• Kristina Cherep

7 Benefits Of Emotional Support Animals

I highly recommend an Emotional Support Animal for anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression. There are many reasons why I recommend them, but here are my top 7 reasons...

1. They are a reason for you to get out of bed.

I had many days where I could not get out of my bed. I couldn't find a reason to get up because I didn't care about myself on those days. Now that I have Eevee (my ESA), I have a reason to get up. Right when I open my eyes or move in the morning, I have a jumping dog in my face. She waits patiently for me to wake up, but right when I do wake up she is excited about the day. She licks my face, jumps on my head, and sometimes bites me if she really has to go outside. I have no choice, but to get out of bed at that point!

2. They are happy to see you every time you walk in the door.

Whether I had a good or bad day at work, my day gets slightly better when I open my door because I have her waiting there for me. She starts running around me, jumping on me, licking me, etc. She makes me smile whether I want to or not. She makes me feel so loved even if it's only for a few seconds.

3. They are dependent on you.

One of the reasons why I love working with kids is because I love when people depend on me. I love taking care of kids and helping them out with the big and the little things. I'm not sure why I like to be depended on, but the feeling of being depended on brings me joy. My ESA is dependent on me for survival, obviously! I feed her twice a day, make sure she has water, take her outside, and much more. She makes me feel important and useful because she depends on me!

4. You have someone to depend on.

It's definitely a two way street with an ESA. Yeah they depend on you for survival, but you also depend on them for emotional support. This emotional support, in some cases, is for your own survival. I truly think Eevee senses when I'm having anxiety or feeling depressed. Either she comes running up to me or my husband brings her to me. She doesn't get all up in my face; she sits there and lets me pet her. I depend on her to comfort me in my times of need. I don't have to worry if she will judge me, listen to me, or understand. She's there for me no matter what.

5. You don't have to explain to them why you are crying.

Whether you're crying from watching an episode of This Is Us or you're crying for no reason, you don't have to explain to your ESA why you're crying. Yeah, they may think that you're acting weird or crazy, but they aren't able to express that to you! You don't have to explain to them and most of the time they don't care why you're crying as long as you stop crying eventually!

6. If they fall asleep on the couch then you have an excuse to take a nap with them.

One of the biggest mistakes I make when I am feeling depressed is to stay in bed all day because I end up feeling ten times worse afterwards. However, an hour nap is never a bad idea especially if your ESA falls asleep first! How could you let your ESA nap by themselves?? You can't have them nap alone, which is why you should join them!

7. They will love you no matter what.

Of course we all know the saying that 'a dog is a mans best friend' and it's actually true! They will love you no matter what even if you haven't showered that day or for any other reason you can think of. You will never have a reason to think that no one loves you because they always will.

I do have a little pet peeve of mine when it comes to the topic of ESA's. I have had a person tell me that anyone can get an ESA and that all you have to do is go online to apply and act sad. This just made me cringe and I hope people do not really think this. An ESA is a support for people with mental illnesses just like a wheel chair is a support for someone with a physical disability. Please take this topic seriously, especially when you are speaking to someone who has a mental illness.

Also, if you have any questions on the procedure to get an ESA let me know. I am aware of the websites that say they can give you a letter from a doctor however that costs money. Also, most of the time your landlord or whoever will not accept a simple letter from a doctor. They will most likely give you paperwork to give to your doctor to fill out. I was able to get a letter from my doctor for free and have her fill out paperwork from my landlord stating that