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How to bring up the question with a psychiaatrist?

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Old 11-04-2009, 09:24 PM   #1
ahcigar1
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Confused How to bring up the question with a psychiaatrist?

Hello,

I am hoping that someone on here may be able to help me. I recently moved from Kentucky to California and in doing so I bought a condo to later find out that they do NOT allow dogs over the weight of 20lbs and in their statement they wouldn't even allow dogs at all if it weren't for the California law. My problem though is that I own a 40lbs cattle dog that is my LIFE. I have had to sneak him in and confine him strictly to the indoors and a VERY quick potty on my patio to come back in quickly. The HOA has not found about him yet but I fear that they will and I will lose my one loyal trusting companion. In some research I have discovered the ESA dog which he I believe would qualify under. Before I had him I suffered greatly from depression, anxiety, and extreme low self-esteem, and still do but to a lesser degree with him around due to a long bad history. When in Kentucky I was taking counseling and soon am going to be finding a local psychiatrist to continue my help.

Recently I went away for a weekend and sadly could not take my dog with me so had to leave him at home because afraid if I took him out he would be found out so had someone come over and care for him. But during that weekend I was lost without him. I had trouble sleeping at night, I felt real down, and all I wanted to do was get back home to him even though I was in the presence of family.

I was wondering though how do I approach the new psychiatrist about starting the process of an ESA? And what forms are required and where can I get these forms?

He is VERY well trained. NON destructive, quiet, and very friendly. He is my shadow (literally) wherever I go in my home he is right there to let me know he won't leave me.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:18 PM   #2
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Welcome to NeuroTalk.

I don't know how to answer that question but I hope you'll be able to keep your pet. When my dad was in the hospital with end of life care, the nurses bent the rules to let us bring his cat in for a visit (through the back stairwell).

I don't think that dogs pose as much of an allergy risk. If your dog is quiet, there might be a way to work around this? Why would the size of the dog matter that much?

Make sure you're a model tenant in every other way just to pave the way to success with this. Someone else here might have some tips to help you keep your pet. Good luck. I hope it works in your favor. Our pets are so important for so many reasons.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
jaimie gillis
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Smile how do i talk to my shrink about my animal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewizabeth View Post
Welcome to NeuroTalk.

I don't know how to answer that question but I hope you'll be able to keep your pet. When my dad was in the hospital with end of life care, the nurses bent the rules to let us bring his cat in for a visit (through the back stairwell).

I don't think that dogs pose as much of an allergy risk. If your dog is quiet, there might be a way to work around this? Why would the size of the dog matter that much?

Make sure you're a model tenant in every other way just to pave the way to success with this. Someone else here might have some tips to help you keep your pet. Good luck. I hope it works in your favor. Our pets are so important for so many reasons.
i take my dog to the doctors a service dog is allowed in hospitals and at the drs'in californa.go to google and put in-calif state laws service dogs ada.it will give you all the information about housing public stores transportion and you don't need certifcation go to your local aspca and they should have information on licences for assistance orservice dogs
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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Default special exemptions for dogs

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaimie gillis View Post
i take my dog to the doctors a service dog is allowed in hospitals and at the drs'in californa.go to google and put in-calif state laws service dogs ada.it will give you all the information about housing public stores transportion and you don't need certifcation go to your local aspca and they should have information on licences for assistance orservice dogs
Hi, I had a friend who had a lovely pit bull, they were inseparable and extremely devoted. She went through the steps to qualify him as a service dog and this allowed her to get around normal rules such as housing, stores, etc. She had cancer and this dog kept her going until the very end. He was as the Indians say her "Animal Familiar", a shared soul in this life. Good luck and stay positive. Information above was the right place to start. I still smile when I think of the two of them, though she is gone now. What a special couple! Best wishes TT
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
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How is it you only found out about the under 20 lb rule after you bought the condo?



We are trying to buy a house in Florida and they have similar HOA restrictions there. We have a lot of pets - 3 dogs under 20 lbs, 3 birds. We had to pass on tons of houses due to HOA rules, because I am not willing to give up any of these animals to move.

Really tough to find a non-HOA in FL but we finally did.

It can be a long drawn out and, in the end, fruitless battle trying to change HOA rules.

Wiz - the weight restriction is the way they try to keep potential hazzards to a minimum. They used to do it by breed, but maybe it was too easy to get around that. In Ohio, there are still vicious dog laws but in other states they just ban all larger dogs.

