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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Can I get a service dog I have panic disorder with agoraphobia,

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Can I get a service dog? I have panic disorder with agoraphobia, generalized social phobia, and a nervous system disorder, which causes me to have low blood-pressure, dizziness, and other health issues. Can I get a service dog or get my dog certified as a service dog? She's been trained, and is a miniature australian shepherd. I read an article, where a ladies dog would do a "lap-up", and deep pressure stimulation to help her calm down. Does that really help? What exactly is it? Can I get a dog that can do that for me, or train my own dog to do it? Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


Psychiatric Service Dogs are a relatively new concept. They have not been used frequently in the psychology field yet so information available is limited. But from what information is out there, it seems that any mental health disability that severely limits your day to day ability to function qualifies you for a service dog. Here is a link to a site that offers further information on psychiatrist service dogs:


They mention that they do not train or provide dogs for you so you would need to use your own pet and have them go through the training.


Your service dog can be trained to provide deep pressure stimulation. However, tactile stimulation is recommended for anxiety patients over deep pressure stimulation. Tactile stimulation is when the nerves under the skin are activated through touch. They are responsible for the sensations of texture, temperature and other senses.Tactile stimulation helps deal with the depersonalization symptoms of anxiety by distracting your senses from the panic feelings to a calmer, more focused and comforting sensation. The dog can also be taught to lean against their owner to help with the symptoms of dizziness and unsteadiness common with anxiety.


Contact the Psychiatric Service dog association for more information on how to train your dog to perform these services and what is offered in your state. You may also want to speak to your doctor about this type of assistance as you may need proof that you qualify for such a service.


Here are some books and articles to help you as well:


Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives - by XXXXX XXXXX


Help from man's best friend: psychiatric service dogs are helping consumers deal with the symptoms of mental illness.(MENTAL HEALTHCARE): An article from: Behavioral Healthcare - Digital - HTML (Aug. 11, 2007) by Joan Esnayra


Dogs helping people: psychiatric-service dogs are helping people with mental health problems live more normal, fulfilling lives. here's how.(Noteworthy): An article from: Dog Watch - Digital - HTML (Feb. 6, 2010) by Ilene Springer

You can find these on or your local library may have them available for you.


I hope this has helped you,

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