Therapy Dogs Are a Blessing, Not A Curse

Therapy Dogs Are a Blessing, Not A Curse

Therapy dogs help individuals who mentally and physically need them.

Emotional Support Animals are a huge controversy that occurs on college campuses around the United States, it has some students believing that therapy dogs are unnecessary and that people only have them, so they can live with their dogs on campus.

However, they are not what people make them out to be and to help the individuals who truly need them. I, personally, have an Emotional Support Animal and all I can say is that she is the best thing to ever happen to me.

My whole life, I have struggled with anxiety and depression, but when college arrived my symptoms began worsening. Before I got my therapy dog, I had constant anxiety that was through the roof and on a daily basis experienced panic attacks. My therapist then suggested that my best option would be to get an emotional support animal to keep me company and hopefully overtime better my symptoms. Last spring, at the end of my freshmen year, I received a 7-week-old all black German Shepherd named Ava and let me just tell you, even as a young puppy she made such a huge impact on my life right off the bat. She gave me a reason to get out of bed every morning and pushed me to continue living.

At the time, my depression and anxiety were very severe and I couldn't thank her enough for helping me get through that rough patch. She physically helped, what I was going through, by getting me out of my dorm room just to walk her and then always greeting me with so much excitement every time that I would get home from class. She has been there to comfort me in times of despair and to dance with me in times of bliss. Who would have thought that one animal could not only save a life but exceedingly give pure happiness where there used to not be any.

The individuals who think that these therapy dogs are pointless, clearly do not have a mental illness nor see the results of how they actually DO help us that who do. I believe that instead of society looking down on mental patients for owning these therapeutic animals, should preferably encourage and try to apprehend them. They are truly today's future for those psychological individuals that need that extra push to not only feel better physically but emotionally too. If it weren't for Ava, I have no clue where I would be at this point in my life and I sincerely thank god day by day for allowing me to have this beautiful soul.

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Why I Love Therapy And Why You Should Too

You do not have to be struggling with a mental illness to see a therapist and it doesn't make you crazy to see one either.

Therapy, I'm sure it has a not so kindhearted stigma attached to it. I'm sure people avoid therapy to avoid any idea of being seen as "crazy" to society. I'm sure society has attached this stigma because of our lack in research with the brain given our history with mental illness.

However, in my experience therapy has always been about bettering myself as a person, to create a healthy person mentally, physically, and emotionally. I sometimes believe that I am one of the few that gets excited about therapy sessions. I feel this way because I do not view therapy as a negative portion of my life. I mean, my therapist did diagnose my ADHD resulting in a complete turn around of my life.

A couple of years ago I failed out of my first semester of college, I found out I would not be able to return the day before Christmas Eve. Having this major change in my life at the time was stressful, upsetting, and in some sense of the word, traumatizing. My parents came forward and told me it might help to talk to someone about everything I was feeling. So I agreed.

Unfortunately I had to hit rock bottom in order to get into therapy and figure out what was going on. But, in the long run, looking back now, it was the best decision my 19 year old self made. Had I not started seeing a therapist I may not have been diagnosed and would not be where I am today. Although I hit rock bottom, I will be forever thankful because it brought me a better future.

In therapy I was able to develop organization skills, coping mechanisms, and learn more about how my brain functions differently than others. Therapy helped me to relearn these basic skills in navigating everyday life. It helped me to fall in love with learning and school, because now I didn't feel like I was stupid, but now I knew that I am capable of much greater things than I thought.

Therapy gave me more confidence and stability than anything has before. With each new session is a new way to figure out life, to make mine easier, to help create a healthier mindset for myself. Therapy has given me techniques to help in times of high stress and anxiety. Therapy has given me guidance to handling panic attacks on my own. Therapy has given me a life that I am happy with.

As a young adult who struggles with anxiety and stress I thoroughly enjoy therapy and what it has to offer. I even suggest it to my friends who may be struggling with important relationships in their life, major life changes, stress, or anything they are struggling with. Don't get me wrong, it isn't for everyone and it isn't always the solution, but it helps to have a professional opinion sometimes.

There are many resources out there for many different reasons. One thing I would like to get across is that you do not have to be struggling with a mental illness to see a therapist. Also, seeing a therapist does not make you "crazy" or "mentally unstable." It is more than okay to ask for help when you need it, I promise.

Until next time,

Another ADHD Student

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Poetry On Odyssey: My Truth About Anxiety, What You Need To Understand

Anxiety isn't just something that is made up or that is going to go away, it is a serious mental condition that for some can effect their entire life.

Sometimes, anxiety creeps upon you at the worst moments it possibly could.

Holding you down, restricting your movement, making you unable to think properly but instead makes you think too much.

Anxiety takes your breath away, not in a figurative sense, but a literal sense.

Some nights I lay awake not able to sleep because of the crippling anxiety inside of my body.

And the thing about anxiety and the attacks that ensue is that sometimes there is no correlation to the madness..

Sometimes your body just wants to fuck with you and leave you crying, confused, unable to breathe and a hollow shell of a person.

If you’ve ever had an instance in which you thought you were drowning, anxiety is like that.

You can’t feel, you can’t control, you can’t breathe, you can’t move, you can’t think...nothing.

Having everything and nothing spinning around in your head as if it were television static corrupting your mind.

There is no way to control it, it has a mind of its own.

The worst part about it all is feeling like you’re not real, that life is this inevitable trap you can’t escape.

I mean, who really knows if we are real or not? We are only very very small molecules within the rotation of the universe.

Some think that an out of body experience is exhilarating and fun but for those with anxiety, it’s a regular occurrence no drug can replicate.

It’s scary, it feels like you’re dying and you can’t do anything but lay there and stare and hope it all goes away.

These demons inside are a product of our imagination yet become oh so real have you get the chance.

Anxiety is not a fun, silly thing to joke about. It is a serious illness and it comes in all shapes and sizes.

As I lay here writing this to you, I just hope you know that I am not okay. That I am trying and I am fighting and I wish this would stop but it won’t. It won’t.

So at 4:26 am I will try to fight the biggest demon of all...


Cover Image Credit: Lieke Anna Haertjens

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