We all know what a wonderful companion a pet can be. Most pet owners treat their little furry friends like their own children and the animals reciprocate with the same love and affection. It is undeniable that pets bring comfort and happiness to their owners, but did you know that they can also help overcome mental health problems? Service animals can bring emotional support.
Mental illness is a serious problem among Americans today. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly half the population in Oklahoma suffers from bad mental health, due to which the state currently ranks at number 38 for mental health (higher numbers signify a greater prevalence of mental health issues) on Mental Health America’s scale. The most commonly reported mental health problems faced by Oklahomans are depression and anxiety. However, many people suffer from more serious issues such as substance abuse, phobias and panic disorders.
Emotional Support Animals
Healthcare experts suggest that for people with high levels of anxiety, phobia and other disorders, an effective way to manage their mental health is getting an emotional support animal. Sometimes, the companionship of a loved one helps us fight back our insecurities and weaknesses, and what better companion than a loving pet?
If you are someone who has a mental health issue where you find yourself seeking comfort and support, you may want to consider getting an emotional support animal or obtaining a certification for your existing pet. Getting an “emotional support animal certification in Oklahoma” is fairly simple and it will allow your pet to become a certified emotional support animal.
There are many benefits to having a certified emotional support animal which will help you deal with everyday situations that may be a trigger for your mental health. Let’s discuss these in detail.
The first and most important reason why you should get an emotional support animal is that they provide companionship. As humans, it sounds selfish to say it, but we sometimes need more than what others can give us. To get that from another person is highly unlikely, but pets are known to be the givers in their relationships with us. Although we must look after them, feed them, care for them, take them to the vet, etc., we all know who gets the better end of the deal.
The unlimited love and affection that a pet gives us are hard to find in life, especially when we’re struggling with mental and emotional distress and have little to give to others. With an emotional support animal, you will have the best companion you can ask for, who will be there for you through the good times and the bad.
2. Overcome Mental Triggers
For people with a mental disorder, any unexpected situation can act as a trigger. For instance, people who have abusive parents as a child often are triggered by displays of anger, while victims of sexual abuse tend to find themselves in a panic attack when a person invades their personal space. Similarly, veterans with PTSD are sometimes stunned by loud noises or sudden movements.
Whenever such a situation arises, the person suffering is pushed back into the vicious cycle of their mental disorder, where they are unable to control their stress and anxiety.
In more severe cases, people have even been known to become violent and uncontrollable. At such times, an emotional support animal can act as a grounding force and prevent the victim from falling down the rabbit hole. Merely the calming touch of a loved one is often enough to pull a person back from the edge, and an emotional support animal can provide that.
3. Manage Depression
Depression is the plague of the 21st century that has infiltrated every community in the world. The worst part is that depression silently takes root in any mind without discrimination. There are incidents of children as young as six attempting suicide due to depression. This makes depression one of the most dangerous illnesses of our time.
An emotional support animal can be extremely helpful in managing and controlling depression. When a depressive episode hits, it is as if the world stops functioning, and even getting out of bed in the morning can seem impossible. An emotional support animal can sense signs of depression in their humans and provide the necessary support needed to fight back. Their innocent attempts at making you feel better sometimes prove extremely effective. Even a simple cuddle from your pet can act as a mood booster that may help you fight depression.
4. Fight Addiction
Substance abuse is a concerning problem among teenagers and adults in the U.S. Even for those who manage to quit their addiction, there is always the risk of relapse hanging above their heads. There are many reasons addicts find it hard to let go of old patterns. An emotional support animal can provide the support you need to fight back against this habit.
Dogs are very effective emotional support animals for those struggling with substance abuse. For starters, these furry friends can provide therapeutic support and help build healthy habits to avoid relapse. Moreover, they can help prevent someone from becoming isolated. As social animals, dogs require a lot of outdoor time where their human must accompany them. This forces one to socialize and avoid feelings of loneliness, which are major triggers for addicts.
5. A Constant Friend
You may think that your pet provides you with most of the above benefits, so why should you get them certified as an emotional support animal? Well, there are certain perks to the certification. In Oklahoma, an emotional support animal certification can help you keep your pet around for support citing your mental health needs.
- Landlords cannot evict tenants for having an emotional support animal.
- Businesses and public spaces that allow pets cannot stop certified emotional support animals from entering their establishments.
- Employers may allow you to bring your emotional support animal to work.
- Certain airlines allow emotional support animals to travel in-cabin.
Considering the above benefits of the certification, it becomes clear how getting your pet registered and certified can help you keep them around at all times.
As emotional support animals, pets perform the ultimate charity towards people by helping us fight our inner battles. If you’re struggling with mental health, an emotional support animal can help you in many ways. Therefore, get in touch with local centers for emotional support animals to find your perfect companion or apply for a certification for your existing pet today. With the exchange of love and care that you and your emotional support animal will share, you will slowly find yourself healing emotionally and mentally.