Nicole & Bob Deem: Learning to Live & Thrive with PTSD

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, series of events, or a set of circumstances.  Mr. Deem’s PTSD is the result of what he experienced during his years as a firefighter.  
Symptoms of the disorder may include nightmares (where the individual’s mind has them suffering the event again), flashbacks, social anxiety, and altered moods.  When Mr. Deem had one of these nightmares, he was not able to function the next day and it took some time for Mrs. Deem to come to grips with this.  What has allowed her to thrive are a good therapist, faith, a strong church community, a service dog, medication, a strong trusting marriage, and having a purpose.  
The Deems rely greatly on the two service dogs they have owned.  To be a service dog, it must be trained to perform a specific task that mitigates a specific disability for a specific person. They stressed that these dogs should be treated like medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, and need to be accommodated in public buildings and basically ignored to be allowed to perform their task.