Psychiatric Service Animal: Every year more and more people realize the seriousness of mental and psychic disorders and put them on a par with physical illnesses. Mental issues really greatly affect the quality of life, worsening it. They do not allow us to do work qualitatively, be socially active and take away all the colorfulness of life, turning it into a gray routine.
Therefore, specialists are looking for new therapeutic options for such patients. And one of the ways is animal therapy. Emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals become faithful companions for their “patients”, who are ready to become strength and prop for the owner at any moment. How to understand that you need such an animal and how to get it, we will try to explain.
What do I need: ESA or Psychiatric service animal?
The first thing to understand is the difference between an emotional support animal and a psychiatric service animal. Despite the fact that both types of animals are designed to help people with mental, psychic and emotional disturbances, there is a big difference between them. First of all, an emotional support animal is a companion that is nearby and by its presence gives you a sense of security, calmness and improves your mood. A psychiatric service animal is a fully-fledged assistance animal that has been trained and is ready to perform some physical tasks as well.
That is why their rights are different. ESA actually has limited freedoms in all areas except for housing. While the PSD enjoys all the rights of the assistance animals. They can freely live with their owners, be alongside during the flights and accompany them wherever they go.
For serious and critical forms of mental maladies, when patients require constant supervision and care, doctors recommend getting a psychiatric service animal. Thanks to the expanded list of functions that these creatures can perform, the treatment of such patients is faster and more efficient.
Getting a service animal
To get a service animal, the first step is to contact your GP, describe the problem, and explain why you think the animal can help you. Maybe you have already noticed the positive influence of an animal on your condition before. The more information you give your doctor the more reason he will have to recommend you a psychiatric service animal.
After receiving all the necessary documents from the therapist, contact one of the animal training centers. The center’s specialists will help you find an animal that can help you cope with your disease. When the pet is selected, you must issue an ID card for it. We recommend using a trusted online service to register Psychiatric Service Dog ID card.
Frustrations requiring psychiatric service animal
The list of disorders that a psychiatric service animal can help with is quite extensive. Among the most popular are depression, anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks, OCD, bipolar disorder, and various phobias. For example, an animal can help with social anxiety by helping you meet new people and being a great conversation starter.
Also, PSD can help to cope with learning and intellectual disorders. For instance, they assist children with autism to explore the world safely. In addition, the animal can help people with dyslexia. Such a pet reduces the level of pressure and stress and helps a person to concentrate on the task at hand.
How a psychiatric service dog can be useful?
A psychiatric service animal is trained to recognize signs of an impending attack, such as anxiety or a panic attack. Moreover, the animal can warn others about your condition and call for help. The animal distracts you from obsessive and suicidal thoughts, does not allow you to withdraw into yourself and serves as an excellent reason to avoid stressful or uncomfortable situations. In addition, PSD gives a sense of security and does not allow you to allow stressful situations even when you are sleeping – the animal will wake you up if it feels that your sleep has become disturbing and restless.
In addition, the animal makes certain adjustments to the lifestyle of its owner. For example, regular walks and workouts with animals help to improve physical fitness, clear the mind of unnecessary thoughts and reduce stress levels. Also, the animal helps to establish a sleep pattern and makes sleep deeper, bringing the owner a sense of security and security. In addition, the animal can help maintain a balanced diet, quit smoking, and reduce caffeine intake.
The effect of the PSDs
Psychiatric service dogs help to calm down, find a connection with reality, give self-confidence and a sense of security. People become more sociable and friendly, learn to enjoy simple things. get rid of suicidal thoughts. Many make new acquaintances and friends thanks to the animal.
And yet, the main difference between PSD and ESA is that service animals are trained to perform physical tasks. For example, a psychiatric service dog can monitor medication intake and deliver medication on time. Also, such a pet can wake you up in the morning or even during nightmares.
In addition, as necessary, you yourself can train the animal to perform the necessary tasks. For example, part of the housework can be shifted to a pet. Animals are also trained to press special buttons. It can be an elevator call button or a panic call button for a doctor, if you have one.