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Is there is such thing asa service dog for bipolar disorder?"

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

  
Dantes

I have my own- reasons.
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 4, '08 4:57am PST 
I know there is such a thing but I am looking for more information on it. ...
What would the dog do?
would it be more of a therapie dog then?
Thanks fur your help~!
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Odin - SD

I've never met a- cheese I didn't- like.
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 4, '08 6:02am PST 
Check out psychdog.org they have a nice pile of info including some sample tasks. There are 2 types of dogs you might be confusing.
There is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) which does not have public access rights, but are given housing and sometimes airline passage. They do not need any specific training.
A Service Dog (SD) has full access rights, but is specially trained in working tasks to mitigate the owners disability.
One bit thing that comes into play is if you qualify as disabled under the ADA. I know that BP can be a disabling condition in some people. I hope this helps.
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Josephine

Yeah, I can do- that, but I- won't!

moderator
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 4, '08 6:43am PST 
Hi Dantes,
this page shows some tasks that dogs could do.
http://www.iaadp.org/tasks.html
It depends on what your personal needs are..
Have fun reading and finding the right options for your life dog
Best wishes, sonja

edit: *gg* forgot.
you can go click yourself through the other sections on the link that I suggested - there is one section that gives you these examples:
http://www.iaadp.org/psd_tasks.html

Edited by author Tue Nov 4, '08 6:51am PST


Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 4, '08 7:27am PST 
A service dog is a dog that is specifically trained to do work or tasks that mitigate a person's life limiting disability. They have rights to go where the general public goes.

A therapy dog is trained to bring joy into the lives of others (not their handler) by visiting hospitals, nursing homes etc. They do not have public access rights.

An Emotional Support Animal is a dog that is not trained but just by being there mitigates the mental health disability of their handler. They do not have public access rights, but can live in no-pets housing and fly on planes with a letter from your doctor.

I have bipolar disorder (and panic disorder) and Sabrina is my retiring service dog, Ollie is my new SDIT. Sabrina alerts to bipolar mood swings and panic attacks so that I can try to keep them under control long enough to get home or somewhere safe, or take medication. During the worst of the mood swings or attacks she provides tactile stimulation to ground me. She brings me my medications, guides me home if I am too depressed or anxious and can't process the world, provides pressure therapy when I feel like cutting myself etc. Ollie is being trained to do all these things, but right now he can't alert, he just can respond when I am manic, depressed or having a panic attack.

If you are interested in a psychiatric service dog, first talk with your doctor to make sure you are disabled. Many people have bipolar disorder, but it is not considered disabling for everyone. Then you should talk with your doctor and friends/family about how your disorder is disabling, and what your dog can be trained to do to mitigate it. Next you should find a professional trainer to do a temperament test and evaluate any dog you are thinking of training-- not all dogs are able to be trained as service dogs. The trainer can help you train the dog to behave in public and to do the things you need the dog to do to assist you. It usually takes 1-2 years to train a service dog. Oh, and don't forget to consider that having a service dog suddenly makes you very visible. People come up to you all the time and ask about your disability, they may even yell at you to get your dog out of the store, you might have to call the police for a public access challenge. People will tell you that you don't look disabled etc. So it can be more stress than it is worth for some people. Make sure you are up to it before you start, it is expensive (in terms of money, time and energy) to train a service dog so you want to be sure this is right for you and that your dog has the potential to make it before you start.
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Von

Von, The Great- Gecko Chaser
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 4, '08 1:11pm PST 
Von alerts me to my highs and lows and to my PTSD. He'll grab his fav. toy and bring it to me and keep buggin me till I get out of my down and play with him. When I'm on a high he helps keep me grounded and from doin some crazy stuff (taking off for days at a time, highly irritable, etc...). He also wakes me up with a paws up on me because I'm still highly sedated from my meds. And he braces me and helps me with balance when I'm dizzy or sedated from my meds.

But talk to you P. doc and T. doc for sure to see if you fit into a disable classification and to get their support. But I had to educate my docs on service dogs for psychology disorders because they had heard for service dogs for other diablities, but not PSD. But Von does both for me both PSD and moblity service dog work.
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Tesla

SDIT - Ontario, Canada
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 4, '08 7:45pm PST 
I think there are already a lot of great answers on here. I have bipolar disorder, along with a slew of other conditions. As a person who is in the process of training my first service dog with the help of a school, I want to offer you a word of caution: Do your research and make sure that you have identified how you want a service dog to help you before you embark on training.

There are warnings all over the place about how hard it will be to train a service dog and about the huge amount of stress caused by taking a SDIT (that does not always behave perfectly) into public, among other things. Take these to heart. I never would have predicted that it would be this tough, and if it wasn't for the fact that I fear for what would happen to me without someone to help me through each day, I would have given up by now.

I am doing this to save my life, and if I were doing it for any other reason I would not be able to succeed, because it is a lot of work and a huge lifestyle adjustment. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely a lot of rewards and speaking to people on this site, those rewards are definitely worth it.

I am only warning you because I know I have a tendency to get stuck on an idea and not let anything discourage me, to the point of ignoring any evidence that I do not want to see.

I am not trying to turn you off of the idea, but just to warn you not to make this decision lightly. If you do talk to your doctors and think it over thoroughly, then decide that you do want to go through with it, you should definitely keep in touch! I am sure that if you make sure you have the correct motivation, you will be able to make it work and I'd love to hear how it goes.
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Taser

R.I.P.
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 10, '08 9:51am PST 
Tesla's right, it's very hard to do.

I did it with out any support other than the support of my trainer, the same one Tesla has. I did not have the support of family, friends, or of this site (i did not know about it yet).

I have never had outside support for my mental illness other than medical support, and my dog. It WAS really hard, and Taser was beyond difficult. As Tesla said there's times when you want to give up, because the stress of the journey just doesn't seem worth it.

But, the final reward, makes you feel like you're alive again.
Taser
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