Bipolar service dog

by Michele
(Lafayette,Indiana)

I have been reading about service dogs who can help with bipolar. I have emailed several agencies over a week ago. No one has responded. I keep reading that it is a great idea. My doctor would like to see more evidence. I can find the benefits but no one to help me train my puppy or who trains dogs. I would really appreciate anyone's suggestions.


Ben's Response:

Show your doctor this research article from the University of Pennsylvania, entitled Animal Assisted Interventions in Mental Health.

I believe most states recognize certified service dogs and that any dog can undergo training to get certified so that you can legally take your dog into stores and restaurants. The specific service your dog provides for you is your own personal business. There are dogs who sense when a person is about to have a seizure. It stands to reason that a dog could also sense when a person is becoming manic (since there is a strong similarity to seizure disorder in bipolar disorder). And the other health benefits of a canine companion are very well documented.

I don't know what to advise as far as specific resources in your state however.

Don't give up! I'm sure there is a way to accomplish this.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT


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Sep 18, 2013
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Bipolar service dog
by: Anonymous

I talked to my Doctor and they have forms at the office she said I can fill out. I have bipolar and go to a outpatient behavioral center. My psychologist recommended it. I have a dog now that really helps and you are allowed to train you're own service dog. I'm going to do the paperwork so I can take him in stores and restaurants he really helps me.

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