Do you recall the day you almost got cold feet simply because the sunset and you were still outside? Or do you have a problem with joining other people in activities when there are large crowds simply because you are afraid of being judged by others? Well, you could be experiencing a phobia disorder.
According to some studies, close to twenty million people in the world are battling phobia disorders. It’s ranked third among the mental issues affecting humans, and it’s the leading cause of suicidal cases today.
This may seem unbelievable or odd, but according to healthcare leaders, having an emotional support animal can help you calm down. In fact, even watching fishes as they move around in the aquarium is therapeutic.
Similarly, emotional support dogs are well known for their ability to speed up the healing process of people who have a mental illness. But how can an emotional support dog help you curb your phobias? Here is how.
Fear vs. Phobia
You might be thinking that these two phrases mean the same, but that’s not the case. According to psychologists, these two terms are, to some extent, opposite to one another.
Fear is the emotional and physical response of human beings to external stimuli. Fear isn’t just some temporary reaction to environmental changes. For instance, if one gets bitten by a snake, they are likely to develop a fear of snakes in the upcoming days or even a lifetime. Let’s consider a child, for example. They’re known to be fearless.
If you teach your child that playing around the fireplace will get them burnt or hot iron can burn their hands, they will be more careful in the upcoming days for fear of getting burnt. Having fear isn’t always a bad thing. It makes you act more cautiously around selected people and things.
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Phobia, on the other hand, is an anxiety-based disorder that hinders a person suffering from it to continue with their daily routine as they would normally. Phobia ranges from mild to severe.
People who have mild phobia can carry out their daily activities from time to time after managing their fears. However, those with severe phobia stress over their phobias, making it extremely difficult for them to lead normal lives.
For instance, if a person has claustrophobia, they’ll always feel jittery every time they are in a room with less space. Their anxiety levels are also likely to increase whenever they are in a closed space substantially.
So, what causes phobia?
- Stress: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, prolonged stress can cause anxiety issues or even depression. This problem then reduces the aptitude to handle stress. The inability to cope with stressful occurrences can lead to agoraphobia development.
- Genetics: Phobia can be inherited, just like any other illness. Most people who are born in families with phobia histories are more susceptible.
- Trauma: Experiencing disparaging events and occurrences can also trigger phobia in the future.
- Acquired response: A person can develop phobia disorders from different environmental influences.
- Response to panic: When exposed to stressful or traumatic events, people with anxiety disorder tend to experience panic attacks. They then develop some phobia, which is panic attack related.
Types of Phobias:
There are three types of phobias.
Social phobia: Social phobia involves fear of public speaking, public humiliation, and even being judged by other people.
Specific phobia: This type of phobia involves peculiar triggers like arachnophobia (fear of spiders), Hemophobia (fear of blood), hydrophobia (fear of water), cryophobia (fear of cold), autophobia (fear of being alone) and zoophobia (fear of animals).
Agoraphobia: This is a phobia type that comes up when one is unable to handle complex situations.
Are you experiencing any kind of phobia? Worry not. We’ve got an emotional support dog that will keep you up and running within no time.
Reason No. 1: An Emotional Dog will be Patient with You
People who have mental health problems encounter anxiety attacks when they experience specific triggers. This makes them agitated, irrational, and extra sensitive. This is the reason behind them looking distorted or panicked.
This behavior makes other people refrain from interacting with them, leaving them to feel lonely, and unwelcomed. People struggling with mental health problems should be treated with patience since their emotions are often mixed up. They are unable to control things, and the fear they have in them only makes things worse.
If you want a caring environment, get yourself an emotional dog
Having the right support in your life can get you by the hardest of moments. Sometimes it is not possible for us to have people around us. So who do we turn to for emotional support?
Emotional support dogs can sense one’s emotions. Whether it’s sadness or joy, they can tell it all. Based on that, these furry buddies will help you deal with the situation at hand, and the beauty of it all is that they’ll never leave you alone, no matter how hard it gets.
These pets have their owner as a priority. They’ll love and cherish you while helping you to calm your nerves whenever the going gets tough.
Reason No. 2: Their Cuddling Techniques will be Extensively Beneficial to You
For a fact, phobia builds up anxiety and tension in aggrieved persons. Nobody wants to feel like a bother to society, and since handling this condition is challenging and troublesome, most victims tend to live in isolation.
Well, for people experiencing mental illness, isolation is the worst stage in the whole phase. This is because it triggers dark thoughts. If your friend or family member is facing any problems due to phobia, you need to seek a health provider’s advice.
Overall, the health care provider will first assess the situation, suggest several solutions or treatment options for your loved one, and trust me, getting an emotional support dog may be one of the recommendations.
