Moosh - woman with anxiety

Emotional support animals, or ESAs, have many uses and are utilized by many people to help them live the best lives possible alongside their emotional or psychological conditions. While people may be unsure as to how they work, emotional support animals are proven to soothe some of the symptoms of conditions that can really limit the ability of someone with an emotional disorder to live their life. Panic attacks are a condition that fall under this umbrella. They can be massively debilitating, but an emotional support animal can help those who suffer from them to cope much better.

Panic attacks can be defined as a period of intense fear that is accompanied by certain physical symptoms. During a panic attack, the sufferer will experience an adrenaline rush in the body, bringing the fight-or-flight response to the fore. The physical symptoms associated with panic attacks include chest pain or palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, shaking, and vertigo. The physical symptoms of a panic attack can be so severe that people sometimes go to the emergency department, thinking they are experiencing a heart attack.

Panic attacks can be a standalone condition or a symptom of another psychologic condition like post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes they are triggered by reminders of a trauma or can occur randomly. If left untreated, panic attacks can lead to other psychological complications and can even drive sufferers to commit suicide. Panic attacks are incredibly debilitating and can massively impact someone’s professional and personal lives.

Moosh - woman alone on bench
Panic attacks can have a huge negative impact on people’s lives.

Emotional support animals have been shown to be a very useful tool in helping to treat panic attacks. While medication and therapy are very helpful, it is good for sufferers to have an additional support they can turn to at home and bring with them in various parts of their life. An emotional support animal offers reassurance, a calming presence, and simple love that can help people who suffer from panic attacks to calm themselves and allow the feelings of intense fear to pass. The presence of an emotional support animal can also help prevent a reoccurrence of panic attacks through keeping sufferers calm when they may feel a panic attack oncoming.

If you are a sufferer of panic attacks, it is very easy to have a trusted and loved animal certified as an emotional support animal. To make this transition, an animal needs to be certified by a medical professional via a document called an emotional support animal letter. This is a legal document that will ensure your ESA gets certain protections under the law in areas such as travel and housing. It is an essential thing to have if you want to be able to bring your emotional support animal with you as much as possible.

Moosh - man with ESA dog
An emotional support animal can help you deal with and even prevent panic attacks.

To get an emotional support animal letter is surprisingly simple. You need to make an appointment to speak to a medical professional, who will ascertain your suitability for treatment. This doesn’t even have to be done in person; many people are now seeking treatment online for this purpose. You simply need to log on and find a specialist in emotional support animal treatment and when you get connected, the session will run just like an in-person doctor’s appointment. The medical professional will ask about your panic attacks and the animal that is helping you cope with them. If they feel that you are a suitable candidate for treatment, you will be given an ESA letter. It is signed, dated, and stamped and is valid for one year. It is important to make sure that your document is kept legal and up to date as you will not be able to bring your emotional support animal with you if you don’t have a valid ESA letter.

The Air Carrier Access Act is a law that offers the same protection to emotional support animals as it does to service animals, such as guide dogs and seizure dogs. It means that an airline cannot deny you or your emotional support animal access to air travel. They must allow you to bring your ESA on a flight if it is certified. There are also laws that protect people with emotional support animals when it comes to renting homes. Landlords cannot reject your rental application or evict you if you have an ESA, even if your lease says that pets are not permitted.

Panic attacks have the potential to really ruin lives, but with treatment, there is no reason why you can’t live a full and exciting life, without panic attacks holding you back. Emotional support animals can have a positive effect on so many people, so log on, speak to a professional, and let an ESA change your life now.

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