I suffer from a disorder of the mind and affect called Schizoaffective Disorder. I also suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder due to an extensive history of sexual abuse and domestic abuse; these are my issues that I must conquer daily. I experience visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, hypervigilance, mania, depression, and suicidal ideation. Recently, I panicked after I made a very tough call to begin a new psychiatric medication treatment - I went cold turkey off a mood stabilizer which resulted in psychiatric drug withdrawal and intense suicidal ideation.
I live alone. I'm trying my best to be autonomous and live freely and independently. I tried committing suicide twice within a week - once with a hammer and once with Nylon rope. Thankfully, I have amazing folks in my life who have been ever kind - from opening up homes to me if I'm feeling scared of being alone to driving long distance to come be with me, I've had a chance to slowly accept that I have good people in my life with the purest of intentions.
I was working 60+ hours a week on top of being a full-time student at the University of Cincinnati. After my illness slipped, I had to take time off work for the duration of the treatment program and had to medically withdraw right at the end of the semester, which is a major disappointment for me.
I am now in a partial inpatient treatment program Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 3 PM for therapy. I have recently relocated my entire life from the state in which I grew up. I've made pretty amazing progress, working diligently at my job so I can work to cover extensive medical bills from hospitalizations in the past.
I keep slipping with my medication management and my appetite is suppressed on top of having shakes and tremors due to the psychiatric medication withdrawal. My skin is also incredibly sensitive and hurts while I'm going through the process, which I am told could last 1-2 months more. I'm trying so hard to maintain my autonomy during this process and live independently while also remembering to practice good self-care (eating, sleeping).
This brings me to the point of this GoFundMe:
I am in need of a Psychiatric Service Dog.
I'm set up for an initial meeting and co-train seminar in January for the dog - the regular service dog program sees to it that a dog of their specification goes through the rigorous training and then I adopt, while the co-train is $5000 less, roughly (MY GOSH, that's a lot of money) and I select the dog with their help and make the trek to Columbus once a week to train my own dog.
PSDs can learn the following tasks on top of being an emotional beam: bringing medication in an emergency, redirecting negative behaviors (self-harm by bringing in a dog brush so I can brush the dog rather than the other activity), thorough room searches if I'm nervous about entering my home or elsewhere, and identifying / assisting with grounding in reality if a hallucination is experienced. These are just a few of their trained tasks.
When I was younger, my dog Arch was essentially my rock. I raised him and he dramatically increased my wellness. I had a reason to get out of bed in the mornings because I had a tiny creature to take care of. So - my friends feel me shifting towards getting a dog is a great idea.
I just have to fundraise to do so, which I've never done before. So I'm going to post a "GoFundMe" account up here.
Thank you so much for reading. I really think this specially trained type of dog could dramatically improve the quality of my life and ability to live independently.