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Snuggles and hugs
Having an emotional support dog is the most effective way to help a person recover from a mental health disorder without them necessarily having to consume any medication. Dogs are known to be the most caring and loving animals. They often hug and snuggle people relieving their stress and reinstating their optimal mental state.
It feels good always to have a chum by your side. When you are in the loneliness stage, you’ll encounter many thoughts that can worsen phobia effects. These include delusions and hallucinations.
Your emotional support dog will be your companion at all times, and this will enable you to experience a more relaxed life with optimism and even new goals – Click the button below to get your ESA letter today!
Reason No. 3: They Will Enable You to become Articulate
Most people struggling with phobias are unable to vocalize the words they intend to say, and an emotional support dog can help you solve that. If you are suffering from this disorder, you might find it challenging to share your opinions or feelings for fear of being laughed at or the perception that no one will believe you.
Moreover, fear makes you lack confidence. As you might be aware, that lack of confidence brings out negative results on the activities we engage in, and that’s why you need an emotional support animal to help you conquer it.
Imagine what would happen if you went for a job interview or are doing a presentation, and suddenly you’re low in confidence. Scary right? As soon as someone calls out your name, you are most likely to experience panic attacks, which will distort your creative side.
You may even pretend to be sick or also cancel your presentation due to anxiety issues and low confidence.
Often, a lack of confidence makes you incoherent, and most of the time, you may perceive public speaking as a burden. This makes you talk before thinking things through.
How do emotional support dogs help in boosting confidence?
Basically, an emotional support dog will help you get your lost confidence back. Do your fears make it difficult for you to express yourself? Once you get a support dog, it will give you some sense of security, thereby boosting your confidence. Furthermore, emotional support dogs are allowed into areas that aren’t pet-friendly, and therefore you need not worry since your dog will be with you wherever you go.
Knowing that you have a buddy to keep you company will give you more confidence and, therefore, you’ll become more articulate than before. Being able to express yourself correctly is an art, never forget that. Grab yourself an emotional support dog to help you get a grip on your well-being and help you deal with your phobia issues.
Having strong mental health is the key to a happy life – maintain it by getting your ESA letter today!
Reason No. 4: Emotional Dogs keep You Relaxed in all Circumstances
Whenever you are faced with tough situations, stress, and anxiety issues arise. Here, the reference is on situations that render you hopeless and helpless. These circumstances may include:
- Being jobless
- Going through divorce/ a breakup
- Traumatic situations
- Being evacuated on short notice
- Handling emotional stress
Now that you are aware of tough situations that can raise anxiety and stress issues let’s dive into the effects of these conditions on someone dealing with a phobia.
When you encounter extremely tough situations, you tend to lose the knack of making decisions. You may find yourself going through a depression stage, and more often than not, breathing hard is all that you can do to lower the pressure and the negative thoughts. In short, you try to calm yourself down out of fear of losing things or not being able to control them.
Subsequently, you forget to take things with serenity and come up with solutions because all you can think of entails lingering questions about why things don’t go your way. Having phobia problems only makes things worse. You might even find yourself unable to carry out simple tasks that you perform without a sweat on normal days.
How does an emotional support dog help you stay calm?
An emotional support dog acts as a distraction to you. These dogs need you to take care of some of their needs such as,
Taking care of all these dog needs will leave you with very little or no time to kill. Thus, leaving you with no extra time to stress about things since you’ll be distracted. On the other hand, you’ll have a loyal and lifelong partner who is always there when you need someone to listen to you.
If you want to keep your cool and be able to handle stressful situations, get an emotional support dog. It will be worth every coin.
Q: What is the relationship between phobia and stress?
Most people are not aware that phobia is one type of anxiety disorder (AD). Conversely, stress is the primary cause of anxiety disorder and puts one at risk of developing illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
- Diabetes (type II)
- Polycystic ovaries (PCOS)
These are just a few disorders that are brought about by stress. This is the reason why keeping calm is very vital in life.
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Reason No. 5: They are Gentle
If you are experiencing phobias, you might be having a lot on your plate. In many such incidents, you may try as hard as you can to blend in when you are around people, but something always goes wrong, and you find yourself feeling left out.
Most of the time, you don’t want others to feel left out, which makes you have it rough around them. And sometimes you find yourself corking feelings and ideas and not letting your fears be known to the world.
However, by not speaking out when you are facing hard times, you just exacerbate the situation and the symptoms. Today, stereotyping and stigmatization have become a norm in society, and that’s why people shy away from expressing their true feelings and worries with others.
Do you know that there are multiple phobia types in the world that most people are unaware of today? These uncommon phobias make people struggling with them unable to share fears since they believe this would make them freak out and detest them.
Why an emotional support dog?
