How Service Dogs Can Help Mental Illness Sufferers In The United States

Anxiety and mental illness are certainly difficult things to have to deal with, there is no doubt about this. But mental illnesses of all kinds are incredibly common, with more than twenty five percent of all adults in the United States diagnosed with some type of metal illness or other such mental disorder, and many more living undiagnosed but still dealing with the daily struggles of having a mental illness. And children can suffer from metal disorders as well, up to one out of every seven diagnosed with some kind of mental disorder, behavioral disorder, or developmental disorder between the ages of two years old and eight years old.

There are many different types of mental illnesses out there, and some of them even have overlapping symptoms even though they all present their own unique challenges. PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, is a type of mental illness that results after a person sustains a notable trauma in their lives, which is why it is so very prevalent among abuse survivors and combat veterans. PTSD is perhaps more common than many of us realize, with more than seven and a half million adults in this country alone currently diagnosed with it, meaning that nearly four percent of the population of the United States deals with their PTSD symptoms on a daily basis.

In addition to PTSD, anxiety disorders are also incredibly common. In fact, anxiety disorders make up the most commonly diagnosed mental illness here in the United States, with up to forty million adults alone dealing with some form of anxiety disorder on a yearly basis. However, it’s important to note that anxiety disorders come in many different shapes and sizes, ranging from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) to panic disorder to generalized anxiety disorder to social anxiety disorder. And while these disorders are all different in many ways, they are still subsets of the greater title of anxiety disorder and thus often share many of the same characteristics.

Fortunately for many in this country and beyond, mental health treatment has evolved over the years and many sufferers of mental illness are able to lead full and productive lives. Talk therapy is common and many medications have been found to do wonders in the lives of many. In addition to this, the rise of therapy animals, from the service dog for social anxiety to the therapy cat for depression, has also been seen. Therapy animals like the service dog for social anxiety have been found to have a profound effect in the lives of many who deal with anxiety and other mental illnesses, as up to three quarters of this who have owned or currently own a pet say that it is beneficial to their overall mental health.

And pet ownership has always been popular here in the United States. In fact, up to nearly forty five percent of the population owns dogs alone, with even more owning cats. And so many people who own dogs consider them enough of a real part of the family that up to forty five percent of dog owners let the dogs sleep on their beds, curled up by their feet.

So what’s the difference between having a dog and having a social anxiety service dog? For one thing, a social anxiety service dog will be able to live in any apartment, even if they do not allow dogs. This is due to the rights of ESA owners, which allow all service animals like the social anxiety service dog and all emotional support animals to live in any building. This even holds true for apartments that do not otherwise allow animals – but will legally be required to allow in a social anxiety service dog or other such emotional support animal.

The social anxiety service dog will also be allowed to ride beside its owner on a plane, granted that the required training for the dog has been conducted. As many people have large fears of flying, the presence of a social anxiety service dog can be hugely beneficial. The social anxiety service dog can help in many aspects of life.