Marie is a 25 year old medical student. She dreams of one day becoming a doctor to help others. Unfortunately her dream was halted unexpectedly when she she experienced a severe burnout during her second medical school year. She became severely depressed. Nevertheless, this was only the beginning. After landing in the hospital she was told that her symptoms were consitent with what is called psychotic depression.
Unfortunately, unlike other mental illnesses, psychotic depression has not garthered much attention when clearly it should since of its bad prognosis. Psychotic depression is a subtype of major depresion that occurs when a severe depressive illness includes also psychosis (which is also seen in schizophrenia). The psychosis could be hallucinations such as hearing voices, delusions (such as, intense feeling of worthlessness, failure, or having committed a sin) or some other break with reality. Unfortunately, Marie suffered not only the symptoms of depression, but she also suffered all kinds of hallucinations and delusions which she prefers to keep private.
Pawsitivity is a non-profit organization that trains psychiatric dogs for people like Marie. Currently they are in the process of finding a right match for her. Psychiatric dogs can help people with severe depression in many ways and are thought to be a great adjuvant to their therapy plans. In fact, one of the many ways that they help people with depression is that they reduce feelings of isolation, increase exercise and can help cope with other symptoms that come along in depression such as anxiety. A service dog not only helps the handler meet other people, but just having a dog in one's life means having a friend by one's side. The dog will be there with the handler at all times and they can be trained to remind the person to take their medications, which in psychotic depression can be difficult. The dog can also be trained to wake up the handler at specific times in order to make sure that the patient gets to school at time. Which again can sometimes can be very difficult in depression. Besides these, there are many other benefits for people with depression but I would like to keep this short. If you would like more information, please see the link at the end.
We are trying to raise money for Marie because as you can imagine, her being a medical student, she is already in a lot of debt and she cannot afford it at the moment. The cost of a well-trained Psychiatric Service Dog is very high. Nevertheless, the price of bringing a smile back to Marie is priceless. The dog will be part of her maintainance therapy since she is doing better with her medications. For those of you who would like to know, Marie is doing a lot better in terms of her psychosis but she still has symptoms of depression, since we were told by doctors that her depression is pretty severe. Therefore, she is stable enough to take care fo a dog but she has currently symptoms of depression for which she is still in treatment but at the same time would benefit from dog therapy.
Marie has been dreaming of being a doctor since the age of 4, and dreams of finishing her medical school despite her diagnosis. Now is the time for her spirit and fierce determination to shine through, nevertheless, one sometimes needs help from a furry buddy. Please help Marie fund her furry friend and psych companion.
The fundraiser will help pay the training of the dog for her special issue (psychotic depression). This alone is $16,500! But we are positive that with help we can get there. The maintainance costs of the dog she will pay herself with money form her student loans. If you want check out the link where we will get from Marie's psych service dog is right at the end. The trainer's name is Tom. He rescues dogs with good temperament and trains them to be psych service dogs. Marie is still kind of embarrassed about her diagnosis, and she has therefore not allowed me to show a picture of her. Please respect her decision.
Thank you in advance for your support!