Mental inabilities are no less severe than physical ones. For example, anxiety, which is now one of the most prevalent psychological ailments, can significantly complicate the life of the man who suffers from it. However, people with mental health problems are often ashamed of this and refuse to accept help from any medical professional or relatives. This is one of the main reasons why service dogs registration is a great request today.
Service animals are a special kind of animal that are trained to perform various assignments and assist humans with inabilities in every possible way. Usually, tasks that helper animals can cope with are aimed at making the life of a specific human with certain impairments easier. For example, guide dogs succor unseeing people and alert dogs help humans with deafness. Also, a separate category of helper dogs is intended for maintenance to individuals with mobility dysfunction.
Moreover, there are therapy dogs that are often used for the long-term treatment of patients in nursery homes. These pups are trained to assist in treatment by recalling the patients to take medication or by taking a direct part in the therapy. Therapy dog also grants an emotional endorsement for the patient and raises his or her spirit.
Service animals enjoy almost unlimited rights. They have admission to all public places and can follow their owner wherever he goes. The freedoms of these animals and their handlers are established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Psychiatric service dog
Psychiatric service dogs are a separate group of service animals that are dedicated to aiding people with various mental disorders. Most often, their wards are veterans who returned from war or hot spots. This category of society is considered or of the most vulnerable. Therefore, the procedure of providing psychiatric service dogs for soldiers who served in the US army is determined by law.
However, a psychiatric service dog can also be helpful in the therapy of other psychic disturbances. The animal has a positive effect on the general well-being of patients, and the range of services that the dog provides to its owner is enormous.
For example, the list of frustrations in the healing of which service dogs are involved includes PTSD, bipolar, social and antisocial disorders, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, durable depression, etc.
Emotional support animal
Emotional support animals (ESA) are another kind of assistance animal. They are specifically trained to succor humans with mild forms of psychical or spiritual disturbances. Moreover, these animals provide comfort for people who feel lonely or are experiencing emotional or professional burnout.
Dogs improve your mood, boost your level of self-confidence and promote socialization. A dog can help its handler to become more compassionate and kind-hearted. It has also been proven that dog owners can more easily start a conversation, adapt, and socialize because they feel that the pet is ready to cover their back in case of danger.
Although ADA doesn’t consider ESA a type of service animal, the Air Carrier Access Act, and Fair Housing Act yet apply to emotional support dogs. This means that an emotional support dog can live its owner without extra charge or travel in the cabin.
How can service animals help with anxiety?
An anxiety service dog is a relatively new concept that has only been actively used in the last few years. Today, anxiety is one of the most widespread psychic disorders. No one is immune from it, while it has a very negative effect on work, leisure, and the whole life of a man.
If you can get rid of mild forms of anxiety with medication and with a couple of visits to specialists, to treat advanced forms of anxiety a service dog may be needed. A service animal can be taught to predict the anxiety attack before it occurs and minimizes the demonstration of other visible anxiety symptoms. This skill significantly reduces the possible existing risks to the health and life of the dog owner.
In addition, the animal can remind its owner to take medications, and also partially acts as a sedative. The dog provides tactual and spiritual support when needed. Moreover, doctors believe that walking with a pet in the fresh air has a beneficial effect on the patient’s condition. A man does not feel removed from society, but at the same time, the dog provides a sufficient perception of safeness and defense.
Service dogs for other psychic frustrations
Among other frustrations, in the treatment of which a service animal can help, first of all, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should be called. Service dog supplies the handler with the emotional endorsement during flashbacks, aids to cope with panic attacks or exacerbated fears and phobias, such as fear of the dark, noise, or crowds. The dog can even wake up the owner if he has a nightmare.
In the case of depression, the dog can even partially replace special services, since the animal is always ready to grant aid, listen and give its owner psychological relief. Furthermore, helper animals can be useful for such disturbances as autism, OCD, and most personality maladies.
Thanks to the presence of an animal, a person begins to uphold a certain daily regime, including the diet. This is particularly of current interest to those who are cut up with eating disorders.
How to get a service dog?
To qualify for a service animal either for physical or mental illness, you have to contact a therapist or psychiatrist to get all the necessary medical documentation. Having documents confirming your mental illnesses, you can contact one of the organizations that cultivate and train service dogs.
Within two weeks, the animal will receive additional training to meet the demands of the future handler. Your acquaintance with the animal should also be overseen. The specialists are always ready to give you some pieces of advice so that the interaction with a service dog is as effective as possible. After that, you can finally take your new companion home.