Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental illnesses plaguing the nation. Anyone can experience it. In fact, 40 million Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder every year.

There is no one cure. Different treatments work for each and every unique individual. One that has risen in popularity, however, is animal therapy. These statistics are much more positive. Nearly 74% of people with a mental disorder surveyed stated that having an emotional support animal significantly improved their condition.

College students can especially benefit from bringing a four-legged friend to university, given that this transition can be one of the most stressful if they are already struggling with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or anxiety.

If you or a loved one is suffering from one or more of these disorders and is headed off to college, here are the top reasons an ESA can positively impact your life both in and out of school.

You’ll leave your apartment or dorm more often

When someone is living with a mental disorder, it becomes too easy to shut the world out. Leaving bed is often a war-torn decision. Staying indoors can only make the situation worse. However, owning an emotional support animal encourages owners to stick to their routine, even during those rough days. Though it may seem tough getting out of bed and starting your day, it becomes a lot less of a hassle when you have your emotional support animal depending on you for their morning walk. You will feel a sense of purpose, having your pet rely on you for exercise and basic care.

You’ll also feel more encouraged to explore the surrounding area and get that daily dose of sunshine in. This can boost your mood considerably and allow you to build a stronger bond with your ESA. You can also learn how to overcome your social anxiety by spending half an hour to an hour, exploring the world around you.

You’ll never feel alone

It’s hard to make friends during your freshman year of college. However, you’ll never feel alone with your trusty ESA by your side.

You’ll feel less stressed

College is one of the most stressful times in a young person’s life—it’s filled with exams and endless hours of studying. This stress has the potential to take a heavy toll on someone living with a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health condition. However, an ESA can help ease the burden of these stressful academic situations. Bonding with an animal helps your body with the release of serotonin. This hormone promotes a feeling of safeness and can help dimish your anxiety about that next big test.

If you are convinced that these are great enough reasons to treat your anxiety or depression with animal therapy, you’re ready for the next step.

The adoption process.

If you need to learn more about how to get an ESA, keep reading.

How to get an ESA

If you have found this information valuable and are now wondering how to get an ESA, just read through these next few steps.

  1. Go online and fill out a questionaire to see if you qualify for an ESA. You’ll be screened by a proffesional therapist or mental health specialist
  2. Get your ESA letter in the mail if you qualify
  3. Adopt your service animal

Start living the life you deserve with your new emotional support animal

So now you are aware of the benefits of having as ESA to assist you while juggling college and living with anxiety or depression. You also understand how to get an ESA. With all this information in mind, you can make the most informed decision for your situation and take strides in improving your mental health.