If you want to begin your recovery process, you need a magical being—one that will be by your side when you are experiencing stressful situations. Thus, helping you lead a healthy life by cheering you up and drifting you to the happy side of life. Yes, you might have guessed right. Only an emotional support dog can make the process quick and worthwhile.
Emotional support dogs can sense your feelings and emotions. So when you are experiencing anxiety attacks, these animals will detect your mood and come to you with hugs and cuddles until you feel better.
They’ll handle you gently and soothe you till you are happy again. In minutes, you’ll calm down to a point where you can make an informed decision. The beauty of it all is that these pets will never stigmatize you or judge you at any point, and therefore it’s easy to disclose how you feel to them comfortably.
Are you wondering how sharing your sentiments with an emotional dog will help you since they don’t speak your language? Or are you thinking they’ll probably not understand? A recent study showed that dogs could interpret and process our words, after which they act accordingly.
The most vital thing here is to have a buddy who treats you right and gently all the way. And you won’t have to be afraid of stigmatization anymore. Take the first step and get yourself an emotional support dog today.
Reason No. 6: They Help Manage your Symptoms
One of the most prevalent problems experienced by people who are going through phobias is the inability to manage their fears. People with phobias fear certain things and likewise have to deal with palpitations, anxiety, lost control over situations, tremors, or even lightheadedness.
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Because dealing with fear is already tough, these other upcoming symptoms will only make things worse for you. It’s probably a lot to deal with, but ignoring these symptoms will only worsen things. As a result, you’re more likely to encounter intense symptoms as days go by, and this constant fear might result in psychosis or paranoia.
If you don’t work as hard as possible to manage fear, you will undoubtedly miss out on some life moments, and this concern isn’t good for your mental well-being. It’s sometimes counterproductive trying as hard as you can to avoid the leading cause of your fear. Generally speaking, avoiding your fears is an easy way out, but it’s of no help to you, and once you understand this, you’ll work even harder to conquer your fears.
How do you control your fear?
You don’t have to struggle with this tough phase alone. You’ll need a companion always to keep you company when you have it rough, and that’s where an emotional support dog comes in. This pet will help you overcome your fears and support you get your life back as fast as possible. How is that even possible?
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As you probably know, or will come to realize, emotional support dogs are miracle workers. Let’s assume you have a fear of the dark (nyctophobia); you should begin going out for walks at night. By so doing, you’ll be taking a huge step towards fighting your fears.
Going for walks with your pet at night will leave you feeling secure, and before long, you’ll get used to night-walks without being afraid.
What’s more, the daily walks will trigger the release of ‘endorphins’ in your brain. These hormones make you feel pleasure every time you perform activities such as;
- Playing games
- Watching a show
- Reading books
Equally, a cunning furry buddy will help you control your fears since it will give you some sense of security. Its presence will transform your life immensely, and you’ll be able to spot the difference within months after acquisition.
According to research findings from a study conducted recently by BMC Psychiatry, emotional support dogs have tremendous benefits to individuals experiencing mental illnesses. As such, adopting an emotional support dog is a big step towards your recovery.
Reason No. 7: No More Neglect
Small fears can transform into some long-lasting phobias, especially if you’re facing neglect, more so, if it’s from your friends or family. Facing neglect during childhood can negatively impact your personality as you grow older.
Negligence at childhood
This may sound like a vague concept to some people. However, studies show that facing neglect during childhood may impair positive behavioral and mental development.
Let’s say you’ve once fallen into a deep well as a child. You’re more likely to experience claustrophobia over time, especially if you didn’t get some help from a doctor after this traumatic event. When traumas are not diagnosed or treated early enough, they may raise anxiety issues, which will lead to a phobia.
Negligence at adulthood
Negligence can have a great impact on your adulthood, as well. And while this may have nothing to do with developmental damages, it can cause behavioral disturbances.
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Exactly how? You must be thinking
So, what happens when you continuously share things that make you nervous with other people? Well, three things might happen.
- Some will mock you.
- Some will sympathize with you.
- Some will ignore you.
Being ignored is the worst. Nobody wants to pay attention to those old stories repeatedly, and that’s why most people will choose to ignore you and how you feel. With time, people may start neglecting you, and this isn’t a good thing. Bear in mind that it could be your friends or family members ignoring you, probably because they don’t want to hurt you or simply because they don’t want to confront you.
This might raise your anxiety problem and even progress the phobia symptoms. It’s obvious what this will result in. Yet if you’re to leave situation attended for some time, you might develop self-destructing lifestyles such as alcoholism, drug abuse, and in extreme circumstances, even suicide.
Wondering how to get the attention?
If your friends or family members neglect you, worry not because there’s a solution for you. If you need a friend who will give you all the attention you need, anytime you need it, get yourself an emotional support dog.
