People suffering from Social Anxiety experience panic attacks, implacable fretting and obsessive notions. “It’s often rooted in the intense worry of how we anticipate others will view us or the fear of judgment. But it can also become generalized into a phobia; fear of people and social situations,” states Kathleen Dahlen deVos, M.A., L.M.F.T., holistic psychotherapist.
Julie was exposed to domestic violence by a man who was a heavy drinker, smoker and drug user. She has PTSD whereby even the sound of a can or cigarette lighter opening, or the smell of cigarettes, sends her into a fit. She suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder and cannot go out of the house without an Emotional Support Animal.
It was extremely traumatic when Julie’s living comfort animal died and thus a replacement service animal was not an option for her. She finds huge comfort in the animals at a wildlife rescue shelter who obviously cannot accompany her in the scary outside world.
She has, however, recently fallen in love with one of our lifelike plush toys, a Brush-tailed Possum called Zack.
- He is with her 24/7 and is essential in reducing her anxiety.
- Julie automatically engages with him as soon as her anxiety flares up. By looking at him, stroking him, and loving him, her focus moves away from fearful thoughts and onto her companion, Zack.
- Not only is he serving to reduce the unease, but he is also helping her to train her brain to shift it’s focus when she feels she is starting to panic.
- Zack is her “forever friend” and loves her unconditionally, never judging her.
We were so thrilled to hear that “He went with her to the dentist yesterday which I was dreading but there was hardly a tic or meltdown at all from her or the dentist!”
Because our toys have been handcrafted with love to be friendly and lifelike, they are becoming more and more popular as therapy tools to comfort people suffering from anxiety, autism, Asperger’s, dementia, depression and other mental health issues.