What is an Emotional Support Animal?An emotional support animal is any animal that provides its owners with love, care, and support. Generally, emotional support animals are either dogs or cats. But other animals are also great at becoming emotional support animals, such as birds, ferrets, hamsters, snakes or fish, etc. Emotional support animals are also called assistance animals or companion animals. The main purpose of an ESA is to provide people with unconditional love that helps them to deal with their mental health conditions.
Why Getting An Emotional Support Animal is Necessary: Top 5 Reasons For Having An ESA
Emotional support animals are an antidote for mental or emotional health disabilities as they have a calming effect. That is why many therapists now suggest getting an ESA along with taking medication. Here are the top five reasons; why having an emotional support animal is beneficial for your overall well-being.
Provides 24×7 Hours Companionship
Emotional support animals provide 24×7 hours of companionship to people dealing with mental health disabilities such as anxiety, depression, stress, etc. The bond between an emotional support animal and its owner is very unique as they provide a sense of security and comfort to their owners. You can also train your emotional support animal to perform certain tasks so that they can further assist you with mental health issues.
Increases Physical Health
Taking care of an ESA is crucial for building a close bond with them. Getting an ESA, like a dog, may involve you in physical exercises like walks and outdoor playtime. While playing with your emotional support dog, the endorphin levels in your body increase, and the stress level decreases. You may feel happy and less anxious during routine activities if your endorphin level is higher.
Reduces Symptoms Of Stress And Anxiety
Those suffering from extreme stress and anxiety may find peace by having an emotional support animal nearby. Connecting with an emotional support animal diverts your attention from thinking about anxious situations towards paying attention to what is happening around you and, most importantly, your emotional support animal. You will stay focused and engaged while interacting with an emotional support animal as they won’t let anxiety and stress-related thoughts take over your mind.
They Will Keep You Relaxed
When you’re going through hard times, the most common thing you usually do to relieve the pressure of stressful thoughts is breathing deeply. But if you have an emotional support animal, they will help you in keeping you stay relaxed. As there are many challenges that you face in your daily life, which give you stress and sometimes lose your ability to make decisions. That’s when your emotional support animal helps you to get through this while you spend time with them.
Gives You A Reason To Live
A person who deals with a mental or physical disability may find a lack of purpose in their life. But if they have an emotional support animal that rely on you for food, water, and exercise, you will get a reason to live. Building a strong bond with your emotional support animal will help you overcome depressive thoughts easily that could otherwise keep you at home or in bed.
Success Stories Of Having an Emotional Support Animal
Oliver, 32, Kentucky
I am Oliver, 32 years old, living in Kentucky with my family. I’m a person who stays happy whatever the situation demands. But recently I got divorced, because of which I started staying depressed as I was not able to focus on other things also. I took a break from my job and started staying home for a longer time. After some time I thought of adopting a pet but since I am living in a rental, I was not sure if I could bring one to the property.
After researching, I got to know that the emotional support animals are protected under the Fair Housing Act, which gives them equal rights of dwelling. My landlord also agreed to bring an emotional support animal. Then immediately, I consulted with a licensed mental health professional and the therapist told me that I’m qualified for getting an emotional support animal. So, I adopted a dog whose name is Duke.
With the help of my emotional support dog, I am able to deal with my mental health condition as he gives me a reason to get out of bed and keeps me busy all day which diverts my attention from thinking about anxious situations.
Sophia, 24 Georgia
I am a 24 years old girl, studying in a junior college. I get repeated panic attacks, and strokes due to which I’m not able to focus on my studies. After trying all the medication and therapies, my therapist recommended an emotional support animal (ESA) to me.
Firstly, I was unsure whether adopting a pet would be beneficial for my mental health, but after discussing with my roommate and taking permission from my college director, I decided that I should adopt a cat as an ESA.
I visited a nearby shelter and adopted a cat from there. My therapist also signed ESA letter for me so that I didn’t face any difficulty in future. By spending time with my emotional support cat, I realised that I’m recovering and getting less strokes and panic attacks by petting her. Her cute rubber like face and cuddly nature makes me a reason to smile everyday!
How to Get An Emotional Support Animal?
Having a recognized mental or emotional health disability is the first step toward qualifying for an emotional support animal. Mental health conditions such as
- Bipolar disorder
- ADHD can qualify you to get an emotional support animal.
The next step is to take a consultation from a licensed mental health professional. The LMHP has a better understanding and experience in recognizing mental health situations. If the licensed mental health professional finds your situation genuine while talking with you, they will write a valid ESA letter.
However, you can also obtain an ESA letter online by simply applying on the Fast ESA Letter website and getting evaluated by the state’s licensed mental health professional. To obtain your ESA letter online, go through the steps that we have mentioned below:-
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Looking To Apply For An Emotional Support Animal Letter?
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