|Barked: Fri Feb 22, '13 2:06am PST |
|I don't know how I came across this thread, but I figured I'd add some things I've learned about PSD programs.
First off, every PSD program I"ve contacted say that I need to have been in treatment (Seeing a therapist, psychiatrist, and if necessary a neurologist) for AT LEAST 2 years. I was lucky, I was diagnosed right after my Dad was when he attemted suicide. My condition is actually far worse than my fathers - I've been hospitalized multiple times for various reasons. For these reasons, the prgrams I have contacted have accepted me as a potential candidate. But most programs I've run into do require a certain amount of attempted treatment, proof of your condition (Just a doctor's note for most, though I give a full release since half the time I don't even know what's wrong with me, other than I go flat out insane and randomly attack people when I get anxious or psychotic). I am one of those people that without something to get in my way, I'm a danger to the public. I am not allowed out on my own at all for the past while. And I didn't qualify for the programs in my area until like 2 months ago.
That being said, I was going in a downhill spiral like, 2 years ago, and I needed that extra help that dogs can provide with distracting, barriers, etc. so I decided to OT on my doctor's suggestion. I got myself a wonderful Boxer from a rescue, and he has worked wonderfully for me in the past while. However, he's recently developed such severe behavioral problems (by my standards. Pulling on the leash and lunging for treats is not acceptable behaviour in my book.) that I can no longer take him out. Even the trainer I asked for help (I just moved so it's a new trainer) Said that she didn't think he could return to SD status if I didn't like him pulling on the leash. The main problem is he's getting distracted by people more and more as time goes by, which isn't a good thing for either of us. So earlier today I made the very difficult decision to 'wash out' my SD. He will remain with me as a Skilled Companion Animal (He still alerts me to medical issues quite well at home), but it looks like I will be needing to contact a program to go through this time for a SD. So there are definitely some pros and cons to it all, but if you're going to go through with getting a SD, Really look at what you would need it for, and compare to how much it's worth it. I would recommend giving therapy some more time though, because it really can help. You don't want a PSD unless you really need it, becaue the access issues can be pretty major. I've had anxiety attacks so bad after access challenges I actually went into seizures (But I have a seizure disorder too). So like someone else said, you really cannot understand just how difficult access issues, and people petting your dog, and asking about your disability can be until it happens. If you can't handle the rudest people following you through the store screaming that you're not disabled and shouldn't have a dog in the store (Believe me, it happens to some), I would question whether you want an ESA or an SD. Because it can be very hard sometimes, and almost as anxiety inducing as going out by yourself. It's definitely not all help and smiles, there's some days where I find it's actually more difficult for me to have a PSD then if I had gone alone. Whatever you choose to do, I really hope that it helps you feel that you can function better and improve your life.
Anyways, just my experiences and what I've found in my area.
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