A dog biting a person

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Dogs are known as man’s best friend thanks to their loyalty, undying devotion to their owners and families, and the happiness that their presence brings. Many people love a dog’s companionship, but there are some who feel the opposite. They might fear a dog’s power, unpredictable nature, or the possibility of being bitten. Dog bites can leave physical wounds that require stitches or surgery, but they can also leave deep emotional scars as well.

Here are some of the severe emotional traumas that can be a result of a dog bite:

1. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, occurs when an individual has difficulty recovering after witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event. PTSD can last for months or years and commonly has triggers that bring back horrific memories of the event, resulting in intense emotional and even physical reactions.

Regarding dog bites, PTSD is more common in children than adults. Most adults can talk about and share their experiences while children often hide their feelings. Children may also feel intense feelings of guilt or sadness, especially when they hear their parents talking about the incident. The emotional toll and strain can result in high levels of anxiety and fear and can develop into PTSD. However, even adults who may not be able to handle the high level of stress that was present during and after the incident may develop PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD:

Wondering if you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD? Here are the symptoms to look out for;

  • Behavior Symptoms:
    • Agitation
    • Irritability
    • Hostility
    • Hypervigilance
    • Self-destructive behavior
    • Social isolation
  • Psychological Symptoms
    • Flashbacks of the incident (usually from triggers)
    • Fear
    • Severe anxiety
    • Mistrust
    • Unwanted thoughts
    • Emotional detachment
  • Mood Symptoms
    • Loss of interest in activities
    • Guilt around the event
    • Loneliness
  • Sleep Symptoms
    • Insomnia
    • Nightmares

Even if a child or an adult doesn’t suffer from PTSD, seeing a dog can still elicit a reaction, as the memory and pain are recalled.

2. Strong Fear of Dogs

dallas dog bite attorneyVictims of dog bites are more likely to develop a strong fear of dogs which is also known as Cynophobia. Cynophobia is the persistent and excessive fear of dogs, especially when a dog is around, and can result in the individual having severe panic attacks, trembles, or nausea. This can greatly impact how an individual lives out his or her daily life. For example, a victim could become too anxious or scared to visit with a friend or family member because they have a dog.

3. Fear of Leaving the Home

In some cases, dog bites have led to individuals developing Agoraphobia, or the fear of leaving their home. This fear is brought on by the anxiety of meeting another dog out in public and the potential for suffering another dog bite.

4. Body Image Issues

Scars and visible permanent damage can result from a dog bite. Some individuals may struggle with body image issues if the scars are obvious and left on highly visible parts of the body, such as the face, legs, or arms. This self-consciousness could lead to lowered self-esteem, avoidance, or the feeling that they are no longer physically attractive.

For children, this is especially true, as their height increases the possibility of receiving injuries to the face, neck, or head. These injuries may require surgery and may lower a child’s self-esteem, especially if they experience bullying due to their scars. For children, this can drive them to become less social, lack confidence, and struggle with constant emotional stress.

Were You or Your Loved One Attacked By a Dog in Amarillo, Texas?

The dedicated personal injury attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. understand the intense emotional distress that can come with being attacked by a dog. We are here to tell you that you are not alone. Our team can help you get the compensation you deserve due to a dog attack under the negligence of the dog’s owner. You need to focus on your recovery, so allow our team to be your voice and fight for your right to compensation to help cover damages and medical expenses. Contact our Amarillo, Texas, team today for more information or to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.