SCIENCE BEHIND AN ESA
SCIENCE BEHIND TREATMENT WITH AN ESA
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE MENTAL AILMENT BY HAVING AN ESA?
An ESA is an Emotional Support Animal that helps a person with a mental health condition to come out of the misery and disability that makes a person feel alone and depressed. An ESA is recommended to those who suffer from any sort of mental disorder or disability. Either it is the initial traces of the depression or a severe case of suicidal tendencies, an ESA would always help you get distracted and brings you out of that situation.
But have you ever thought about why this happens?
The trend of keeping ESA’s has seen quite a spike in recent time. The doctors recommend an ESA by analyzing the symptoms of anxiety and depression or any other mental ailment as the studies have shown that a person with a mental health condition who is having a pet recovers more quickly as compared to one without any pet.
Now let’s see why this happens…that suddenly, when you are feeling low, and your little pooch comes to you wiggling its tail in returns of your attention, you feel happy and loved with the affection of your pet.
Let’s dig deep into the science…
Around 45000 years ago, the man and wolves shared a similar bond as we share with our dogs right now. With the passage of time, these big dogs started evolving, and their biological and physical structure started changing according to humans. But the band remained the same. It is said that a dog is the best friend of a man, it is so because it is an ancient bond that makes man and animal, both happy.
When you see or hug or cuddle with your Emotional Support dog, your body starts responding to it. When you feel loved, some hormones in your body are released, which makes your mind and body feel relaxed.
Endorphin, oxytocin, opioids, adrenalin, and serotonin. These are the hormones released in our body when we pet a dog or any animal that we are attached to. As a result, the heartbeat starts to slow down, the blood pressure starts to get in control and slows down, the body starts feeling relaxed and positive and you start feeling better.
The touch of your pet makes you as well as your pet happy and relaxed, and you start feeling calm.
How does this relationship work?
You and your pet both have a system in the brain that sets you together with neuro-chemical, behavioral, and psychological bonds. Both of you build a relationship by attaching with all these three aspects. And pets, especially dogs, share a stronger bond then you as you are the best thing that has ever happened to them.
That is why when you enter the house, you see them jumping on you, running towards you, and wishing that you would just love them and start cuddling with them as soon as you enter the house.
Let’s understand Oxytocin…
It is a chemical that is released when a mother feeds its baby; either it is a human or an animal. The bond that a mother shares with its baby is extraordinary. When this hormone releases in your body, you feel like the animal you have been taming is like your baby, and not only that, even your neighbor’s pet would also mean something for you. Like when a mother looks at her baby and looks at someone else’s baby, she can feel that connection and hence feels connected itself, the same as in the case with the pets.
Darren M. Jorgensen
About Post Author
Darren M. Jorgensen has a fondness for all animals, though dogs especially, have a huge home in his heart. He enjoys quilting, making handcrafted soap and bodyworks and anything that produces practical products. Jorgensen lives with his own service dog who doubles as an Emotional Support Animal. He gets it.