Individuals with a personality disorder find it extremely challenging to create relationships with people in their lives. Could an emotional support dog be a positive first step toward learning how to do that? For many, the answer is a definitive yes!
Best of all, an existing pet may qualify to become a registered emotional support animal.
Every day, people enter into relationships with each other. Those with a personality disorder, however, find this extremely challenging, if not impossible. Depending on the type of personality disorder, afflicted individuals can be:
- needlessly aggressive or submissive
- inflexible and self-absorbed
- dependent and uncertain
- withdrawn and a loner
- a perfectionist and easily overwhelmed.
A support animal can be a bridge between these afflicted individuals and their families, friends and co-workers.
Psychology Today list the 10 types of medically recognized personality disorders:
Paranoid personality disorder — distrust of others, no matter who they are
Schizoid personality disorder — aloof from others, indifferent to social norms
Schizotypal disorder — lack of desire to interact with others
Antisocial personality disorder — irritable, tendency toward turbulent relationships
Borderline personality disorder — loneliness, fear of abandonment
Histrionic personality disorder — dependence on approval of others
Narcissistic personality disorder — need to be admired
Avoidant personality disorder — fear of rejection or embarrassment
Dependent personality disorder — feelings of inadequacy
Anankastic personality disorder — need to be perfect, at the expense of relationships
As with other mental health challenges, an emotional support dog can be a safe companion for someone with a personality disorder. A dog offers unconditional love, which makes this type of pet in particular an ideal candidate for becoming the individual’s first healthy relationship.
A support pet can help a patient stick to a treatment plan. Personality disorder sufferers unconsciously create obstacles to their own improvement that support dogs are known to help move. These obstacles include:
- Feeling alone
- Becoming depressed
- Losing control of their anger
- Remaining at a high level of stress
- And more
Pets can’t help getting in the way of such emotions. They force us to take our focus off of ourselves and put it, however briefly, on them. Their needs distract us from our own thoughts and, over time, can help us learn how to regulate our emotional responses to another’s needs and demands. Studies have shown that sitting quietly while petting a dog for emotional support:
- Reduces tension and blood pressure
- Helps calm our thoughts
- Provides positive feedback
- Evokes gentle, outwardly focused feelings
And since we can have a registered support dog with us wherever we go, this soothing companion is always at hand.
As personality disorder sufferers learn to capitalize on these moments, they incrementally open themselves up to bonding with another being and practicing mindfulness, which is paying attention to what’s happening in the moment rather than to the thoughts running through their heads. People who practice mindfulness begin to transfer those learned skills almost unconsciously into their daily interactions with others.
Explore how to obtain an emotional support dog letter by contacting us. It’s easy, online and can turn someone’s life around!