When it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder, military combat is the standard association. There is the notion that private citizens cannot be subject to the ravages of PTSD.
The reality could not be further from the truth. Many other events lead to this level of emotional damage, including dog bites. Canine attack victims and their families should watch for evidence of psychological trauma.
After someone receives a dog bite, that person may constantly relive the event. Intrusive flashbacks might prevent the individual from living to the fullest. Nightmares contribute to a lack of sleep, thus leading to a variety of health problems.
Cynophobia is fear of dogs. This condition sometimes develops after particularly vicious animal encounters. A bite sufferer might begin steering clear of areas where dogs roam free. Additionally, they are prone to avoiding the specific location of the attack. Extreme distress could manifest during any discussion of the event. Being open about an incident is part of the healing process.
Personalities sometimes change after canine attacks. Someone having trouble processing the trauma stands to lose interest in favorite activities. Severe cases requiring surgery can leave scarring and other forms of disfiguration. Patients who leave hospitals looking different than before may start perceiving themselves differently. Depression might result, thus leading to alcoholism, anxiety and even suicide.
The negative impact of dog bites is not just skin deep. It also has a way of triggering mental and emotional anguish. Anyone displaying symptoms of trauma should seek professional counseling.