Dog bites are alarmingly common in Pennsylvania and across the country. In fact, a dog attack occurs every 36 seconds in the U.S. Whether dogs attack children or adults, they often cause serious physical injuries. Fortunately, doctors have a variety of techniques for repairing physical damage.

Your psychological and emotional injuries may be a different story entirely. Consequently, if you are experiencing mental or emotional distress after a dog bite, it is critical to seek help. Here are some ways a dog attack may leave you with a lifetime of psychological harm.

Cynophobia

Dogs are seemingly everywhere in the Keystone State. If you develop cynophobia, a fear of dogs, you may have difficulty navigating your everyday life. You also may not be able to enjoy outdoor recreational activities, especially if your pursuits require you to be in public parks or other dog-friendly spaces.

Body dysmorphic disorder

When canines attack, they often target a victim’s face, neck, arms and legs. Because these are visible areas, bite-related scarring may cause you to develop body dysmorphic disorder. This serious mental health condition occurs when you cannot stop obsessing over physical flaws.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Dog attacks are naturally stressful events. Following the attack, you may have nightmares, flashbacks or other disturbing episodes. PTSD is a condition that often afflicts individuals who either have been through dog attacks or have witnessed them. Unfortunately, PTSD may interfere with all aspects of your life, including your ability to work.

If you are struggling to pay mounting medical bills, deal with medical setbacks or get through a long recovery, you may experience additional psychological or emotional distress. Luckily, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the dog’s owner or handler to help you get your life back on track.