Author Topic: Is it an emotional support animal or a psychiatric service dog?  (Read 41417 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Kirsten

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 39455
  • Have a flufftastic day!
  • Location: Missouri, USA
  • Mood: Okay
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Is it an emotional support animal or a psychiatric service dog?
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2008, 12:10:57 PM »
I have to question someone who can't find their way home but can work their way through a complex web site. :rolleyes:

It's partly because the condition is episodic, ie after a seizure or dissociation, orientation is impaired.  Also, navigation in 3-D requires a different part of the brain than navigation in computer space.  I have never navigated in real life well, yet I was, before my wreck, quite at home in various vector spaces, computer record management (as in databases), and websurfing.  I'm still better getting around a computer than a city.

I'm the primary technician on this site.  I install all the software, customize it, and maintain it.  On good days.  Yet there are days when I cannot recognize my own home.  If I lose the ability to function on the computer, I simply turn it off (or stare blankly at the screen).  But if I lose the ability to function while I am out of the house and away from "safe" zones (my mom's house, sister's house or the yarn shop), where people know about my condition and will help me, then I must depend on Cole.  Without Cole, I would need (and do need) a human attendant to make sure I don't wander around lost for hours.  It's happened a few times when I was in real danger because I wasn't dressed appropriately for the weather.  Other times I've just gotten on the bus and rode it around all day, hoping I'd recognize something eventually.

That's life with a brain disorder, be it a traumatic brain injury or a psychiatric illness that impairs thinking.  I used to think, back when I rode show jumpers and bashed into things crashing off my horse that the worst injury I could have would be brain damage.  I thought then that I'd rather be in a wheelchair than to lose my mind.  After the car wreck I was both in a wheel chair and severely mentally impaired.  Over all, I think that for me, I was right about the brain injury being worse.  Other's may experience it differently.  The Kirsten that was died Friday, August 30, 1996.  She doesn't even exist any more, even though her body can now walk again.  At least the old Kirsten knew where she lived.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 12:13:09 PM by Kirsten »
Kirsten and Tardis
In loving memory of Cole (1/11/99 - 6/26/12)  He gave me back my life.

"The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog." -George G. Vest

Offline bj2circeleb

  • has left the building
  • *****
  • Posts: 2920
Re: Is it an emotional support animal or a psychiatric service dog?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2008, 10:56:01 PM »
Thankyou for putting it so well Kirsten. It is exactly as I experience it. Before I had Brooke I had to hope that I would have someone able to take me out, or I had to live at home, which I did for almost 10 years, as I was eligible for community services and do not have a family. If it wasn't for the net, I would be dead, as it was the only way I could buy food, etc. Brooke has enabled me to not only leave home but to even contemplate returning to school, which I have successfully done this year, with a lot of supports in place, including a full time support worker (aide) which colleges here do fund. Sure I have times when i cannot function on line, but as you said, I can simply turn the computer off. I cannot just turn life off and hope to find my way home. I have cards in Brooke's vest pocket with our address and bus, tram and train station stops, so I can hand them to staff and they can tell me where to get off. Brooke has a vage idea of how long we should be on the bus for, how long the train trip usually is, etc, but I do that in case I am unable to communicate wtih people. Brooke has taken me home on a 1.5 hour public transport journey without any assistance. She has saved my life on too many occassions to count. Without her my life would not be worth living. I would love to find another way of managing my condition and continue to try every conceievable treatment option available, both conventional and alternative in nature. It would be great to be able to walk out the front door without a dog or human attendant, but at present it is simply not possible.

Offline soccerkwolf12

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Is it an emotional support animal or a psychiatric service dog?
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2008, 12:08:36 PM »
I dissasociate quite frequently and sometimes turn up in places I don't know. One time I was at a large mall in Syracuse and separated from my parents. I ended up in a parking garage and had no idea how I got there or which way was back to my parents. Add my anxiety on top of that and things can get really difficult.

Another time I was at my college. It's a community college so it's not very big but it was my second week of school. I was walking to a class and the next thing I knew I was in a totally different building and had no clue how I got there.

As for the complex webpages, I can learn to navigate them quickly. I have a terrific memory and can often remember something after only doing it one time (for instance when I got my job at the college we have a special pin for the copier. I heard it one time and I remembered it. I was off for the summer and came back in August and still knew it. I can also remember someone's phone number that I only called once and this is 6 years later!). But when I dissasociate it's uncertain as to if I will know how to get back to where I was supposed to be.

It's very hard for someone that doesn't dissasociate to understand it. It's also very hard to explain because honestly I don't know what I'm like when I dissasociate (however I do know I pick at my skin sometimes)
"A service dog makes the best therapist. You never have to make an appointment, they never breach confidentiality, and you never have to pay them to listen."-KMG