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Thanks for the replies everyone! :3

@Kirsten - I think that preparing for a face-to-face meeting after emailing is a good idea; I'll even write out notes/prompts for myself and bring them so that I make sure I remember to say everything I want to.

@Poet_kelly - I can't remember the Dr's exact words, but she talked mostly about wanting to consider an ESA as a last resort only if I had exhausted my other treatment options. She mentioned how difficult it is to work with the school to get a housing accommodation approved (I live on-campus), and implied that the benefits might not be worth the trouble if I did pursue it.

Looking back on our meeting I feel as though she might have thought that I wanted an ESA to be an immediate miracle fix, which is not how I've approached any aspect of my treatment. For the most part the conversation came across as her having already made a decision, rather than us really discussing the pros and cons (My therapist shares notes with her and we had talked a bit about ESAs at our last meeting, so the Dr was aware of my interest before our appt).

@Roxie - Unfortunately due to the way my school's mental health center works, this Dr is the only person I have a prior relationship with so I feel like finding a new psychiatrist wouldn't help. My previous therapists were all interns who rotate out every year, so the person I am currently seeing has only known me for about three weeks, and I don't currently have a Primary doc here or at school. I also that having a recommendation from my psych would have more weight with the school than from another source, considering how long I've been working with her and that she would be readily available for consultation.

I have never asked directly if the Dr considers me disabled or not, but I believe that she does/would if asked. When applying for accommodations my school requires proof of disability/condition, and I was able to have her fill out a recommendation without problem.


I think I will work on an email to state my reasoning more clearly and with information from credible sources. My next scheduled appointment with my Dr is in a month, so I will have plenty of time to work on it. And I'll talk it over some more with my therapist to help make sure that I'm being reasonable when I appeal.
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That must have been really disappointing. I would agree with the suggestion to try again, and to practice having the conversation that your psychiatrist will likely want to have after getting an email.

Good luck!
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LoL! My city has made news!

I heard about these dogs just yesterday from a Walmart manager who told me a lady with 2 Border Collies brings in her dogs and they rub up on the hanging clothes leaving them full of dog hair. He doesn't believe they are SD's, just pets but he is forced to let them in the store! Because of getting sued.

The CSM had told me all dogs are let into Walmart if the person said they were therapy animals or Service Dogs because the ADA said therapy dogs are Service Dogs.

(I was reporting a Boston Terrier on a motorized cart with an older man and the dog had no collar or leash or dog license/rabies tag. I also asked the manager to retrain the CSM guy, as he is wrong in his understanding of the law)
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I am going to go to the library when my husband gets home from work and print this all off for my meeting tomorrow and hopefully my therapist and I can come to a solution that is more cut and dry whichever it may be. My husband and I are moving regardless of my dog being or becoming an ESA as we can't get rid of the dog and don't want to live under such a rude persons rule.
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Maybe I missed it, but the letter does not say you are disabled by your mental illness. That is essential: no MI disability = no ESA!

Poet did give you an interpretation of the letter, as have I.

Life always seems to throw a monkey wrench into a smooth flowing life, one wrench after another. It's not fair, pleasant nor desired. When it happens, we must muster up everything we've got to understand it and decide what to do about it - if anything! I do understand the over whelming feelings of fear, anger, frustration and resignation. I also understand the need to take a break from the problem to stabilize myself, and to fight for my rights as I have need or want. No one is going to do that for me!

You aren't being confused or scattered. Just frustrated, out of patience and unsure of options. I have confidence in you, that you will handle the problem correctly and effectively!
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I just needed an interpretation of the letter so I know what to ask my therapist. I'm sorry if I'm being confusing or scattered im having a hard time grasping one straw and hanging on right now.
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The letter says you would really benefit from keeping your dog but it doesn't say if you are disabled and it doesn't say that the dog is part of your treatment plan.

I'm not sure what help you're looking for from us.  I want to help.  But I can't tell you if you are disabled or not.  You need to ask your therapist or doctor.
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Lots of options:

Attempt one more time to present to your psychiatrist why you believe you need an ESA. Prepare as if you were giving a report for an A in your classes: have documentation of legitimacy, history, applications, specifically what an ESA will help you achieve. Cover briefly the 5 W's and 1 H! Just keep it brief, up-beat and focused!

Any one of your health care practitioners - including primary care Dr. and therapist can write a note/letter stating you are disabled and require an ESA.

Stay with that psychiatrist.

Fire that psychiatrist.

Hire a new psychiatrist.

Talk over the situation with your therapist.

A person must be disabled by mental illness to have an ESA. Maybe your psychiatrist does not consider you disabled? One can experience mental illness and not be disabled by it.

I can only tell you my opinion about "is it worth it"........  I rarely take no as an answer. I am tenacious and appeal decisions I do not agree with. I am relentless when I want to do or achieve something. I don't quit. I don't give up. Until I decide for myself, the fight is not worth my investment.

Occasionally, I cause myself problems with my personality by being too pushy and insistent. Most times, I don't. Only you can discern what is in your best interest and comfort level.

All of my Dr.s and psychologists have supported me having a SD .... (dual function in emotional support) due to the conglomerate of my disabilities and types.

I wish you the best of luck!
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I am going to try to post it to photo bucket. I do not want to proceed with anything legal until I know where I stand (disabled or not) and I am not about to try and fight something I have no right to. I didn't get enough info before when I proposed my ESA to my landlord and that was my fault I did a lot of research but apparently not enough. Kristin I am in the US and I have already printed out the Bazelon article and found it very helpful but now I am worried it might be partly made up if it is so strongly pro ESA's
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