Emotional support animals provide support and companionship to individuals struggling with mental health and emotional issues. Fortunately, there are no restrictions on what animal you can register as your ESA since they don’t require any special training. You can decide to adopt a companion dog or turn your current pet into an ESA by obtaining an ESA certification through emotional support animal registration. If you would like to have an emotional support animal, read on to find out more about the qualifying conditions.
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Conditions That Qualify for an Emotional Support Animal
How to qualify for an emotional support animal? You must have an emotional or mental disability that makes it difficult for you to function. This means it is not a must that your disability makes it completely impossible to carry out daily activities before you can obtain an emotional support animal. Additionally, your mental or emotional disorder should have been assessed and diagnosed by a licensed healthcare provider.
Below is a list of conditions that make you eligible for an emotional support animal:
1. Organic Brain Syndrome
Organic Brain Syndrome refers to any conditions that result from the gradual loss of brain function due to reasons other than mental illnesses. The loss of brain function may occur due to brain damage from physical injury, psychological trauma, or psychosocial factors such as substance abuse, mental or physical abuse, or extreme deprivation. Organic brain syndrome is characterized by confusion, impaired judgment, memory loss, visual disturbances, difficulty in balancing or walking, and inability to concentrate. Other associated conditions include degenerative conditions like delirium and dementia.
2. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes extreme mood swings that may include episodes of hyperactivity followed by emotional lows or depressive episodes.
There are three types of Bipolar Disorder:
- Bipolar disorder I
- Bipolar Disorder II
Note that Bipolar II is not a milder form of Bipolar I, but rather a completely different diagnosis.
3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD normally occurs as a result of traumatic or terrifying events such as war, physical or sexual abuse, and even accidents. Some of the symptoms include arousal symptoms like being easily frightened, hypervigilance, and inability to sleep. You may also avoid triggers that remind you of the traumatic experience, or experience intrusive memories of the experience.
4. Learning Disabilities
These are conditions that hinder the attainment of skills and knowledge expected of individuals of a certain age. They are lifelong and are not associated with any physical handicap.
Learning disabilities include:
- Non-verbal learning disability
5. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Disorder refers to a behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, easy distractibility, and hyperactive as well as compulsive behavior.
ADHD comes in three forms depending on the strongest symptoms:
- Predominantly Inattentive Presentation
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation
- Combined Presentation
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6. Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety Disorders are psychiatric conditions characterized by extreme or crippling worry. They include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Specific phobias like agoraphobia
- Panic Disorders
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Selective mutism
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD)
Depression is a mood disorder that normally cases prolonged sadness. It may lead to loss of interest in activities, sleep disturbances, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt, suicidal thoughts, and even loss of appetite.
Depression may occur in a variety of forms including:
- Seasonal Affective Depression
- Psychotic depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
8. Motor Skills Disorder
Also known as dyspraxia, motor skills disorder is a condition that affects your ability to process the information needed to complete gross motor tasks. While it may not affect intelligence, individuals with motor skills disorder may face learning difficulties, as well as perception and thinking difficulties.
Other conditions that may qualify you for an emotional support animal include mental illnesses, chronic stress, and personality disorders.
Note that behaviors or traits do not make you eligible for emotional support animal registration. Behaviors such as irritability, chronic lateness, and poor judgment may be a symptom of mental illness and not necessarily a mental impairment on their own. As such, you will not be eligible for an emotional support animal.
If you exhibit symptoms or suffer from any of the above-listed qualifying conditions, you should visit a mental healthcare provider for evaluation to help you live a healthier and happier life. You can also apply for an emotional support animal if you feel like it will help improve your wellbeing. The good thing is that you can self-register your dog as an emotional support animal or any other pet of your choice so that you can take it anywhere with you.
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How EZCare Clinic Can Help
EZCare Clinic offers treatment for a variety of mental health issues such as anxiety and ADHD. We can also help you obtain emotional support animal letter to live and travel with your emotional support animal.