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F. Diane Barth, the writer of, ‘Is an Emotional Support Animal Serving a Person’s Needs or Their Narcissism’, has both claims of if an animal can emotionally support a person, or if it is just their narcissism of who they want to be. Barth was recently on a plane and she had seen a lady with her dog. Barth states, “ which this owner said she needed to help her cope with anxiety.” In making this comment Barth is introducing if it will be a positive or negative if we have animals on planes to help with mental health people. One of Barth’s arguments were people could be allergic to pets and/or afraid of animals. According to one of Barth’s clients, “‘I’ve been on a plane where the owner took the dog out of it’s carrier and let it climb around on the seats. I was so anxious I spent the whole trip shaking and crying.”’ What Barth’s client is trying to say is that even though the animal is helping the owner, it; however, isn’t helping her in anyway. It is making her scared and becoming anxious herself. I feel if people that really need their animal with them to help with an illness there should be a special section with proper documentation to help benefit both the owner and the people around them.


Should Everyone Go to College: Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill

According to Greenstone and Looney (2011), students that complete a bachelor's degree compared to a high school diploma reach over a 40,000 dollar pay difference in their lifetime. In Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill’s essay, they both chose a strong economic approach to justify going to college.Both authors claim that the return investment of a college education is overwhelmingly positive on average; however, they also bring to light the biggest flaw in our culture’s belief that “a college degree is a prerequisite to entering the middle class”(pg. 318). Owen and Sawhill have both recognized the value of a college education while also acknowledging that it may not be the best option for many teenagers thinking about going to college. With this, I fully defend their standpoint. A power plant engineer requires no schooling other than training supplied by the ordered company and will make substantially more money yearly compared to an average bachelor's degree holder. I believe a college degree should be less of an expectation and more of an individual requirement regarding the person's field of interest.


Don’t Drop Out: Alex Kern

College is a modern expectation, a gateway to a “successful life”; yet, not all of us get the opportunity to attend a four year school or more. For students entering this new scholar lifestyle, not many are focused on anything other than a career for their future.In high school, students that are accepted into top schools often stand out at a young age. They collect academic achievements and stand out from their peers. Universities allow students to be around like minded peers that are racing to do better and be better than one another, they no longer can just expect to stay on top. College benefits students in a multitude of ways, one being networking. Networking is very difficult for a student that leaves high school and immediately enters the work force of their desired career. They have no advisors or professors to guide them nor answer their questions. College allows students to steer other students into the direction they should be going, along with easy access to future employers. Students in this position are often accepted and preferred over ones who enter the workforce before attending college if at all. People in college are given higher positions while others are placed at the bottom and must work to reach the top, of strict requirements aren’t in place for university degrees. As Alex Kern presents a number of criticisms, after reading the following points he comments about, I feel he presents them fairly because they are in fact his just opinions. One example was, "A college education makes you more likely to get the job of your dreams." In this case he responded that it is true for most professions, yet not enough to keep him motivated. Another was, "Many success people have college degrees”;for instance, Steve Jobs, founder of apple. Lastly, "A degree gives you a safety net to fall back on." In my personal opinion many people are successful without a college diploma. I don’t like to misconstrue modern education for overall intelligence. If you ask a fish to fly, a bird may view it as stupid;although, it does something a bird can’t do - it can swim. I use that motto for my opinion on Alex Kerns article. I support his essentially unbiased opinions, and I don’t believe everyone should have the same expectation. We all have different passions, different visions of a perfect life. As powerful as a college degree may be, there are a plethora of career paths that have their very own yellow brick road that leads to the wealth and power of a college graduate.


F. Diane Barth is the author of several articles on the NBC Think portion of the website. In her current article, also titled "Is an emotional support animal serving a person's needs or their narcissism?", she delves into the two particular sides/stances of emotional animals in public areas. Throughout the story, the view goes back and forth until it ends up being that emotional animals are used for narcissism then actual help. In a way, I agree with her statement in the aspect that humans tend to use emotional animals as a means to cheat the system. For example, when she was interviewing families, one stated how "pets certified as an official support animal because they had heard too many stories about animals that had been lost or had died while traveling in the traditional way. They were aware that some of their fellow travelers could be uncomfortable with their pet, but they said that he was a hypoallergenic breed and that they gave him a mild tranquilizer before any flight." The interview conducted helped showed that animals or excuses are simple ways humanity tries to save money at the extent of other passengers. To further back up the claim, there was another person, who was interviewed and stated that she was scared of a dog climbing around freely, causing her to shake and cry the whole way there. I do understand the other side, and thus there could always be a compromise. What would be nice to see is that those who need therapy or emotional dog can get one that completely trained, or teach both the owner and dog how to behave in public environments.

