Whether it’s called Shell Shock, Battle Fatigue, or PTSD, it’s a menace for our veterans.
In 1980 the term Post-Traumatic Stress (or PTSD) was coined. And since then we have been studying it, trying to find the best way to treat it. It is a sweeping concern for our veterans, as it is commonly linked with other comorbidities. It’s no secret that it’s a huge contributor to suicidal ideation, anxiety, depression, broken relationships, destroyed careers, and much more.
Symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but sometimes they begin later. For a diagnosis of PTSD to be considered, symptoms must last more than a month and be severe enough to interfere with functioning in relationships or work. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person.
Veterans who suffer from PTSD experience:
- Avoidance of people and places, especially busy or crowded areas
- Nightmares or night terrors
- Hypervigilance or always being ‘on guard’
- Sleep disturbances or insomnia
We’ve seen service dogs help veterans reduce their PTSD symptoms, and we’ve heard countless testimonials from veterans passionately extolling their success with their four-legged battle buddies.
But now we have more then testimonials - we have real, scientific evidence. This evidence is brought to us by Dr. Maggie O’Haire of Purdue University. It shows, for the first time, physiological changes that happen when a veteran recieves and uses a service dog.
Benchmarking the veterans’ levels of Cortisol, a stress marker that can be found in saliva, has helped us gather real data that answers a lingering question: Do service dogs really work?
We are committed to supporting continued research in this area, as we believe it’s important to give our veterans every resource they may need to continue their lives with dignity and independence.
Check out a quick summary of Dr.O’Haires work below:
We must continue this research, as the lives of our veterans depend on it.