These pets are attentive at all times and will never ignore you or neglect you no matter how hard the situation is. Moreover, these buddies will kick out all the negativity in your life and light up your life once again.
Dogs are loyal animals, and that attribute is what you need to get you up on your feet again. You won’t have to put up with people who happen to be mean or, in some cases lying individuals anymore. These animals can sense your emotions and act accordingly.
If someone has some ill feelings towards you, your emotional support buddy will detect this within minutes. And sometimes, they’ll even growl at them to warn you. Most people who experience neglect may develop the fear of being alone (autophobia). But with an emotional support dog, the fear of being alone will be significantly alleviated.
Similarly, if you’re going through a rough patch, you can be sure your support buddy will shower you with utmost attention and affection to distract you from negative thoughts and feelings. And as days go by, you’ll be able to notice a difference in yourself.
Reason No. 8: More of a Buddy than Therapist
Having phobia brings about limitations. People experiencing phobia disorder spend most of their quality time plotting how they can avoid some issues that can lead to increased anxiety levels or heart rate.
For example, if you have a phobia of heights, you’ll avoid situations that require you to climb at an altitude such as climbing the bridge, climbing a stool to change a light bulb, or even climbing a chair to reach the top shelf. This means that you’ll have to seek help to do some of these things when you’ve always done them all by yourself.
How do these restrictions affect your personality?
Height will frequently instigate an increase in your heartbeat or cause anxiety, and these can lead to dizziness and even excessive sweating. All these make you emotionally unstable and may depict you as a moody person.
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On the other hand, your personality will be significantly impaired. Besides, you’re likely to find it even harder to make friends. Also, you may seemingly appear like you’ve lost control over things.
This will result in social isolation and, with time, raise anxiety issues. People will then start isolating themselves from you, and this can even lead to depression. Trust me; this works like a cycle.
No more isolating yourself socially
Humans are social beings. We’ve previously looked at how phobias can impair your ability to interact with others. However, you need not stress about that because you can adopt an emotional support dog. They are known to be the friendliest creatures on earth, and they’ll greatly help you deal with the phobia.
You’ll have an opportunity to discuss all your fears with your emotional support dog since they’ll not judge nor ignore you. This is technically very therapeutic, and it will add some optimism in your life.
Eventually, you’ll be able to curb phobia and become worry-free since all you require is a support buddy to help you overcome all your obstacles.
Reason No. 9: They will Aid in Emotional Healing
All mental illnesses can cause emotional trauma. And while there are a couple of causes, the main one is the lack of required support from relatives, family, and friends, especially when they don’t take these illnesses seriously.
Undoubtedly, mental illness is a real issue. And with several unknown phobias, you’ve probably come across some people complaining about specific matters which only a few people can comprehend.
For instance, people experiencing technophobia (fear of technology). These categories of people are likely to feel uncomfortable or have troubling thoughts whenever they come across technology. Many people may perceive these as weird since we are surrounded by technology in our world today, and so everyone expects that disliking technology is out of the way.
A support buddy will help you heal
Being emotionally disturbed will only elevate your anxiety levels and increase the consequences of your mental health problems. If you are experiencing any phobias, an emotional support dog will do you right.
Emotional support animals are renowned for their caring gesture, and this will bring a smile on your face. They always sense when you are not doing well, and they’ll still come to your rescue.
How does this happen?
An emotional support dog will always be on your side, and whenever they feel that you’re not feeling okay, they’ll lick your face, lay on your lap, and play around you till your gloomy face transforms into a smiley face.
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Nevertheless, if you’re to adopt an emotional support dog, you’ll see the difference in a relatively short time possible. You don’t have to be glum over anything because an emotional support dog will always chase all the draining vibes away from your life, and hence it will be easy for you to handle your phobias.
Steps to acquire an emotional support dog
1st step: Filling out an online questionnaire:
First, you’ll have to visit a legit ESA letter website of your provider and fill out the questionnaire. Don’t worry! You’ll only need to key in some basic information concerning your medical history and other small details like your contact number, name, and age.
2nd step: Schedule an appointment:
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, you’ll have your assessment done via video call. You’ll decide the date and time you want to have the meeting.
3rd step: Consult a licensed expert:
On your appointment date, request your consulting doctor to explain to you the nature of your condition. Remember to express all your feelings and concerns to the physician. While you’ll be required to take some tests, based on the results, you’ll receive your ESA recommendation letter. Your letter will be out in two to five days, and you’ll receive it via mail.
We’ve seen how emotional support dogs can lighten your world and help you begin your journey to recovery. We’ve also seen the steps that you can take for you to get an emotional support buddy. Dogs aren’t just animals. They are lifeguards to some people, friends to the rescue to others, while to some, they are family.
Having strong mental health is the key to a happy life – maintain it by getting your ESA letter today!