Mental Illness Service Dogs Essay

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Thank you for responding, it really means a lot! I am 16 years old and I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder with the traits of paranoid schizophrenia (including hallucinations and delusions), chronic depression, and generalized anxiety. I have had these mental illnesses since birth and living in day to day life can be difficult and exhausting for me.

I have been doing research on mental illness service dogs for almost a year now and I feel like it would be extremely beneficial for me, especially since I am leaving for college next year. I have a few actions service dogs can be trained to do in mind that I found on a service dog website.

These things include:
-coping with emotional/sensual overload (specifically by providing tactile stimulation to help break the spell of disassociation that is followed by anxiety attacks triggered by overstimulation of
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During my anxiety attacks I become extremely disoriented and I can get turned around easily, causing me to have a melt down.

-provide deep pressure for calming effect. Especially during times of my hallucinations, deep pressure could help me be grounded back to reality.

-crowd control. Due to my claustrophobic induced anxiety attacks, having a service dog who is trained to stand their ground in crowded situations to form a "personal bubble" would be good for me.

-coping with paranoia by lighting up dark rooms or doing a check around the house if I feel as if someone is inside.

-reminding to take medication. I thought this would be good to add since I have a tendency to forget to take my meds which can cause hallucinations to worsen and my paranoia to increase.

I talked to both my psychologist, Doctor Samantha Jordan, and my psychiatrist, Doctor Sandra Kovachi, and they both believe having a service dog would be helpful for my needs.

Sorry for the really long email! I wanted to make sure I could include
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