SWEET DREAMS: HOW PTSD-TRAINED DOGS CAN HELP

Flashbacks and unwanted memories aren’t the only problems associated with PTSD.  Nightmares can leave you feeling confused and as if you are right back in the middle of your memories.  Waking night after night leaves you in a constant state of exhaustion.  You may even reach the point where you don’t want to go to sleep for fear you’ll drown in your terror.

 

Unfortunately, like so many other symptoms of PTSD, nightmares don’t affect just the person having them, but they may also have a terrible effect on family members.  Spouses may be afraid of waking you up for fear of how you’ll respond.  Children may be roused each time you wake too.  It’s not fun and games, that’s for sure.

 

A PTSD-trained dog can be taught to wake you when you have a nightmare.  The dog will prod you and then step back to allow you to wake up.  Sometimes being roused by a person can be very frightening.  Being roused by a dog doesn’t prompt a defensive reaction.  After the dog wakes you, once it feels secure, it will come close again to offer comfort and reorient you to the present.

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