How do puppies help veterans recover?
After a traumatic incident, people’s coping strategies are different. Some overcome it and recover while others continue to suffer from severe symptoms of anxiety, depression and distress. They would be having what psychologists call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In a recent study led by Dr. Zoeann Murphy, under the name of “Warrior Canine Connection,” veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury trained puppies to become service dogs for fellow wounded warriors, which eventually reduced their own symptoms.
Individuals suffering from PTSD start re-experiencing a shocking incident in subsequent nightmares and diurnal thoughts, feeling emotional numbness and avoiding every person, place or activity reminding them of it, as well as having some alterations in their cognitions and mood.
Therefore, in the army for example, soldiers are subject to being in dangerous surroundings and living in insecure fields. They might think that the anxiety symptoms they are experiencing are natural and that they don’t need help. However, studies have shown that 20 percent of soldiers returning home from war suffer from PTSD or a major depression. They start living under the same stress and fear experienced at war even even when they would no longer be in danger.
Here is a video by The Washington Post explaining how the therapy went and how it helped veterans feel better about themselves:
Cover photo credit: shecknows.com