This forum is for general Beardie discussions that do not fit within other specialized forums. Please use a forum specific to your issue, if one applies.
So if this is the wrong place, mods/admins please just move it.
So, a bit of a confession: I'm schizophrenic. I suffer from auditory and visual hallucinations. Now, this doesn't mean that I'm going to hurt people, or hurt Zeus. The demons on the other hand...and I sound crazy. The demons are my primary visual hallucination. They are, well, demons. They stalk me, and even attack me. They also have tried to attack my entire family (I'm only 13). I've also got a voice in my head. That hates my family. And me
Zeus keeps me grounded. When the terror, panic, and paranoia gets crippling, he's right there to cuddle with me. Taking care of him keeps me somewhat sane.
I've been told by my therapist that an Emotional Support Animal could be helpful, as because of other disabilities meds are not an option.
I know ESA's are normally dogs but Zeus helps me already.
Is it possible for him to become an emotional support animal?
I think so. I have read an article in a reptile magazine some time ago featuring a person who had crippling anxiety who had a bearded dragon as an emotional support animal. Due to allergies, she couldn't have a standard support animal.
One question I would have about using a reptile for a support animal is what would you do in the winter months? Beardies need warmth. IF you tried to take him outside in cold weather, you could be contributing to your beloved pets sickness or even death.
I'm sorry to hear you have to go through that. It sounds very difficult to deal with. I'm glad to hear that your dragon brings you comfort. I definitely understand how they can keep us grounded and calm us down. I don't believe there are restrictions on which animals can be listed as ESA as long as your therapist writes a letter stating that the presence of Zeus is necessary to help your mental health.
Thanks for the imput!
During the winter I was thinking that I could kinda "hide" him in my jacket. He also has a sweater and a blanket. If it was like below freezing I'd probably use heat packs. Not to mention he'd be up by my neck, which puts out a good amount of heat
Beardies don't necessarily need to brumate, none of mine have or shown any indication of wanting to.
Keep the lighting schedule long (about 15hr on) and keep them warm and keep the food coming and they'll stay awake over winter.
IMO skinks (bluetongues and water skinks) and beardies make great companion pets and a very affectionate (even needy) and responsive.
CBDs: Puff (aneurism - RIP 10Dec2015) & Rex (beardies born Sept 2012).
Toothless & Peppa : (5 wks old 19dec2015).
Eastern BT Skinks : George & Mildred (born Sept 2010).
Eastern Water Skinks : Lucky (wild juvenile), rescued from a cat.Taken by a SI and far too soon, 9mths with us. RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - (rescued injured), small lizard thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016.)
There is a man that I know of who has a snake as his ESA. (Canada)
Different countries have different requirements on ESA so research for you area. Work with your therapist to determine what is best for you and your family and what is the process.
. Keep up all your hard work in therapy and your medication. Best of luck.
I suffer from a mild scocial anxiety disorder. I don't have an ESA and Phira has helped me when I have lost it, but a Dragon isn't going to be the best choice and while he will keep you grounded the requirements to keep our little lizards happy and health are too extreme in some cases. Let him protect you from the demons at your house where he can stay safe as well. Dogs are the best choice. They're naturally tuned to our energies. Beardies won't show the true emotional support you'd really need. Plus it's not really safe for him out there.
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Our Bearded Dragon is draco she is about 3 or 4 years old the vets still not sure. At 1st she hated to be near anyone and would snap at us ! Then we learned that her lightings were off and we were doing it all wrong with lights being on all night she couldn't tell day light from night time ,she was an angry bearded dragon and she would even bite us if we tried to feed her . Next we learned by watching her. She hated taking baths,would jump and climb out and don't get me started on her hissing and dark beard that showed every time we took her outside to the dark green grass . My point is this we learned from her cues what she likes and doesn't like !!! She does without a doubt has a personality as she has grown. She likes to sleep in my bed with me and cuddle on my neck it's nice and warm there. Did you know she even likes a silk blanket on her after a bath ! It seems to have a calming effect on her and she gives off A peaceful feeling . The blanket also helps her if she's having issues of not wanting to leave me in bed. She will scratch me until I bleed so in the cage the blanket goes - and off to sleep she goes ! I may be wrong but in all just like your mom used on you' you can pick up ideas from your Bearded dragon.Can I tell you that in the 3 years,we've learned she does love us very much and don't laugh but i've learned she likes the goodnight sleep tight song ! We call it the ''lala loos" song just for draco. Her favorite place to go is called the "Serpentarium" to get hornworms she is so active and happy she gets wild ,so wild we have to put our hands over her eyes to calm her down .. she likes to run all over the shop and when she sees another "Bearded Dragon" she tries to bob her head ... Until They find out for sure believe your dragon is whatever you want ! Draco to me is mythical with real emotions & feelings .Signed still loving and caring ...Oh ya I'm also disabled i have M .P, D. & Severe Depression & P.T.S.D. with anxiety ... And yes "Draco" calm's me down & makes me happy and grounded by the way she interacts with me ! Her loving & caring manner,most stores let her in but one and it's only because the lady was scared of her ! we still find places are kind and loving to draco as an E.S.A.They have a thing about dogs & cats not Bearded dragons .What they don't know seems to scare them ..
Last edited by mrsmcclintock on Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I understand this thread is a few days old but my only real input here is just to be sure not to confuse an emotional support animal with a service animal.
Most buildings/stores/public access that accept service animals will not allow in an ESA, meaning he would need to stay somewhere safe until you exit. Putting a dragon through this would be difficult due to their requirements. I understand and definitely appreciate that your little one helps so much with your disorder, but please take into consideration the health of your animal as well.
A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Tasks performed can include, among other things, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items, alerting a person to a sound, reminding a person to take medication, or pressing an elevator button.
Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals either. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.
I'm sorry you have to go through all that, but I definitely think beardies can be ESA Animals have an amazing ability of calming people down and being able to help them get through situations. Although taking him out (as traildrifterphalanx mentioned) might be difficult, I don't see any other problems Good luck!
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