Emotional Support Animal Benefits

emotional support animal benefits

Emotional support animal benefits are numerous and varying, from mental benefits and physical benefits to even social benefits.  If a licensed mental health professional  determines that you have a disabling mental condition that could be helped with the companionship and attention of an emotional support animal, they can actually prescribe an emotional support animal or ESA. Here are a few of the mental health issues that ESA’s may help alleviate:

  •  depression
  • panic disorders,
  • post partum depression,
  • anxiety
  • phobias and fears
  • post-traumatic stress disorder.

There are numerous studies demonstrating the health benefits for those with pets, whether they are officially an ESA or not. Examples of proven health benefits include:

Emotional Support Animal Benefits- Physical Health

  • lower cholesterol
  • lower blood pressure
  • lower triglyceride
  • increased activity
  • more opportunities for exercise
  • more time spent outdoors (for dog owners especially)

Emotional Support Animal Benefits- Mental Health

  • reduced stress levels
  • reduced feelings of loneliness
  • better mental health
  • more opportunities for socialization

Emotional Support Animal Benefits- Social Health

  • Animals are a natural conversation starters
  • Helps with forming bonds
  • Reduces isolation

Emotional Support Animal Benefits- Final Thoughts

While we don’t yet know precisely what types of animals influence what types of health issues (physical, mental, and social well-being) and what characteristics about human-animal interaction are most important. People who have pets know that there are many benefits to having a companion animal, but we do not yet know under what circumstances those benefits are most likely. If research shows specific health benefits under specific circumstances, that information can be used to change policies in ways that benefit even more adults and children, by influencing rules and regulations for schools, health or assisted living facilities, residential treatment centers, and other places where people’s exposure to animals is sometimes discouraged but could potentially be encouraged. As is true with any relationship, some human-pet relationships are likely to be more rewarding than others. Some people are more attached to their pets than others and those feelings could influence the impact of the pet on the person’s health.