Getting an emotional support animal or registering your current pet as an ESA may be something that you’ve already given some thought to. Perhaps you dismissed the idea, thinking that it’s not for you or maybe because you don’t know if you would actually qualify for an ESA. There are many benefits of having an emotional support animal, so if it’s something that you have thought about and it appeals to you, then here we set out to answer the question “Do I qualify for an emotional support animal?”
It’s important to be clear, first of all, that an ESA is not the same as a service animal. A service animal is always a dog, whereas an emotional support animal can be pretty much any type of animal. ESAs don’t have to have any kind of training, whereas a service animal is individually trained to work with a person who has a disability. An emotional support animal is defined as one that specifically helps you if you suffer from either a psychological or an emotional disorder. The following are just some of the qualifying conditions for emotional support pet certification.
Most of us will experience some form of anxiety at various times in our life. It’s quite common and perfectly normal to have brief periods of anxiety. An actual anxiety disorder, though, is very different and is a recognized mental illness. Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term that covers emotions such as social phobia, specific phobias (such as the fear of open spaces), feelings of panic, panic attacks, and general non-specific anxiety, which simply means you’re unable to cope with day-to-day living. Of course, there are many different ways of treating anxiety, including prescribed medication, but if you want to go down a more natural route, then applying for your emotional support animal letter online might be a better answer for you. An ESA dog can particularly help if you have a fear of venturing outside or going to public places. Having a dog by your side will make you feel more emotionally secure and can help to reduce your levels of anxiety.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
This is another condition that qualifies for emotional support pet certification. PTSD is a very debilitating disorder that can manifest itself in many different ways, including actual physical pain or ailments; nightmares or flashbacks; withdrawal; avoidance; and irritability. It’s a very difficult condition, obviously for the person who’s suffering from it, but also for their nearest and dearest. A PTSD support animal can help alleviate some of these symptoms by giving the sufferer a constant, non-judgmental companion. Simply by having an ESA at your side to pet, stroke, or talk to can make all the difference with how you cope with difficult episodes in your life.
Depression is probably one of the most obvious reasons for acquiring an emotional support animal. Loneliness often goes hand-in-hand with depression; one may cause the other. You may not feel like getting out of bed, or perhaps you think you don’t have any reason to get out of bed. With an ESA to look after, you have an incentive to get up, get going with your day, and maybe even go outside. One of the best pets for depression is a dog. Unless it’s a very tiny one that requires little exercise, it will need walking. Taking your emotional support dog out for walks will allow you to engage in easy-going, relaxed, and brief social interactions with other dog-walkers or people who want to pet your dog, and should help to boost your confidence while simultaneously helping with feelings of loneliness.
Emotional support animals really come into their own when helping with a social phobia condition. If your pet is portable enough, you can take it pretty much anywhere. You may be allowed to bring it into your place of work, to college or school if you’re studying, or of course to any therapy sessions you might be attending. Pets are generally banned from public places, but if you have a valid ESA letter you’ll be allowed to take your emotional support animal to most public areas. With your furry friend at your side, your phobia will be easier to handle and commonplace social occurrences will be easier to deal with.
This is a condition that can definitely be helped by an ESA. If you have a child who has been diagnosed as autistic, you will know how very difficult life can be for him or her. The right emotional support pet can provide comfort, support, and companionship to your child, helping them to get through situations they find challenging. It’s important to remember that an ESA is not just a regular pet. It will become part of the family, but its main purpose is to provide some kind of therapeutic assistance to its owner. Although no specific training is given to ESAs as a rule, there are occasions where they can be trained to recognize an emotional change in their owner and to act accordingly.
These are just some of the reasons why you might be able to answer “Yes” to the question “Do I qualify for an emotional support animal?”. If you suffer from any kind of psychological or emotional disorder, then the first step would be to apply for your emotional support animal letter online. It’s a simple, non-threatening process which, if successful, could help improve the quality of your life or that of a loved one.