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Old 02-21-2010, 12:32 PM   #6
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This is a major problem. Too bad landlords don't read the Fed Housing Act. The FHA and the state of California both cover that. You are being discriminated against and cannot be refused. Additionally Calif has a requirement for SDs to be registered at the county level. I suggest you do so, tere is no cost for this lifetime tag. Do not let your landlord mess with you as you are guaranteed the right to have your SD with you.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:38 PM   #7
DawnandPolar
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Red face Getting Support from Psychiatrist for ES or PSD

If I am interpreting your post correctly, you have psychiatric disabilities which are alleviated by the presence of your dog. This is certainly my story! Like you, I have a dog which was a pet, then due to her dilligence in loving and allerting me of my anxiety, depression, etc. I have trained her to become a psychiatric service dog.

Rather than an emotional support dog, you may wish to consider training your dog to become a service dog which will protect you from housing discrimination due to your disability. Service dogs are not pets, they are "medically necessary" and part of a treatment plan.

I'm not sure where in California you are located. In some areas it is difficult to find a psychiatrist due to lack of supply. I drive an hour each way to my psychiatrist. I've had him since 1998. Although it is a long drive when I see him, I appreciate the fact he has known me for so long and can read where I am in my head when I walk in the door.

One of the big responsibilities of having a service dog for an "unseen" disability is educating the people we come in contact with. Normally I would recommend shopping around for a psychiatrist and finding one who has experience with patients with service dogs. However, if you are in an area where there are not many choices, you may not find one with this experience. The Psychiatric Service Dog Society (google it) on its home page has a brochure for medical providers introducing psychiatric service dogs (PSD's) to them and the benefits they can have for patients.

I researched PSD's for 18 months before I got a letter from my psychiatrist and began training my pet Polar to become a PSD. During that time, I had discussed the idea with my therapist (who suggested using Polar - duh!). When I went to my Pdoc's office to request a letter he was very difficult...his concern being I would bring a dog into his office where he treated people with allergies to dogs as well as people who had major fear of dogs. I backed way off and told him it was okay, I'd get a letter from my therapist instead. At the same time I handed him the flier off of the PSDS homepage. He kept looking at it and continuing on the the medication review, then looking at it again. I told him we had worked together for years to try to bring some joy into my life. A service dog would help do that for me. It was a tool we could use, but if he didn't want anything to do with it, I would understand. Anyway, by the end of the session (20 minutes) he had totally changed his mind, copied the prepared letter I had brought (also copied from the PSDS website) onto his letterhead and told me to bring the dog into the office with me next time I visited.

If a psychiatrist does not sign a letter, you may find a psychologist or MFT who will. Letters from and MD will carry more weight than a MFT, but the MFT letter should suffice.

I have a friend who uses a herding dog for a PSD and it is a great match. I suggest doing some research on the internet about PSD's. It is a big committment, but since you already own a dog you are familiar with the responsibilities.

This is a longer message than I intended. Long story short, if you can get a letter from a local mental health professional that your dog is part of your treatment plan, you are on your way to becoming protected by the ADA in your housing situation. Check your motives...make sure you really want a PSD before your pursue it. There are many people in public who will resent your "freedom" to take your dog everywhere you go!

Best of luck,
Dawn & Polar
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:24 PM   #8
OneMoreTime
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Dear Dawn (and all reading this thread) ....

I was thrilled to read your response to this thread. You were spot on with your advice, so helpful in your specificity.

To anyone needing such a letter, the psychiatrist, psychologist, family doc, whoever, should state that you have a need for an animal as not just a companion for emotional support, but in order to enable you to function closer to normal and cope with your condition.

It is not needed to name the particular diagnoses you have, but I have no problem (personally) with that as I am a strong advocate of the emotionally challenged and "out myself" all the time. My family of origin advocated "hiding the shame and embarrassment", and that does none of us any good in dealing with societies issues with us.

My doctor just said that I had "psychiatric conditions" (C-PTSD, bipolar 2 & ADD) and that I needed my current pet to attain a higher level of functioning, and he specified the various behaviors and emotional conditions my dog helped. At the time, I was a bit uncomfortable with all the detail, but when your doc can agree with you that your emotional/mental health has/is improved by the presence of your dog and be willing to help you verify that for the purposes of housing and reasonable access, then it carries significantly more weight.

