Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious illness that can make life considerably harder for the person struggling with it. It can cause anxiety, depression, nightmares, social isolation, and more. It can cause you to relive a traumatic moment in your life over and over again.
There are ways to get help with managing and moving past PTSD. Therapy and medications can be a big help in helping someone with PTSD function at a more normal rate and feel happier and calmer. However, another option is to adopt a support animal. Support animals for PTSD sufferers offer a range of benefits that help sufferers cope with and manage their mental illness.
One thing that PTSD animals have to offer to their owners is a sense of consistency and familiarity. This is great for dealing with anxiety symptoms such as panic attacks and flashbacks. These animals provide an anchor that is familiar and comforting to the owner that helps to ease their anxiety and ground them. They can take their dogs with them to unfamiliar areas that could be triggering for added support.
Boost of Serotonin
The bond between a person and their support animal also helps to boost serotonin levels and make the owner feel happier. Being with animals that we love gives us a release of serotonin, which is a chemical in our bodies that helps with feelings of well-being and happiness. They also provide us with a sense of purpose and a reason to smile. If depression is a big part of someone’s PTSD, then having a support animal can help with that.
Support animals for PTSD sufferers can be trained to notice shifts in their owner’s personality and moods. This means that if their anxiety spikes or they are feeling depressed, the animal can sense it and act accordingly. They can offer comfort when they know their owner needs it most.
Support animals offer so much to the people they care for. They give companionship, love, stability, and emotional support. They can be a huge part in rehabilitating a person with PTSD and getting them back to a normal life, especially when used alongside other treatments such as therapy.