Danielle Benton

Barth answers their question within their essay. Barth balances between both sides and acknowledges the fact that animals do provide comfort to patients with extreme anxiety and depression, but also notes that people abuse the system and have pets for their entitlement. Barth first talks about how calming pets are and the experiences she’s had with them. She then migrates to how some people feel that they are entitled to a service pet. As stated in the essay, some people use their service pet as a way to either keep their pets with them and not make them suffer in the plane cabin or allow the owner to not pay for their airline tickets. Barth explains both sides of the argument, but shows their view on the subject towards the end, “My British friend asked, “Wouldn’t a stuffed animal do just as well?” It would certainly be less selfish,” (Barth). This shows that Barth agrees that there are other ways to handle stress and that, even though animals do provide a form of comfort, it seems selfish to other people and to the pet itself.

Saimon Shabandari

No one can deny that people who have pets are love them and treat them as their family members. And that is normals as they feed them, bath them , take them out to walk , They spend a lot of money on their loved ones buying for them things and services like clothing, grooming, medicine. They even sleep share same bed with their domestic animals, i have heard that some enthusiasts even pt their pets name in their will. Therefore having them so close and taking care of them make their emotional and physical bonds strong. However, me as a person who suffers from allergy against having pets in public places , especially food chains , restaurants , cafes and supermarkets. Statistic shows that over 30 % of world population suffers from allergy. And Why should I pay for medicine and suffer from serious health problems if for some reason my next table person wants to have his pet company. Why should I pay decent amount of money to restaurant to get quality food and spend quality time , but suffer from consequences later .
I strongly believe that people who wants to enjoy their pets company outside should take them to places where there is afresh air , like parks and never ever to restaurants , and those restaurants that claim to be pet friendly should allocate special room and area for people with service dogs and pets.

Mary Huth

In her article “Is an Emotional Support Animal Serving A Person’s Needs or Their Narcissism?”, F. Diane Barth discusses whether or not emotional support animals are a necessity for their owners or if they are being used for their owner’s pleasure and convenience. On one hand, she argues that emotional support animals are known to lower people’s anxiety levels, provide comfort that another human may not be able to give, be used for trauma patients, as well as plenty more reasons. But Barth also acknowledges that some people use them to their advantage in a selfish way, not medical. For example, one family certified their pet as an emotional support animal so that they could avoid the process of bringing them on a plane. Barth also argues that while service animals may lower anxiety for some people, they can also increase the anxiety of those around them who may have a fear or allergy. In addition to this, she expresses her concern about the animal’s wellbeing and whether or not they are comfortable and trained enough with being in public.

I completely agree with Barth’s view that emotional support animals can be both beneficial and harmful. I understand how pets can calm anxious feelings and bring comfort to their owners but I also think it is important to recognize that they may not bring those same feelings to others. In order to resolve this solution, I believe that the people requesting emotional support animals need to go through strict evaluations and the animals themselves need to be extensively trained. I also believe that considering only allowing hypoallergenic animals to be used as emotional support animals could ease the concern that many people have.

Drew Grespin

I agree with F. Diane Barth that it is wrong to have bothersome emotional support animals, but I believe that people with mental illnesses should be able to have trained therapy pets or have small animals which would not bother others. Like Barth, I think that support animals are not properly trained for the settings to which they are brought. Thus, I believe there should be training for settings like airplanes and classrooms that animals must clear to be able to assist in those settings. This would help with both preparing the animals and helping the other passengers feel more comfortable. However, unlike Barth, I believe that small animals like guinea pigs should be allowed in carriers. Although I do concede that others have the right to feel comfortable, I believe that other people are being unreasonable if they feel anxious about a tiny animal that cannot escape its container. Finally, I believe that Barth is correct that narcissism plays a role in people’s “need” for emotional support animals. When someone sees another person with support animals, I know from experience that some people feel entitled to them as well. However, I do not know how much it plays a role because I have been fortunate enough not to suffer from mental illness. Thus, I will not accuse someone who is suffering of being selfish.

