Can Animals Suffer from Mental Illness?

From anxious dogs to compulsive cats to elephants in recovery, Dr. Laurel Braitman, author of Animal Madness, has seen it all. She will discuss her insights into how understanding animals can help us understand ourselves in her presentation on Mental Health in Humans and Animals on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

Braitman spent years studying animals as a Ph.D. student at MIT. But it was her own dog, Oliver, who taught her something new about animal behavior. Oliver suffered debilitating separation anxiety, was prone to aggression, and may have even attempted suicide. Through caring for Oliver, Braitman was forced to acknowledge a form of continuity between humans and animals that she'd never come across in school. Non-human animals can lose their minds, and when they do, it often looks a lot like human mental illness.

Thankfully, all of us can heal. Compelled to travel the world in search of emotionally disturbed animals and the people who care for them, Braitman discovered stories of recovery. In this moving talk, she explains how animals recover the same way we do: with love, medicine, behavior therapy, and above all, with the knowledge that someone understands why they suffer and what can make them feel better.

Penn State Berks reserves the right to limit the photography and/or recording of any program. The permitted or prohibited activities during a particular program will be announced at the beginning of the event and/or included in the printed program. All media requesting interviews and/or access to photograph and/or tape any program must contact the Office of University Relations at 610-396-6053.

This presentation is part of the Arts and Lecture series. For more information, contact the Office of Campus Life at 610-396-6076.