Mind Alive Blog

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Psychiatric Dog Service Part 1

Today's blog post is from Melanie Hansen, a friend of mine who has a Psych Dog. Until she got one I had no idea dogs for these types of purposes existed. I've personally met Paige, her service dog and while I know there are challenges, they work well together.
Enter Melanie...

" What is a psychiatric service dog? What do they do? Why do you have that dog with you? These are questions that get posed to me quite often. People are genuinely curious about how a service dog can help somebody who is limited by a mental health disability.

A number of years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar type II. While most of the symptoms associated with this diagnosis don’t limit my life very much, I was developing social anxiety that was getting progressively worse. I was starting to have trouble leaving my house and going about my life. It was starting to limit my ability to make it to class or to my part time job. When I realized that it fit the definition of a disability, I went looking for help. My doctor was hesitant to add more medication to my already complicated mix. One new pill and everything else may need to be adjusted which could take months. So I went looking for other options to help and I stumbled across the idea of a service dog.

Service dogs can perform a number of roles. The ones that everybody is most aware of are guide dogs for the blind and assistance dogs for those who are physically handicapped. A service dog can also be trained for any number of tasks.
In my case, my dog accompanies me in public without judgement or any plan of her own. She is there entirely for me. She is trained to alert me when I’m becoming too stressed out in a situation before the stress triggers a panic attack. She is also trained on how to assist me if I do have a panic attack. With the bipolar, the dog is taught to help me as other symptoms arise as well. She is taught to alert to rapid mood changes and how to help me through them. If I’m working through a depressed cycle, she helps me keep going and not fall into a self destructive pattern. Even looking after her basic needs helps with this."


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Incorporated in 1981, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Mind Alive Inc specializes in brain technology. Our flagship technology is audio-visual entrainment (AVE), and we manufacture the DAVID brand devices. Other products include the Oasis line of cranio-electro stimulators (CES) and transcranial DC Stimulators (tDCS). Mind Alive is the leader in all of these technologies and has patents for both AVE and CES.


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