relieve pain

Service Dogs for Bipolar Disorder

This post was written by David Oliver on February 21, 2012
Posted Under: Uncategorized

Hi,

You’ve heard of service dogs for the visually impaired, haven’t you? Those are those specially trained dogs that help visually impaired people get around better. Well, now they have service dogs for other disabled people as well. Including people with bipolar disorder. It’s true!

Here’s a true story:

Bill has bipolar disorder. He was in a major car accident this past year, and was injured. They thought he was going to lose his leg, but fortunately, they were able to save it. Unfortunately, it was broken in four places, and had to be immobilized. He needed two major operations to save it. Bill was a very independent man and up until then, was used to getting up and going wherever he wanted, whenever he wanted. So being in a wheelchair was something new to him. He didn’t like it at all. On top of that, he was told that his recovery would be very slow. In fact, he was told that it could take up to a year before he would be able to walk again. He was very discouraged by this news. It was very hard for him not to be depressed. His doctors were very concerned that on top of fighting to recover the use of his leg again, that he would be fighting to stay out of a bipolar depressive episode on top of it. So somebody recommended that he get a puppy from the Animal Shelter. At first he was reluctant to do it, but the more he thought about it, the more the idea appealed to Bill. He talked it over with his wife, who said she would help him take care of it. They went to the Animal Shelter and picked out a puppy. Bill began training the puppy and playing with her, and pretty soon, his spirits improved greatly. It was a great motivation to get up on his leg as he needed to take the puppy for a walk, so his leg began improving as well. Believe it or not, he improved so rapidly that he actually was able to walk at less than a year – at only nine months of recovery! Bill attributes his rapid recovery and avoidance of a major bipolar episode to getting a puppy.

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An amazing story, isn’t it? So uplifting and encouraging! You might want to consider getting a puppy for your loved one to take care of as well. Look what it did for Bill!

I saw another report on TV, on Discovery Channel, I believe, where they did a story on a young woman who was struggling with depression. She had even been on medication to try and help her depression, but it wasn’t helping her. Even therapy wasn’t helping her. Nothing was helping her. She was desperate. So somebody suggested that she get a dog. And she did. She quickly came out of her depression, and this report, done quite awhile after that, showed that she still was not experiencing any more depressive episodes. She attributed her healing from depression to

getting that dog. She said it was because it gave her something to get out of bed for every day, among other things. She couldn’t just stay in bed and feel sorry for herself any more, because that dog needed her to take care of it. Maybe this would help your loved one as well.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,

