Emotional Support Animals are a huge controversy that occurs on college campuses around the United States, it has some students believing that therapy dogs are unnecessary and that people only have them, so they can live with their dogs on campus.
However, they are not what people make them out to be and to help the individuals who truly need them. I, personally, have an Emotional Support Animal and all I can say is that she is the best thing to ever happen to me.
My whole life, I have struggled with anxiety and depression, but when college arrived my symptoms began worsening. Before I got my therapy dog, I had constant anxiety that was through the roof and on a daily basis experienced panic attacks. My therapist then suggested that my best option would be to get an emotional support animal to keep me company and hopefully overtime better my symptoms. Last spring, at the end of my freshmen year, I received a 7-week-old all black German Shepherd named Ava and let me just tell you, even as a young puppy she made such a huge impact on my life right off the bat. She gave me a reason to get out of bed every morning and pushed me to continue living.
At the time, my depression and anxiety were very severe and I couldn't thank her enough for helping me get through that rough patch. She physically helped, what I was going through, by getting me out of my dorm room just to walk her and then always greeting me with so much excitement every time that I would get home from class. She has been there to comfort me in times of despair and to dance with me in times of bliss. Who would have thought that one animal could not only save a life but exceedingly give pure happiness where there used to not be any.
The individuals who think that these therapy dogs are pointless, clearly do not have a mental illness nor see the results of how they actually DO help us that who do. I believe that instead of society looking down on mental patients for owning these therapeutic animals, should preferably encourage and try to apprehend them. They are truly today's future for those psychological individuals that need that extra push to not only feel better physically but emotionally too. If it weren't for Ava, I have no clue where I would be at this point in my life and I sincerely thank god day by day for allowing me to have this beautiful soul.