Suffering through a dog bite is one of the most difficult experiences you may go through in life. The attack itself is painful. It can leave you with debilitating and disfiguring injuries. But it can also have a huge impact on your overall mental health.
In what ways can your mental health suffer due to these injuries? It is important to understand this, so you can take steps to recover in the aftermath.
Mental health in the aftermath
Mayo Clinic goes into extensive detail about animal bite injuries in general, especially pertaining to animals often kept as pets. Serious dog bites happen more often than serious cat bites. Not only that, but dogs are often capable of doing much more damage.
Still, most articles and discussions center around the physical injuries. These are crucial to address, too. They also tie into your mental health and overall recovery. But you must not forget about the mental and emotional effects a bite attack can have.
Ongoing fear response and trauma
Many victims suffer from a fear of dogs in the aftermath. It does not matter how friendly or small the dog is; seeing one evokes a fear response. This can make it hard to socialize or spend time with family and loved ones that own dogs. In fact, some victims develop agoraphobia as a result of their trauma. They do not want to leave the house for fear of another dog attack.
It is also common for bite victims to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress trauma disorders. If you had one already, it may worsen. If you did not, you may suffer from a sudden onset.
Behaviorally, it is hard to return to normal in the grip of a powerful traumatic experience. You may have to work through therapy and use other tools to achieve your previous mental state. It is often a time consuming project.