Animals have been by our sides for thousands of years and can help us in more ways than we ever realize. If you feel you need a little more support, them here’s how to qualify for an emotional support animal.
What is an emotional support animal?
An emotional support animal, or ESA, is a pet that helps to provide emotional support to owners. They don’t have the same rights as service dogs, but they can travel with owners to permitted locations where they help to ease phobias, depression, anxiety, and any other mental illnesses that can be supported by an ESA.
They need to fit your life
One of the most important factors about getting an ESA is that they fit with your life. Some people find it tough to look after themselves or have the motivation to leave the house. Thankfully, an ESA can be the push that many people need. ESAs also need to be permitted in your home, at school, or at work to make sure they can support you in all aspects of your life.
You need to see a therapist
Therapists are there to help us understand what we are going through and guide us to the next stage in our recovery. However, they aren’t there all the time. Sometimes, our therapist feels that we need some extra help away from the office. They usually know us the best and can advice is an ESA would help with your everyday lives.
You have to have a diagnosis
There are many diagnoses that mean we can qualify for an ESA. Some of the many on the list include agoraphobia, PTSD, anxiety, panic disorder, or major depressive disorder. Any mental illness usually applies. However, you have to be formally diagnosed with something before you will be considered for an ESA.
You need letters
The letter is the key aspect of making sure that you get your ESA. It is written by your therapist who will explain the treatment you are receiving, how your illness is stopping you from enjoying aspects of your life, and how an ESA could help to eliminate some of these issues. Some therapists don’t have experience writing these letters, but they usually know someone who can.
You have to maintain those letters
Sadly, these letters expire after one year. This means that you need to regularly head back to your therapist to make sure they are sending off the correct information every year. If you miss the deadline, you may have to reapply to qualify for an ESA. It’s just like getting a repeat prescription from the doctor, but it means you can keep your ESA instead.
There are many factors that go toward welcoming an emotional support animal into your life. Thankfully, there are plenty of payoffs that come with the addition. It might take a little work and some patience before you welcome one into your life, but the unconditional love and support are usually worth it in the end.