4 Types of Help an Emotional Support Animal Can Give ~ by Stuart Mill
A lot of criticism and confusion surrounds an emotional support animal (ESA). People still doubt the ability of an ESA to provide emotional comfort and improve mental health conditions. Truthfully, ESAs can actually help people alleviate the symptoms of mental illnesses. And there’s a lot more to emotional support animals than airline bans, frauds, and red collars. In a country where more than 20 percent of the population is affected by mental health problems, it is extremely crucial to understand that emotional support animals are clinically adept at helping humans overcome specific disabilities. Although, you have to keep in mind that ESAs are not trained like assistance animals, which is what differentiates ESAs from other forms of service animals.
However, you can train them by yourself to fulfill some of the basic requirements. This can include cuddling with you when you have a breakdown, getting you out of bed on days you are unable to do so on your own and the like. Use some treats to motivate your pet and appreciate them every time they help you feel better. Life’s Abundance dog treats are especially great when you’re trying to train your dog into becoming a successful emotional support animal.
For the support of emotional support animals, you have to get a recommendation or an ESA letter from a licensed mental health practitioner, like the ones you can consult at My ESA Doctor. This certification enables you to get access to two legal protections. You can live with your pet and fly if you have emotional and psychological disabilities. That said, here are five ways emotional support animals can help you.
ESAs Help Produce Neurotransmitters
People who consume antidepressants to treat their depression feel a sense of calmness because antidepressants increase the production of serotonin levels. In contrast, emotional support animals can help increase dopamine and other neurochemicals associated with bonding. There are research articles and studies that show dopamine production increases as soon as you look into the eyes of your four-legged friend.
When your body produces neurotransmitters, it causes the body to feel less depressed and stress-free. Not only this but increased dopamine levels also improves your capacity to love and bond. So, people who seek emotional support should definitely give emotional support animals a try. Having an animal around will make you feel less lonely and you will feel safe and loved.
An Emotional Support Animal Can Help Calm Anxiety
In my personal opinion, it is extremely crucial for people to stay beside their pets when they are traveling or out in public. The reason is very simple: you have a mental health condition that makes you anxious. And getting anxiety among crowds is a very common scenario. Often anxious patients complain about standing in front of large crowds or traveling alone surrounded by a bunch of strangers. So, keeping an ESA beside you while traveling or going out will help you feel less anxious. During crucial circumstances, an ESA can act as a form of support that sometimes even medicines fail to provide. Aso, someone who experiences extreme bouts of anxiety can stay focused on their ESA and stay away from anything that triggers anxiety. (This is not to say that your ESA can accompany you during your flight. Airlines today require ESAs to fly in a separate carrier and only service animals can accompany their owners).
ESAs Provide Unconditional Support and Love
Little do people know, but people with mental illnesses require a healthy diet, love, and support. Your friends might pretend like he or she doesn’t need your support and sit inside a locked room for weeks. However, deep down they look for unconditional support and love. And sometimes it is very difficult for a normal person to decode what a depressed individual needs. In that case, ESAs can come quite handy because they will provide a feeling of care and love. Which in most cases is very hard to find. Also, this doesn’t mean that an ESA will distance the patient from the rest of the world. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. An ESA will teach depressed patients the art of love. They will improve the patients’ capacity to feel connected. This will dramatically improve the person’s overall mental health and it will be a stepping stone to forming new positive relationships.
ESAs Can Coexist With Other Forms of Treatment
There are so many treatment plans out there. You can choose any of the treatments to ensure mental health well-being. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy or medicines your psychologist prescribed you. Whatever treatment you choose, make sure that you measure the results, and see how effective each plan is. Also, emotional support animals are like just any other pet in your house. So, you can make them a part of your treatment plan and use them in conjunction with your therapies.
You see there is always a consistent way to incorporate an ESA into the ongoing treatment plan. After all, a pet can do no wrong to you while medicines have side effects. Pets can be incorporated into mindful games that help anxious people stay grounded. An example of such a combination is Trauma Resilience Model. It works in conjunction with ESAs. You can use your pet to keep you focused and calm during the process.
Emotional support animals can be extremely beneficial for any patient suffering from emotional stress or any mental debilitating conditions. However, it is crucial to remember that ESAs are not service animals and therefore do not enjoy the same type of benefits and pardons as service animals enjoy. Depending on the condition one is suffering from, an ESA is the best fit for providing love and care, helping you relax amidst an anxious episode, helping release neurotransmitters in your brain that will make you happier.