove that their condition can improve just by knowing that there’s a dog there to watch their backs.
In this article, we will look at the benefits of a therapy dog for post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). You would wonder what a dog has to do with a health condition, wouldn’t you? As shocking as it is, it’s actually a thing, and the people who have enjoyed the benefits have attested to it.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental condition that occurs due to terrible psychological shock and an injury to vital organs or limbs. Post-traumatic stress disorders can happen to anyone. However, it is more common in retired soldiers who have had to go to war.
The experiences of war are horrifying. The gruesome and gory scenes you are subject to, the living condition, the death of a loved one, and all these things can result in severe mental illness.
PTSD can go on for long months or years, but it can be easily diagnosed and treated by an experienced professional health practitioner. Although treatment can go up to months before complete healing can be effective, the patient could get emotional and physical reactions that will trigger the memories of the PTSD or the actual cause.
During the treatment of PTSD, a trained therapy dog is usually assigned to the patient if they don’t mind. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that a therapy dog can offer PTSD patients.
Benefits of Therapy Dogs
The following are some of the benefits that therapy dogs will offer to post-traumatic stress disorder patients.
1. Reduction in hypervigilance
The mere knowledge that you have somebody with you to watch over you can keep your mind at rest. It is more comfortable to sleep with a service dog around you. The problem of continually getting alerted by paranoia caused by the gruesome memories is significantly reduced.
2. Improvement in sleep
With more peace of mind comes more sleeping time. The presence of a service dog assures you that you’re in good hands. If there’s anything to worry about, the dog will alert you about it.
3. Increased community participation
One of the adverse effects of PTSD is that it makes you withdraw from social activities. Having a service dog around you while going for your treatment can significantly help you with socialization.
4. Reduced suicidal thoughts
PTSD patients that have therapy dogs assigned to them attested to a reduction in suicidal impulses. They reported that they felt a stronger sense of responsibility to the dog and their families.
PTSD patients attested to the significant benefits of therapy dogs. They reported a considerable improvement in their condition and participation in activities that help them reach their goal.