What is Major Depressive Disorder?
Major depressive disorder, or major depression, is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally. Some people may experience only a single episode within their lifetime, but more often a person may have multiple episodes.
How Can a Service Dog Assist With Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms?
Service Dog Task
Type of Task
|Apathy||Tactile stimulation||Work and/or physical|
|Initiate activity (play or walks)||Work and/or physical|
|Hypersomnia||Wake up handler||Physical and work|
|Feelings of isolation||Tactile stimulation||Work and/or physical|
|Initiate activity outside the home||Work|
|Sadness or tearfulness||Deep pressure stimulation||Physical|
|Initiate activity||Work and/or physical|
|Insomnia||Stay with and focus on handler||Work|
|Suicidal ideation||Ground handler||Work|
|Deep pressure stimulation||Physical|
|Self-mutilation||Interrupt by alerting or tactile stimulation||Work|
|Psychomotor retardation||Guide handler using harness or leash||Physical|
|Memory loss||Remind to take medication||Physical|
|Find keys or telephone||Physical|
|Disorganization||Remind handler to perform daily routines||Work|