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BRVC Blog
Service Animals and PTSD
November 2, 2015

"How Dogs Can Help Veterans Overcome PTSD"

To read the Smithsonian Magazine article click here

Researchers are accumulating 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.

Citation http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-dogs-can-help-veterans-overcome-ptsd-137582968/?no-ist

"Dogs and PTSD"

To read the Department of Veterans Affairs information click here

Citation http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/treatment/cope/dogs_and_ptsd.asp

Owning a dog can lift your mood or help you feel less stressed. Dogs can help people feel better by providing companionship. All dog owners, including those who have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can experience these benefits.

What are the emotional benefits of having a dog?

Dogs can make great pets. Having a dog as a pet can benefit anyone who likes dogs, including people with PTSD. For example, dogs:
Help bring out feelings of love.

  • Are good companions.
  • Take orders well when trained. This can be very comfortable for a Servicemember or Veteran who was used to giving orders in the military.
  • Are fun and can help reduce stress.
  • Are a good reason to get out of the house, spend time outdoors, and meet new people.

Recovering from PTSD is a process. Evidence-based treatments for PTSD help people do things they have been avoiding because of their PTSD, such as standing close to a stranger or going into a building without scanning it for danger first. Evidence-based treatments can also help people feel better. Dogs can help you deal with some parts of living with PTSD, but they are not a substitute for effective PTSD treatment.

 




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