An emotional support animal also called an assistance animal, helps lessen the symptoms of mental or emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. A licensed mental health professional will frequently recommend such aid animals as a part of a patient’s therapy regimen. An official letter known as an emotional support animal letter, or ESA Letter, serves as the prescription. This document or letter certifies that a person has a legal need for their animal’s assistance and confers with certain legal privileges.
Emotional Support Animal Vs Service Animal
ESAs offer support through their love and care and help humans with phobias, depression, and anxiety. ESA users do not share the same benefits as service dogs, as these dogs are specifically trained.
Service dogs have the freedom to go anywhere in general public areas. ESAs are not allowed in some places, for example, in restaurants or shopping centres. Service animals are described as “dogs that are individually trained to perform certain duties for people with Disabilities” by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The law clearly states that pets that only offer emotional support are not allowed to be service animals. To find out if ESAs are eligible for public access in your area, check with local government offices, as some state and local laws have broader definitions.
Any animal can be treated as an Emotional Support Animal, but only miniature horses and dogs are considered service animals, which makes the difference between the two of them.
Advantages of Emotional Support Animal
Emotional Support Animals are beneficial for those with emotional or psychiatric disorders. They are the ideal emotional support animal since they provide comfort, affection, friendship, and support, which lessens overall emotional or psychiatric disorders.
A few advantages of having an emotional support animal are;
- Evoke Responsibility trait: It is common knowledge that caring for a pet at home, including feeding and bathing it, boosts one’s level of accountability and responsibility. The same is true for ESA ownership.
- Physical Well-Being: Your level of physical activity will surely rise if you play with or stroll around your house with an ESA. Increasing your physical activity will indirectly improve your cholesterol levels, heart health, and other conditions.
- Loyal friend: With the help of an Emotional Support Animal you can easily heal yourself from loneliness. A promising buddy who will be there on your side can help you feel alone despite being surrounded by people.
- Both side Relationship: This is a both side relationship. Your emotional support animals will give you much more in return for the love and care you give them. Your ESA will adore you and only desire your happiness in return.
- Reduce Anxiety: ESA can help you in reducing your anxiety issues and make you feel peaceful, relaxed, and loved, regardless of whether it is social anxiety, anxiety brought on by OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), or any other sort of anxiety.
- Overcome Trauma: Petting an emotional support animal has helped many people overcome years of trauma. Having an ESA by your side, helps you to recover from those caused by unexpected events or years of abuse.
- How can you get an Emotional Support Animal?
Almost any animal, regardless of breed, size, or weight, and does not require any special training can be qualified as an ESA. Therefore, if you meet the requirements listed below, you can qualify your pet as an ESA;
You Must Possess a Qualifying Condition
You must have at least one disability that significantly restricts your ability to carry out daily living activities to be eligible for an emotional support animal;
Few of the DSM-V-listed disabilities are mentioned below;
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
- Disorders caused by substances (alcohol, drugs)
- Anxiety\ Depression
- Fear Attacks
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD
- Disorder of the mind
- Sexual dysfunction
- Disorder of developmental
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic Stress Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Psychological disorders
There are many more disabilities too. If you are the one affected by any of the conditions listed below, you must be eligible for an emotional support animal.However, a qualified health professional must make the decision as to whether or not your disease allows for an ESA. With the help of the ESA recommendation letter signed by the licensed mental health professional, you have proof of your disability.
An ESA letter is an official letterhead signed by a licensed mental health professional for having the assistance of an Emotional Support Animal. It functions as a letter of prescription for an emotional support animal. This letter serves as documentation that the patient is receiving continuing care for a mental or emotional disease that includes using an emotional support animal.
Your assistance animal must offer you comfort and support to treat your mental or emotional disease.
It doesn’t need to be a rare animal. You can select a pet from a neighbourhood pet shop, adopt a street dog or cat, or even adopt a pet from a family member or friend.
Choose an animal of any kind or breed. Any animal you think can aid you in overcoming your psychological or emotional difficulties, including a dog, cat, rat, squirrel, peacock, goldfish, or other pets.
If you obtain an ESA letter from a qualified healthcare expert, you can designate a typical pet as your emotional support animal.