Flight anxiety is a difficult problem that many people feel they cannot overcome. Thankfully, support animals can serve as a useful calming influence for many people. Before you decide on having an emotional support animal, it is important to understand not only their benefits, but also the problems that can occur with them. Remember that you won't be getting a support animal just for the flight: You'll have to take care of them for the rest of their life.
How Support Animals Help Those Who Are Afraid Of Flying
Emotional support animals help people during flight by providing them with an outlet for their anxiety. They can also provide them with a life partner that they can use to manage stress at other moments in their lives. Why is a support animal useful for those who suffer from anxiety?
A good emotional training animal is trained to identify symptoms of anxiety and to instigate an interaction with the anxious person. For example, if a person is suffering from anxiety during a flight, the support animal (who will be allowed on the plane with them via prior authorization) will notice and sit on their lap or lick their face. Dogs are often used as emotional support animals because they can instinctively detect emotional changes in their loved ones and will feel the need to comfort them.
The Occasional Problems With Support Animals
While emotional support animals are a great benefit for those who have anxiety about flying in a plane, the other passengers may not appreciate the animal. In some instances, emotional support dogs can be problematic on a plane. While they are trained to be friendly and approachable with a variety of people, they may end up needing to "go" while on a plane.
In this instance, the smell can be very difficult to manage in an enclosed area. This may cause some people to develop anxiety about taking their emotional support animal with them. That is why taking the support animal out before the flight and discussing bathroom needs with the flight personnel is important.
An Assessment Is Necessary
Before anyone purchases a support animal, they are asked a variety of questions about the reasons they need one and whether or not they are patient enough to own one. For example, those with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, or post-traumatic stress disorder (such as those who have problems with flight anxiety) usually qualify to receive an emotional support animal.
However, those who own a support animal must also be patient and understand the difficulties that they can engender in social situations. They must understand that owning and taking an emotional support animal on a flight are privileges. As a result, they must know how to be understanding with those may not appreciate their animal.
Talk with someone at an organization like Next Generation Psychology to learn more about ESA evaluations.
The minor problems and occasional difficulties of an emotional support animal are more than worth it for those who struggle to fly without anxiety. They can serve as the helping and loving life companion that a person needs to get through this difficult emotional time without a panic attack. And after the flight, they have a friendly companion who will be their friend and help manage their anxiety for the rest of the support animal's.