As if you didn’t want to hug your dog already! While it has been known for some time that service and therapy dogs are indescribably helpful to people who battle post traumatic stress disorder, this ad by The Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation shows just how valuable dogs are for our mental health.
This disorder affects millions of people: about 8% of the US population (and 10-30% of war veterans) will go through PTSD at some point in their life. While everyone experiences some trauma in their lives, most will not develop PTSD. Those most likely to have the disorder are people who have been abused, raped or witnessed or been involved with unnatural death.
Therapy and family support are highly beneficial and can help people deal with symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, guilt, avoidance, depression and hypervigilance. But for many, dogs are all the therapy they need.
For those feeling especially hopeless, a dog can mean the difference between life and death. Dogs don’t judge. Dogs don’t tell you to “just get over it.” Dogs help reduce stress. Dogs love unconditionally and without question. Dogs are great calming agents and motivators. It can be easy to want to push the world away sometimes, but a dog will be there no matter what.