In order to obtain a prescription for an ESA, the individual pursuing an ESA needs to have a verifiable psychiatric disability. To receive full legal protection under federal law, the individual must fulfill the federal definition of disability and have a letter from a psychotherapist or physician. The letter must affirm that the individual has a psychiatric disability and that the ESA provides a benefit for the individual. For example, the patient might have Social Anxiety Disorder and the ESA could help a patient function socially.
The federal definition of disability is “Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment.” Prescriptions for ESAs can be written by a mental health professional or physician who is familiar with the patient’s psychiatric disability and is knowledgeable of how the ESA can provide relief.
Whether the psychiatric disability is from trauma or biologically-based, if it affects one’s ability to function in day to day activities, the company of an ESA can considerably diminish or eliminate their symptoms.