amy asked in HealthMental Health · 1 month ago

do i qualify for an emotional support animal for college?

hi, i will be going to college in the fall of this year and have been debating on whether or not to bring this subject up with a brand new doctor i will be seeing in a few weeks. 

for the past few years, i can only describe my behavior as depression. i don't want to self diagnose and be that person, but it's the only thing i can think of. i've never told anyone or brought it up to my doctors beforehand because i was scared i would be brushed off as a typical teenager (i am 18 now this started around 14). after i was sexually assaulted by a family member for 2 years, it's only gotten worse to this day despite that family member not being around anymore. I never told anyone at all and to this day it still affects me to where sometimes i stay in bed the entire day without eating or drinking or anything. the only reason i get out of bed some days is for my dog, who i've had for about a year now. she's literally saved me from suicidal thoughts i've had and when we're in public, she always makes me feel safe from men and always puts herself between us and leans against me. last time i nearly broke down while walking because a man got too close and personal and she started to howl and growl until he left us alone. 

please answer honestly if i should bring this up to my doctor in a few weeks. this will be a brand new doctor and brand new doctors office as i've moved recently and will move again for college. i can't imagine feeling safe or leaving my dog

Update:

My dog has never been aggressive and is not aggressive. The man was following us on an empty street nearing dark on our way back from our walk and was making sexual advances several times when he got close enough. All my dog did was let him know he needed to back off and alerted people around that there was something happening. The guy ended up leaving after someone looked outside. She was NOT aggressive. She does not growl at every man she sees. She does not lunge or try to bite them. 

2 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    what kind of doctor is this?

    you can't bring this up with a new doctor.  only a doc that has been treating you for the mental health issue can prescribe an ESA.  Maybe after about 6 weeks  of therapy you can start the discussion on having the dog declared an ESA, but it really takes longer for a doctor to be able to legally prescribe an ESA.

    In  the US, most college dorms must allow any assistance animal including ESAs under the fair housing act.

    you really need to consider this carefully.  will you have a roommate?  do you know who they are, do you trust them.....will they get drunk and reckless and let the dog run out and get hit by a car....will they just hate dogs?

    will the dog tolerate the noise and commotion of a dorm?

    realize, it can only be in the dorm and area around the dorm for walks.  it can't go to class or the dining hall with you.

    howling and growling is a sign of aggression.  with extensive training it could possibly be taught to appropriately intervene, but that could take a couple years and  lot of money.

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  • LAN
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Another self diagnosed zoomer begging for pity.  How about you actually face your fear instead of cowering away from it?

    • amy1 month agoReport

      Wow thanks you all of a sudden gave me the courage to tell a stranger my trauma that I’ve been hiding for years! Amazing!

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