How Emotional Support Animals Help People

By  //  March 11, 2020

While traditional medications may help alleviate the symptoms of psychological and mental health problems, there has been a new development in the field of psychology, one that involves the use of animals for treatment.

Nowadays, emotional support animals (ESAs) help people of all ages recover from trauma and reduce their anxiety and stress levels. 

So, if you think you might benefit from getting an emotional support animal, read on to discover how they can change your life for the better.

Help Their Handlers Become More Responsible

Having an ESA is no different than having a pet because you still need to take care of your emotional support animal. In fact, the process of getting an ESA is all about responsibility; as the certified professionals from Therapetic explain on their website, you must qualify for getting an ESA and you may have to fill an application beforehand.

They also point out that you need to meet up with a qualified therapist to figure out whether having an ESA can help your condition and be able to get your ESA letter. If you qualify for getting an emotional support animal, you will still be responsible for feeding it and taking it to the vet for check-ups.

This can also teach children with mental health problems to handle responsibility from a young age, which can go a long way towards making them healthy, well-rounded individuals in the future.

Help You Regulate Your Emotions

Sometimes, people who suffer from psychological disorders may experience strong emotions, which can be hard to deal with and might lead to breakdowns, negatively impacting the patients’ lives. So, those who cannot deal with their emotions or regulate them effectively can fall victim to severe mood swings, which can be seen in people suffering from borderline personality disorder.

However, recent studies have suggested that having an ESA by your side can help you deal with strong emotions and regulate them, as its steady presence helps you stabilize your emotions, stay calm, and think rationally.

Help Treat Depression

It may sound too good to be true, but ESAs can help treat depression when coupled with more traditional treatments like antidepressants.

Therapists have discovered that petting animals and generally being an ESA handler increases patient’s levels of dopamine, a hormone that works on helping you feel happier.

Experts have even gone as far as suggesting that merely looking into your ESA’s eyes can make you feel more secure and loved, which in turn helps eliminate depression.

Help You Stay Active

If you have trouble getting out and about and feel lonely and unproductive, becoming an ESA handler can turn your life around.

Those who suffer from mental health issues may feel like they have no purpose, avoiding all social interactions and staying in their bedrooms all day. Nonetheless, having a dog as an ESA can make them more active, especially because dogs need physical stimulation every day.

This will prompt the patients to get out of their houses and take their ESAs to the park for a walk, which may offer an excellent opportunity for staying active and meeting new people as well.

ESAs Alleviate Anxiety

Anxiety can wreak havoc with your life, making you unable to make decisions and overthink every little detail. Well, if you have been diagnosed with anxiety, an emotional support animal might be able to make things a bit more bearable.

Psychologists stress that having an ESA by your side during panic attacks can help you stay grounded and alleviate your anxiety.

ESA handlers are also allowed to bring their animals on planes and even inside the passengers’ cabin, which is a great help for people who are afraid of boarding planes.

ESAs Help You Stay Productive

If you are having trouble concentrating at work, having an ESA around can make work a breeze. First of all, being in close proximity to your emotional support animal makes you stay in high spirits all day, prompting you to finish your work faster and stay on top of your game.

Also, children who have ADHD may also benefit from getting an ESA because it helps them stay focused. So, not only is having an ESA good for your mental health, but it also improves your work quality.

Getting an ESA may seem like a huge step, as it involves a huge deal of responsibility. But having an emotional support animal also entails many benefits.

These animals help people become more responsible, conquer anxiety and depression, and stay productive and physically active. Thus, if you think you can handle the responsibility of an ESA, talk to your therapist to get your letter!