The concept of using an emotional support animal for anxiety is not new. Animals, especially social animals like dogs, cats, rabbits and pigs are known to relieve stress, improve heart rate, and provide emotional support to people who need it. Naturally, patients suffering from anxiety and having such symptoms can find relief in the presence of a furry dog or cat.
Research suggests there are more than 200,000 identified emotional support animals in America and most of them are adopted to provide support to the people suffering from mental health conditions including anxiety disorder.
So, how can you get an emotional support animal for anxiety and does it help?
In this blog, we will be learning how an ESA can help manage your anxiety symptoms. Read on to know more.
Why Do People Need Emotional Support Animals?
People need an emotional support animal for emotional comfort. Considering the modern lifestyle people are leading, overthinking, stress, poor diet, etc. have become a common trend. Younger population is opting for independent living which also comes with its own drawbacks.
Such living conditions often develop into emotional breakdown and mental health conditions that need professional and personal care. Besides therapy, emotional support animals are known to improve one’s mental and emotional state. ESA’s can offer a great level of emotional comfort, making a person feel happy, secure and lively.
Not only this, but keeping an ESA also promotes a sense of responsibility in a person. Timely feeding, walking routine, bathing sessions, play time, etc. with your dog makes you much more responsible as a person. All these factors together create a bond and make the presence of a pet more like an emotional support for the owner.
Emotional Support Animal for Anxiety – Do They Help?
An emotional support animal for anxiety is often employed in addition to conventional therapy. My ESA Doctor is all about helping you out in this case.
But, how can an animal improve your mental health?
Daily interactions with pets can have a positive effect on overall human functioning. Speaking in physiological terms, playing with your dog can promote the release of certain happy hormones like serotonin which influences different functions such as mood, pain, and pleasure etc.
Secretion of these hormones are good for your health. Plus, having a fun session with your pet can also slow or stop the secretion of stress hormones which makes you feel charged up and relaxed.
All of this eventually helps ease some symptoms of anxiety such as nervousness, restlessness, sadness, etc. Below are the types of anxiety an ESA can help with:
- Social anxiety
- Situational anxiety
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Specific phobias
- Anxiety related to post-traumatic stress disorder
Well, studies have also shown that pet owners are more likely to be less depressed compared to those without pets. Overall, ESA’s help people develop a stable connection while creating a safe and secure environment.
Do You Need an ESA Letter?
If you have an emotional support animal for anxiety, you need to get an ESA letter which is basically a doctor’s recommendation that justifies having an ESA for your treatment.
People suffering from anxiety issues often adopt ESA’s. But, while you can easily adopt a pet, you may not have the advantage of taking your pet along wherever you go or live. But you can stop worrying about it with an ESA letter because there are several ESA Laws in place for your benefit.
So, it’s advised to legally certify your pet as an emotional support animal and get an ESA letter. Make sure that you know how to get a legit ESA letter as many fraud businesses take advantage of this.
Health Benefits of an Emotional Support Animal for Anxiety
Research shows that people feel happier, relaxed and less anxious when holding or petting a dog or a cat. Additionally, spending time with a pet can also help normalize heart rate and blood pressure. Though dogs can’t speak to you, they do communicate in their own language which you eventually start understanding as you spend more time with them. Owners try to talk with their pets and share their thoughts knowing that they can’t judge or offer a piece of advice.
Other than having someone to talk to, emotional support animals can have a bunch of other benefits:
Improve Your Physical Activity
One of the amazing benefits of having an ESA is that he/she makes you get up and move. You might feel lazy to hit the gym but you eventually get up to take your pet for walks. Walking sessions twice a day is enough for maintaining a healthy heart rate of your pet and yourself.
Increase Your Social Circle
If you’re an introvert and don’t initiate conversations or connections, having an ESA can help you out and increase your social circle. Majority of people love dogs and you must have experienced strangers coming to you and saying hello to your pet. This way not only your pet but you also develop a connection with the other person which genuinely makes you feel good.
Last but not the least, an ESA can give you nothing but unconditional love. When you adopt an emotional support animal for anxiety, you will always have someone waiting for you back home. If you are sensitive, you might even get emotional from all the love, attention and affection. Remember your pet’s reaction when you head out without him or when you come back home after a long break? They go crazy. That’s how their love is.
How to Get an Emotional Support Animal for Anxiety?
Now, there are some guidelines to officially make your pet an emotional support animal. Here’s how you can begin:
- Find a legit mental health practitioner.
- Have a quick consultation. You can visit Myesadoctor.com for an online consultation.
- Once approved, receive your ESA Letter online.
This letter will work as an official statement that designates them as an emotional support animal. You can use it to live with your ESA in no-pet policy houses and enjoy other advantages that follow.