6 Top Reasons to Get an Emotional Support Animal
Often confused with service animals or therapy dogs, an emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that alleviates the symptoms of any individual who has a mental disorder such as depression or anxiety-related illnesses.
Owning an ESA provides various instant benefits some people, and unlike service animals, the pet doesn’t need to undergo any specific training. Once you have a recommendation from a licensed mental health professional and have read up about how to do this on the ESA Registration website, you can start to enjoy the benefits.
Here are six reasons you should get an ESA:
1. Reduce Anxiety/Panic Attacks
Spending time around your emotional support animal can reduce the occurrence of panic attacks, if you suffer from them. Having a pet, especially a dog, by your side fosters a sense of security and ease. This can come in handy when meeting new people or traveling to a new or unfamiliar environment. Your ESA becomes a source of strength and comfort in those sorts of spaces.
2. Gain a Sense of Purpose
The acts of feeding, bathing, walking, and taking care of your pet creates a sense of purpose and a reason to face the new day for individuals battling depression. It also increases the chance of meeting new people and making new friends, like making acquaintances with other dog walkers. You are bound to bump into fellow dog lovers (if your ESA is a dog) at the vet or when taking it for a walk.
Essentially, the caregiving process forces you to take on a healthier lifestyle and live a happier life.
3. Reduced Stress Levels
For most individuals suffering from depressive episodes or panic attacks, stress is a significant trigger of these episodes – and it can get worse when they go out into public spaces. Having your ESA around you releases your feel-good hormones (endorphins), which play a vital role in fighting stress. These hormones result in a drop in cortisol and blood pressure levels.
Additionally, you also don’t feel alienated in such spaces, especially if you struggle with meeting new people. An ESA is one of the best stressbusters you can acquire if you are battling mental distress.
4. Beneficial Distraction
Individuals who have mental illness usually need some form of distraction to prevent them from slipping into a depressive state. Taking care of an ESA reduces anxiety and stress, and the act of care affords you a healthy escape from the dark moods that symptomize mental disorders.
This allows you to stay calm, cheerful, and happy no matter what they might be dealing with at the moment.
5. Dedicated Companion
An emotional support animal is akin to a good friend who is with you every minute of the day, giving you support through the most challenging periods of life.
An ESA pet is a dedicated companion that offers you love and comfort wherever you go. They also help you cope with your treatment regimen. Plus, if you request an official ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional, your pet can go practically everywhere with you. This prevents any feelings of alienation or loneliness.
Most airlines, landlords, and restaurants will allow you to bring your dog in once you have a recommendation from a certified mental health practitioner.
6. Emotional Support
An ESA provides you with tons of emotional and mental health benefits. With one by your side, you are never alone, and you rarely feel dejected. They are also intelligent creatures and can sense when you are feeling low. Once they sense that, they are quick to offer compassion, love, and reassurance.
An emotional support animal is a no-brainer for anyone who has a mental illness. There are numerous reasons why you should seek a diagnosis from a certified mental health professional and get an official ESA letter.