Emotional Support Animals

ESA Helps People With Seasonal Affective Disorder


Winter blues is a common nickname for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). About 5% of the population in the U.S. experiences SAD, it typically lasts for about 40% of the year, and it is much more common in women than men. SAD is typically caused by the way the change of season disrupts the brain’s biochemistry. The lack of sunlight changes the brain’s production of melatonin and can dysregulate an individual’s circadian rhythm, as well as lower their production of serotonin, which negatively affects mood. There are several ways to treat SAD, including antidepressants, added artificial light sources that mimic sunlight, and self-care. An ESA may also help treat this condition.

Can Emotional Support Animals (ESA) Help Treat SAD?

Emotional support animals can help treat SAD in multiple ways.

Provide companionship
An emotional support animal can provide companionship and a source of unconditional love and affection to their owners.

Give a source of joy
As any owner knows, emotional support animals provide an endless source of joy and laughter with their antics.

Motivation for movement
Having a cute furry face with a leash in the mouth begging for a walk can provide the motivation you need to get outside and take a walk or run.

Wake up call
An emotional support animal will expect to be fed every morning at a certain time and will make sure you are awake to do so. Waking up to a cute fluff ball everyday creates a positive start to the morning you might not otherwise have.

Lower stress & anxiety
Playing with and petting an adorable animal everyday can help lower your stress and anxiety, allowing you to take on the world with more peace of mind.

Something to care about
Caring for an animal everyday by providing it food, water, exercise, and playtime can give someone a new sense of purpose and a task they enjoy fulfilling.

Is a Psychiatric Service Animal Right for You?

An animal may be able to perform specific tasks that will benefit you. Examples include reminding you to take your medication at a certain time, interrupting self-destructive behaviors, and waking you up from nightmares. If you get an animal that can do this, it may qualify as a psychiatric service animal, meaning you can take it out in public with you and travel with it without pet fees, as it is protected as necessary medical equipment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

What Type of Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

For treating SAD, canines are the most commonly recommended animal, as they are the most sensitive to mood changes in their owners. They are also the easiest animal to train to do small tasks.

In short, emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals can help treat SAD and improve those yearly winter blues. They can do this through companionship, providing joy and purpose, lowering stress and anxiety, and providing a reason to get out of bed and get moving every day.

Psychiatric service animals can even perform daily tasks to help improve your life. You will need an emotional support animal or psychiatric service dog letter of certification in order to have one. You can easily get a support animal letter of certification from our experts at United Support Animal today.