“Service dogs, most people probably think, are for blind people. And maybe for someone who uses a wheelchair. Not so much for those who appear hale and hearty. We don’t realize what a dog could do for someone with an invisible disability such as seizures or diabetes. Or for someone like me — someone with a psychiatric disability who would eventually find my service dog so indispensable that I took him everywhere — even to Target.
I have ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), TRD (treatment-resistant depression) and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). Because of this alphabet soup of mental illness, I also have panic attacks. An overwhelming sense of doom drops down. My heart races; my breathing hitches. I shake. The attacks often don’t end until I down a Klonopin, a heavy benzodiazepine about two steps up from Xanax.
Panic attacks in public are …”
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