I carry my letter with me when traveling by plane, and when visiting friends who live in restricted housing (ie, condos), and I take it in to post offices, doctors offices, public places and IF I am confronted with a negative response, I can drag it out (I keep it protected in a plastic sleeve). Only a hysterical shop owner or a park attendant threatening to call the police can make me decide to leave - life is too short to deal with every single one irrational close-minded individual.

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Last edited by OneMoreTime; 06-07-2010 at 06:28 PM. Reason: added needed sentence
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:54 PM   #9
StephK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahcigar1 View Post
Hello,

I am hoping that someone on here may be able to help me. I recently moved from Kentucky to California and in doing so I bought a condo to later find out that they do NOT allow dogs over the weight of 20lbs and in their statement they wouldn't even allow dogs at all if it weren't for the California law. My problem though is that I own a 40lbs cattle dog that is my LIFE. I have had to sneak him in and confine him strictly to the indoors and a VERY quick potty on my patio to come back in quickly. The HOA has not found about him yet but I fear that they will and I will lose my one loyal trusting companion. In some research I have discovered the ESA dog which he I believe would qualify under. Before I had him I suffered greatly from depression, anxiety, and extreme low self-esteem, and still do but to a lesser degree with him around due to a long bad history. When in Kentucky I was taking counseling and soon am going to be finding a local psychiatrist to continue my help.

Recently I went away for a weekend and sadly could not take my dog with me so had to leave him at home because afraid if I took him out he would be found out so had someone come over and care for him. But during that weekend I was lost without him. I had trouble sleeping at night, I felt real down, and all I wanted to do was get back home to him even though I was in the presence of family.

I was wondering though how do I approach the new psychiatrist about starting the process of an ESA? And what forms are required and where can I get these forms?

He is VERY well trained. NON destructive, quiet, and very friendly. He is my shadow (literally) wherever I go in my home he is right there to let me know he won't leave me.
Hi Ahcigar1,

I can sympathize with you, I also suffer from severe anxiety disorder and depression and I need to have a dog with me almost at all times.

Rather than get your dog certified as an ESA, I suggest training your dog as a PSD (Psychological Service Dog) because ESA's aren't allowed in most public places. From what you described it sounds like your dog would be a great PSD. There are just some certain things he will need to learn (you can actually train a PSD yourself) and take a test with a certified PSD trainer/handler and once he passes he'll be an official PSD, and should give you the right to have your dog live with you, but don't quote me on that because I'm not sure exactly what the laws are for living situations.
To have a PSD you're required to have diagnosed mental illness (which Anxiety & Depression are) by a medical or mental health professional, which I'm assuming you have since you see a psychiatrist for it.

Since you've recently moved, when you find a new psychiatrist you might ask him/her to do a mental health exam to determine you do in fact have these ailments. You can also explain that your dog helps you to cope and ask if he/she can write a medical note stating that it's imperative to your conditions that you have your dog with you. A lot of people will disagree that having medical notes does any good, but they can help in certain situations.
And according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, any persons with a disability are allowed to have a service animal whether it is licensed or not, so long as it behaves properly in public places. The ADA is a federal law which takes precedence over State laws, but, you can still run into problems with State laws, unfortunately. That's why it's best to have your dog licensed as a PSD to prevent legal problems.
The best place to find info about PSD's and what's expected of them and laws, etc. is ***

I am training my dog myself, and I haven't had any problems taking him into business establishments, but I'm not sure if CA's laws are as flexible as WA's.

Last edited by mrsD; 11-18-2010 at 07:26 PM. Reason: removing link per guidelines for new posters
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:39 PM   #10
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With an official diagnosis with a disability such as this and being under the care of a Medical Psychiatrist, I am sure he/she is asked to support their patients in this manner. Most psychiatrist are aware of the limitations having a service animal can create in ones life with HOA, public locations, travel, etc. What seems like obstacles for others are not for those of us with disabilities. My psychiatrist simply wrote a letter to HOA/Lanlord in a very short concise statement. To better my psychiatric disability she recommended the service animals (two siblings) and they are necessary for my ongoing rehabilitation. Once you are armed with this letter and a print out or two from an ADA page addressing this issue, my new landlord waived the pet 'rent' fees and was happy I had the animals for my ongoing support and assistance.
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