Rochelle Sullivan

In the article, Diane Barth argues whether or not people are taking support animals too far. Barth addresses the concerns and needs for emotional support animals and how they are beneficial, but she also states there are some concerns with the issue. Barth believes service animals are a helpful yet harmful factor to society. They “soothe and comfort their owners” but “increase anxiety and tension among others” (Barth par 13).

I agree with Barth’s opinion against how service animals may be harmful to society, but I disagree that it’s narcissistic. People are afraid of a lot of things in the world, but support animals are trained. Although these animals are allowed in most public facilities, they will not bother anyone and are only there to make sure their owners are okay. To contracted myself, Barth states some people do use the support title for free airline travel or other ways out of things and that is not okay.

Olivia Pait

In the article “Is an emotional support animal serving a person’s needs or their narcissism?” by F. Diane Barth, a psychotherapist, she argues that the increasing amount of emotional support animals is due to narcissism and selfish motives. She presents three main reasons or incentives for people having and acquiring these certifications for their animals. She states that the levels of anxiety and depression in the world is increasing and having an emotional support animal helps many people cope with their fear and calms them down. She does not deny the fact that ESA’s help many people with mental health issues but does state that she has never written an ESA letter for her patients. She also states that the increase in popularity of emotional support animals is due to the changes in attitudes towards mental health. The stigmas once associated with a lot of these conditions has decreased in the recent years. Lastly, Barth suggests the reasoning for the increase is that an attitude of “me first” has made the population increasingly more narcissistic. She states that often people with emotional support animals have their animals registered by their doctor selfishly in order to feel more secure when travelling with their pets to protect the animals from injury or loss in travelling transitions, as well as to avoid the costs associated with travelling with pets. In her eyes this is selfish due to the lack of thought for other travelers and their fears
I disagree with Barth’s point of view on the topic that the number of emotional support animals is increasing due to narcissism. Although, I do agree that as with a lot of rules and regulations there will always be people who want to “play the system”. I personally have an emotional support animal whom I adopted from a shelter. My intentions were not to have him certified to avoid some of the expenses that accumulate from having a dog in college. I have him because he helps comfort me when I have anxiety attacks and he is a great companion. If a doctor agrees that an animal would help someone’s treatment of anxiety why wouldn’t one reap the benefits of having a registered ESA. I believe that to manage the downfalls of emotional support animals in planes and public areas there should be designated places for people who need their animals, and places for people who are afraid of animals or have allergies. I don’t believe that it is the responsibility of someone who has a prescribed animal to help them with their anxiety or depression to have more stress because of how people around them will react or feel about their form of treatment and coping. I agree with Barth that in order for these animals to be taken to certain places such as an airplane that they should at least be cleared to be around large groups of people.

MK Osborn

“Is an emotional support animal serving a person’s needs or their narcissism?” by F. Diane Barth the controversies that are on the rise about emotional support animals. Barth starts by explaining how there are definitely positive effects from having a pet or an emotional support animal. She recalls a patient that felt so at peace because a cat was by her side during her session, that her patient went and bought a cat. Barry includes info about how research about how people with PTSD can see improvement in their mental illness with an emotional support animal. She then flips her argument around in order to show the opposite said of the argument. Barth includes how having animals in public places can actually have reverse effects, and cause others to feel anxiety. Barth explains how those who are afraid of animals or have certain allergies feel the negative side of having animals around, as they are greatly effected both physically and mentally. Barth’s view is kind of split down the middle, but it helps get the argument across and shows that she is willing to see both sides.

In my opinion, I do feel that people are allergic or may have a fear of animals shouldn’t have to suffer because of an emotional support animal, but at the same time, there’s not a way for people to avoid this problem altogether. I feel that if people have an emotional support animal, they should have a valid reason for it. Nowadays, so many people just abuse having the opportunity to take your pet with you and claim it’s for emotional support. This takes away from those who actually need those emotional support animals, and it almost makes the animals seem less legit to outsiders. I know a lot of people that have emotional support animals for a valid reason and it does help them a lot to have that companionship. I understand the issues that can arise from bringing a support animal out in the public, but if they are being used for the right reason, I think that emotional support animals are great and they can have amazing benefits for your mental and physical health.

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