What is an ESA and How Can It Help Your Depression and Anxiety?

Have you been struggling with your mental health for a while now, but you feel like nothing is helping? Are you feeling discouraged and stuck in what feels like an everlasting funk because you’ve tried everything and have no clue what else to do? Trust me, I’ve been there, and I might be able to help — ever thought about getting an emotional support animal (ESA)?

If you don’t know what that is, an ESA is an animal that offers companionship and support, which helps a person manage their mental health. You’ll find that dogs are the most common animal for an ESA, but you can actually legally register any animal as an ESA as long as it helps you emotionally.

Now that I’ve introduced you to the idea of an ESA, please allow me to introduce you to someone very special to me! Making her debut on my blog, here is Sophie, my 2-year-old emotional support animal!

We’ve only had Sophie for two weeks, but we’ve learned that she loves to eat, sleep, and play fetch. While it hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine (we’re trying to potty train her fast because our carpet has taken quite the beating), she has been such a blessing since my husband and I adopted her from Operation Paws for Homes.

Honestly guys, I am just so thankful to have her around — she makes me smile first thing in the morning when I wake up and look down to see Sophie jumping in excitement for our morning walk. I used to feel lonely when I would wake up to an empty apartment because my husband already left for work, but I don’t have to worry about being alone anymore. Even when I’m teleworking and I just got done with a long Zoom meeting, it’s so comforting to look down and see her resting her head on my lap. And I love that Sophie is such a big cuddler! When I lay on the floor with my blanket for a power nap, she gets up from wherever she is and buries her entire body under my covers to rest on my legs. With her, I feel loved, needed, and I certainly don’t feel alone. She’s the perfect addition to our little family! I am definitely hoping that I can make her my legal ESA soon ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Sophie has given me purpose again, and she’s given me hope that my mental health CANNOT and WILL NOT defeat me. My hope for those who feel stuck in their depression, anxiety, or PTSD is that you find your own Sophie — find an animal that cuddles you when you’re sad, makes you feel alive again, and just lifts your overall mood.

“Gary is like my heart. Gary is very devoted to me and that calms me down… He’s anxious when he’s away from me.”

– Carrie Fisher

36 thoughts on “What is an ESA and How Can It Help Your Depression and Anxiety?”

  1. Wow this is very helpful.I didn’t know all of this could be possible. I always think that a pet can help you extend your love and if they can with loneliness and anxiety is much better.

    1. Animals are such amazing companions, and it’s just so wonderful to have them around. It’s a give and take relationship in that they help us, and we help them in return. Thanks for reading!

  2. Sophie looks so cute and who wouldn’t want to wake up to such a cutie face. I literally didn’t know about ESA until I read this article. Aren’t we so blessed as humans to have such lovely animals in our lives, not just to keep us company, but also to help us emotionally and mentally at times.

    1. Right? I love waking up to her. She’s so amazing! I’m so glad that I can spread the word about ESAs — like you said, not only do they keep us company, but they also lift us up in our lowest moments. Thanks for reading, Mary!

  3. The pictures are adorable. Thanks for educating us about emotional support animal (ESA). It’s a good option to explore. Wish you and your family the best of times.

  4. Ahh I love this so much!! Pets really do add so much joy to our lives. Look forward to seeing more of Sophie in future posts ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Anything that can help us conquer our mental issues is great. Itโ€™s good to know about emotional support animal (ESA) . At the moment Iโ€™m dealing my depression and anxiety by taking tablets and I can say that one of the best things Iโ€™ve done so far. I feel more relax and at peace.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that your tablets are helping with your depression and anxiety. It’s good that you’re taking active steps to feel better because we all deserve to feel our best. Thank you so much for reading and for being so open, Anne!

    1. Thanks so much for reading! If you’re in need of an ESA, definitely talk it over with a therapist and with your family. You may find that an ESA will provide you with so much relief and comfort. Wishing you all the best.

    1. Sophie is most DEFINITELY my best friend. I love her so so much! I’m also so glad that I was able to provide some information about an ESA. Thanks for reading!

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