Dave

Reader Comments

I believe that Service Dogs should be available to those of us with mental illness. I have 2 dogs already at home but they are not specifically trained. However, they are both very in tune to my body changes, like I have diabetes and they NEVER miss it when my blood sugars go too high and they will stay in my face and whine and keep smelling my breath (no, it’s not just bad breath!!lol) and when I check my blood sugar, it is usually over 500!! I have been in at least 6 comas before I got my 2 little miniature schnauzers. I got them free almost by accident. Since the recession hit, people have not been able to sell their litters of pups and the lady that brought me Oreo and Rowdy had an entire litter that she just gave away and she brought them to me over 2 hours away from where she lived, but I had just lost my other dear pup to an accident! My dogs are my BEST FRIENDS! I have relocated across the country, been in several accidents, am sick and have broken many bones in just 2 years time, including an 8 days stint in ICU this past November due to a severe physical illness that almost killed me and I am still not out of the woods. I was at the drs office the other day and a woman who trains dogs to be service dogs said I would qualify for one with all the physical and mental problems I have. I don’t want to hurt my dogs feelings, but I need even more help than they can give since they are so little. A service dog like I need should be about the size of a german shepherd because I am not a small person and I need something strong to lean on and that could hurt my little dogs! But they ALL serve a different purpose. Rowdy guards our house – he thinks this is HIS castle! But I always know when someone is here way before they get to the door and Oreo is my companion dog and he is very skittish but is super attentive to me especially emotionally and a good snuggle w/him always is comforting. But I am home in a hospital bed with my bedroom looking more like a hospital room and I have already been in nursing homes twice already and I JUST turned 51 a couple of weeks ago. I used to be an outgoing person and a great salesperson, but my world is shrinking around me. I even live NEXT DOOR to my church in the old parsonage and the Pastor lives on the other side of the church and I was a member there 3 years already and not one single person has, as much as stopped in to see how I am doing or called or sent a card – NOT EVEN MY PASTOR! I went into the hospital in November and didnt come home til January and then to a nursing home and then back home and now it’s the first of March and still NOBODY CARES!!!! WHY go to a church like that??? Right – I am NOT going there again! I feel so hurt and so alone and this goes waaay beyong just needing a service dog, I need some friends! Even my own daughter, who also has mental problems, uses my grandkids as pawns when she gets mad and last year, she kept them from me all year until they found out I was in ICU and near death, in they came to say goodbye and papers for me to sign giving them ownership of my paid off house!! Thank God that He whispered in my ear to not give away anything else! I had already given my car to my son and he wrecked it immediately and I had it paid for and it was loaded w/everything and it was a gift from my mom for me caring for her til she died. It was the last thing she did for me before she died cos she knew I’d never be able to afford a brand new car like that and I signed it away on my deathbed and then I fricking LIVED!!! OMG – even my grandkids were mad because my daughter had told them they were moving into my house and they didnt care that I lived, they just wanted my house!! Had I signed it over, now I would be homeless! My daughter and her family lived here Nov-Jan and did not pay a single bill nor did they buy any groceries. But my freezer WAS FULL in Nov before I got so sick as WAS my pantry and they ate ALL the food that I had been putting up for the winter (we kive in North) and I cant always get to a store in winter. But I AM happy that the kids were wellfed cos my daughter just buys coffee, creamer, and cigarettes and the kids mostly have ramen noodle soup and eggs and mac n cheese! So they were at least able to eat well because I am a super shopper. Since I cannot work, I make it my job to see how much stuff I can buy with the least amount of money and I never pay retail for anything! I have found that these days more and more people barter for what they need plus I know all the special cycles for specific items at the grocery stores and even exactly what time they mark down the meats or else we would never be able to afford meat in our diet ever. That reduced priced meat usually has at least 2 more Sale by: Dates on it, so it is still just fine! I also make sure theres not any bad spots on it, of course. But I can get enough meant to last 2 or 3 months for about $60 and that’s feeding 3 people! Anyway, my daughter got mad again the first of February when I asked her to pay the satellite bill they ran up to over $250 and she said “NO! Your bills are NOT MY problem!!!” Now their family of 5 had been living here FREE 3 months AND had started moving in already even tho I was not even dead yet and they actually expected me to support them ALL on my of $723 a month from Social Security. She gets 2 SS checks on 2 of her kids whose dad died when they were babies and even one of those checks is MORE than mine! ANd they get those 2 checks AND her husband works fulltime as a plumber and I was near death and supporting them! Sorry, but no longer does it say SUCKER on my forehead! So they left here so as not to pay me and went to a motel that they rent weekly for a whole lot more than the $250 bill they ran up here!! That is INSANE! But my daughter is abusive to me and even turned my grandkids against me. They are 15, 13 and 11. They told me as they were leaving that I was a “selfish, lazy, fu**ing BI*ch” and I know that most likely came directly from my daughter! And I had just gotten home from being in ICU all of November and a Nursing Homa ALL of December and NO, they did not call or visit on Christmas but were at MY house opening the gifts I had gotten them all thru the year and put up so they’d have a nice Christmas, but I spent it in my room at the Nursing Home alone! I had not signed up for any special activities cos I was so sure my family would be there. Why I thought that is beyond me! They had even I got released finally and when I came home, all the girls wanted to know was how long I was there (here) for a VISIT cos they didnt want to share my room with me! The oldest girl was furious because she had already made it HER room and did not want to share w/me!! And it was MY ROOM!!! This is sad for my grandkids also. They had never known where their next meal was coming from and my daughter and oldest granddaughter had lots of new clothes and shoes and purses and it did make them happy and I told them to take what they wanted but now their landlord came by looking for them since it looks like they abandoned their house! Their payment was only $200 a month and they are 5 months behind yet ALWAYS had cigarettes and coffee! <My daughter had never mentioned that to me! I STILL LOVE them ALL and I didnt want them to leave, but just help out. My daughter went so far as to tell the kids not to help me with a drink of water or anything when they passed by my bedroom because I was too lazy to get up and help myself – never mind that I had double pneumonia and was coughing up blood and was in kidney & heart failure, diabetes, lupus, stroke and partial paralysis!!! And yet I WAS LAZY???? Every dish and towel and cup and plate were ALL filthy and littered thru my house cos nobody picked up anything after themselves and they were waiting for the house to clean itself, I guess. The house reeked of garbage and I just cried cos I had so looked forward to coming home and I just wanted to go back to the nursing home. The straw that broke the camels back was me having the nerve to ask them to pay a bill I did not even cause!! And that very day, they packed and left!! I am still worried about them, especially my grandgals! I did tell my daughter that she was actually training her kids on how they shoud treat her at my age and if she gets deathly sick! Hey, we dont need mom – just send her away, divide her stuff. Not to mention, that I've had over 10 broken bones in less than 2 years and even after I was home, I was taking a shower on my shower chair and it broke right after I sat down and flipped me backwards knocking me unconscious, and fracturing my pelvis, my spine and both hips and even now I cannot get out of bed and could use their help and not cos I am LAZY – I am SICK and INJURED!! I just had an MRI last week and not only did I have hairline fractures, but had also completely ripped apart that big muscle that connects the pelvis to the hips and the hips to my right leg and I am even on major pain meds cos I can barely move my right leg at all – almost paralyzed completely, but it seens like I am only here to give away everything and now that theres nothing left to give, they are DONE with me!! MY only family! I never abandoned anyone I have loved and was a good Christian and when I am down like this, I feel like even God must have forgotten me! WHy else would nobody be here for me? I realize all of this talking may be my bipolar talking, but this IS how I feel and every day becomes a fight to go on living when you feel so alone. I'd rather have a houseful of dogs.

#1 
Written By Debbie Moore on March 4th, 2012 @ 7:45 am

The year was 1999. We lived in a mobile home, in a mobile home park. Our shar pei, our son’s companion dog was 4 years old. We received a conditional eviction notice. We had two choices, get rid of the dog or live on the streets. Our son was diagnosed with ADHD and possible bipolar disorder. Several doctors recommended getting a companion animal for his condition as I returned to work in 1994. I did everything to convince the owner of the park our shar pei was a tool, not a toy. Even the Justice Department in DC became involved. The whole thing fell apart as each of my sons doctors refused to say in court my son needed a companion dog or even animal. I’m just saying be careful the advice you give. Apartment complexes, condominiums, and town houses will not just take someone’s word for it. We moved to single family home where no one can tell us we can’t have a dog.

#2 
Written By Catherine Quigley on March 15th, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

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