luludi: (dreamwidth: believe)
[personal profile] luludi posting in [community profile] no_pity
Hello. I am posting to ask for your help. I am not myself physically disabled. I am writing a paper regarding the use of service animals for autism, depression, and other psychiatric or psychological conditions. I would very much like to hear some perspectives from the group (positive or negative) because I would like to include that voice in my paper.

Recently, the Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance has asked the Department of Justice to review the language of the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the use of service animals for psychiatric conditions (link: http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=advocacy_081408_dog). I think this is an important issue because, while I am not disabled, I do suffer from a condition that causes chronic pain which can also lead to depression.

I would be very grateful for anything you have to offer on the subject, and I am particularly interested in your reaction as a physically disabled person to the use of service animals for psychiatric conditions, as well as the connection between a person's psychological health in relation to their physical disabilities. While I am in support of service animals being used for this purpose, I am also particularly interested in the opinions of the physically disabled to legislation being expanded to provide the same rights and protections for the psychologically disabled or impaired. I have done a great deal of research regarding the human-animal bond and the positive differences animals can make in the lives of all people. I am also interested in hearing from those who do use service animals for a physical disability and whether they feel the animal helps them in an emotional or psychological capacity as well. I would imagine, for instance, that a blind person who uses a dog as their "sight" would build a great deal of trust and love for the animal which is with them on a daily basis and affords them a freedom they might not otherwise enjoy. In addition, I would also be very interested in hearing from those who have psychological or psychiatric conditions and their opinions on whether animals provide a beneficial element in their lives. I would be very appreciative of any feedback, suggestions, critiques or opinions you have on the issue, as well as anything which you think I may be overlooking in terms of this issue. Once the paper is more formed, I would be happy to share it with everyone if you would like.

Thank you very much for taking the time to review this post, and in advance for anything you would like to add.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-01 08:00 pm (UTC)
purpletigron: In profile: Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts from Dr Who (Default)
From: [personal profile] purpletigron
My opinion comes rather from the perspective of the needs of the animals, although I have found that sharing my life with companion animals has been a positive influence during my bouts of mild depression.

I support the idea of rescuing animals which are already dependent upon us, and for people with mental health issues to provide homes for such animals if the animals and humans are well matched.

I do not support the intentional breeding of animals in most cases - there are plenty of animals already dependent upon us, and definitely not for farming, nor as pets. Nor do I support the training of animals, who are unable to give informed consent as volunteers for work.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-02 03:43 am (UTC)
dollsandtea: Cartoon girl with cat ears, stylized self-portrait (Default)
From: [personal profile] dollsandtea
You've said much of what I would like to say in a much better way than I could.

I have guinea pig companions - and yes, they do help me cope day to day with my anxiety and major depression. However I like to think that to some extent we have a mutually beneficial relationship.

All my guinea pigs have come from rescues or shelters and some would have died if I hadn't adopted them. I give them safety, food, shelter and what I hope is some joy in their lives, while they give me comfort.

Although she passed on recently I had a very strong connection with one of my tiny companions - so much so that it felt like we could sense how the other was feeling. I could tell if something was wrong with her before any symptoms appeared and she always seemed to know when things weren't right or me.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-04 03:28 pm (UTC)
brutal: actress | HOTTIE (wes-ats-s4-spin the bottle)
From: [personal profile] brutal
I might be concerned if their disorder makes them unable to take care of a pet properly (not to say that a disorder itself would do that, individuals may deal with their disorders 'better' than others, but on a case-by-case basis, I think it should be taken in consideration). Unless they have somebody to visit regularly enough to do so.

For this reason, and because the costs are less, I think is why they prefer to only allow short term visits to those who need the attention for general 'happiness' reasons. But if they'd be willing to dip into their pocket, which might be the point you'll want to argue more strongly. No one can deny that everyone deserves to be happy -- save maybe criminals, but that's still debateable. You have to convince people that it's cost effective to make the government do it.

Just don't tell them to give you a monkey or you'll blow up the state capitol. Funny, but probably not a good idea.

I'm not really sure about the 'good idea' side of it, but I'm sure you can do a little research and find something that you can use to apply to this case.

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