Service dogs are commonly used to help visually impaired people to function on a day-to-day basis, but over the past few years, dogs have begun serving as therapists to military veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The dogs are helping veterans in central California towns like Hanford, California deal with anxiety, stress, fear, and a host of other symptoms of PTSD.
Wartime trauma is one cause of PTSD, but individuals may have also been affected by traumatic events such as natural disasters or abuse. These individuals tend to relive the events – and not always willingly. They may also be anxious, paranoid, have trouble sleeping, and experience nightmares or flashbacks of the traumatic incident.
Most patients are treated through a combination of therapy and medications and are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of this professional treatment, but apart from therapy and medications, there are also a number of ways for individuals to help themselves cope with PTSD:
- Relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises, visualization of positive imagery.
- Building healthy habits. Eating well, sleeping enough, and regularly engaging in exercise and physical activity.
- Continued productivity. Working, volunteering, or engaging in meaningful hobbies or activities.
- Minimizing negative habits. Substance abuse, isolation, self-destructive behaviors, or anything that might aggravate the condition.
PTSD Treatment Is Available Today
Through intensive therapeutic intervention and a healthy lifestyle, those who suffer from PTSD and other mental health disorders can live normal lives again. If you or someone you love in Hanford needs help dealing with mental health issues, help is available. Call the number above to speak to an admissions coordinator about your family member’s needs in mental health treatment today.