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Did you that there more than 300k U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder?
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be dreadful. They may mess up your all life and make it very difficult to advance with your daily routine. It may be tough just to get through the day.
Luckily, there are strong evidences that dogs can help individuals with PTSD. Why? Here are the reasons:
- Dogs are vigilant.
- Dogs are protective.
- Dogs respond well to authoritative relationships.
- Dogs love unconditionally.
- Dogs help relearn trust.
- Dogs help to remember feelings of love
The dogs attract even the most isolated personality, and having to praise the animals helps traumatized veterans overcome emotional numbness. Teaching the dogs service commands develops a patient’s ability to communicate, to be assertive but not aggressive, a distinction some struggle with. The dogs can as well soothe the hypervigilance common in veterans with PTSD.
Here’s what Tim Wixon (our Facebook Fan) has to say about how Klaus, his Boxer, is helping him:
“Hello I am a retired soldier of 23 yrs. I have saw a lot of bad things during my time in the Army. I suffer from a TBI and PTSD. My boy Klaus never fails to make me laugh. He is my best best friend. He continues to sense how I am feeling and comes by to put a paw in my lap. I think he is more human than most humans. He likes to sit in anything high from window ledges to kitchen chairs. He is just on phenomenal boy. Thanks for having an open ear.”[/box] Researchers are gathering evidence that bonding with dogs has biological effects, such as elevated levels of the hormone oxytocin. “Oxytocin improves trust, the ability to interpret facial expressions, the overcoming of paranoia and other pro-social effects—the opposite of PTSD symptoms,” says Meg Daley Olmert of Baltimore, who works for a program called Warrior Canine Connection.