For those who have never experienced an anxiety disorder, there's a lot of confusion. A diagnosed anxiety disorder is not simply butterflies in the stomach or feeling nervous when certain events are taking place. Anxiety disorders in all forms adversely affect the quality of life and the ability to function normally.
Depending on the severity of the condition, it may be possible to seek disability benefits and at least worry a little less about money. The best way to learn how to get on disability for anxiety is by consulting with a lawyer. If you've been asking yourself, "can I get on disability for anxiety?" here are some things that you should know.
Is There More Than One Form of Anxiety Disorder?
There are multiple forms of anxiety disorders. What some may not realize is that it's possible to be diagnosed with more than one form at a time. In order to determine if this is the case, you will need a diagnosis from a qualified physician. Here are what is considered the five types of anxiety disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This type of anxiety leaves you feeling unsettled and on edge just about every waking moment. Your mind seems to constantly race. While the severity may ebb and flow, it never leaves you from the moment you get up in the morning until you fall asleep at night.
- Panic Disorder: With this form of anxiety, you have episodes when your "fight or flight" impulse is triggered, and you feel as if something dire is about to happen, up to and including the idea of fainting or dying. This is known as a panic attack. While the body's natural defenses typically cause your impulse to begin subsiding quickly, another attack is building at the same time. The result is that you are actually experiencing a series of short panic attacks that seem like a single prolonged one.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Often referred to as OCD, this is an overpowering need for everything to be perfect and in order. You want total control of just about everything, from the germs on your hands to the way that items are arranged on a desk. Any divergence from what your mind reads as perfection is not acceptable and likely to trigger significant anxiety until the issue is resolved to your satisfaction.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Known as PTSD, this form of anxiety may develop after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. The anxiety may or may not begin to manifest directly afterward. With some people, PTSD only becomes apparent well after the trauma takes place.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: Sometimes referred to as social phobia, this goes deeper than being introverted or feeling a little unsettled in new social settings. This form of anxiety can trigger panic attacks when being in crowds, a room where it seems as if everyone is talking at the same time, or any social setting where your brain seems to be overloaded.
Keep in mind there are a number of phobias that may accompany a combination of anxiety disorders. For example, people may be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder and experience phobias such as agoraphobia at the same time.
When wondering if you can get a disability for anxiety, it's important to consider the severity of your conditions, what modes of treatment are in use, and what the prognosis is for being able to eventually recover.
Triggers That Can Lead to the Development of One or More Anxiety Disorders
There are a number of triggers that can lead to the development of one or more anxiety disorders. Some of them have to do with what you've seen, while others have to do with events you've experienced. They can also be rooted in medical issues that are chronic or that have yet to be diagnosed. Here are some examples of what can lead to the development of anxiety:
- Nutritional Imbalances: Vitamins and minerals are necessary to keep the brain and the rest of the body in the best possible condition. Being depleted of certain nutrients for an extended period of time can lead to this type of emotional illness. In many cases, identifying those depleted levels and restoring them to normal ranges will help the anxiety to go away.
- Prolonged Periods of Stress: From relationships to work environments, stress is something everyone experiences. However, too much stress will eventually take a toll. While many people understand that prolonged high levels of stress can lead to issues like high blood pressure, not everyone realizes that stress can also trigger anxiety disorders.
- A Traumatic Event: Being the victim of a violent crime, experiencing the horrors of war, or sustaining an unexpected loss have the potential to trigger one or more anxiety disorders.
- Reaction to Medication: It's also possible to develop an anxiety disorder as a side effect of taking some sort of medication. In this scenario, talking with a doctor about adjusting or changing the medication may be enough to make the anxiety go away.
Keep in mind that some underlying triggers for anxiety can be resolved, and the suffering will come to an end shortly afterward. Other triggers may result in anxiety that remains strong for years or may even remain with you for the rest of your life. It's in this latter situation that you are more likely to receive disability for anxiety disorder.
Symptoms Indicating That You Have an Anxiety Disorder
What are you likely to experience when you have any type of anxiety disorder? There are several common signs or symptoms. Keep in mind that you don't have to experience all of them in order to qualify for anxiety benefits. In fact, it's unusual for an anxiety sufferer to experience all known symptoms.
Two of the most common are known as depersonalization and derealization. Depersonalization is the sense of feeling detached from your body and mind; in effect, you feel as if you are observing yourself from a distance. With derealization, you feel detached from what is happening around you, almost as if you are looking at a scene through a window. With both, there's an underlying fear that you will not be able to become attached again.
Difficulty concentrating, feeling irritable, and constantly being out of energy are also common signs. Since GAD and other forms of anxiety lead to the mind racing and draining your energy, this should come as no surprise. It's not unusual for you to excessively worry about things that usually would cause little to no concern. Anxiety sufferers are also at an increased risk of developing depression.
Anxiety also impacts physical function. You may experience muscle aches, stomach pains, constant headaches, and other discomforts. These may be constant, or they may come and go.
A doctor can provide more information about how anxiety can manifest. Depending on how severely they impact your ability to function, you may want to seek legal counsel and find out
how to get on disability for anxiety.
Anxiety Disorders That Lead to Disability
It's possible to develop one or more anxiety disorders and still be able to function. It may not be easy, but you find a way to get through the day. In other cases, the anxiety may become so crippling that being able to continue your normal life is out of the question.
The fact is that any of the major anxiety disorders already outlined may be grounds for seeking disability benefits. That's because they all can be more than medical issues to be managed; they can be so life-changing that you can no longer work in your chosen profession.
Is general anxiety disorder a disability? It can be if it's bad enough. The same is true for panic disorder, PTSD, and any other form of anxiety. The key is not whether you have a disorder but to what degree it impacts your ability to maintain a reasonable quality of life. So if you're asking yourself, "can I get disability for anxiety and panic attacks", the reply is that you can find out by consulting your doctor and lawyer.
Signs That Anxiety is Shrinking Your World
Learning how to get on disability for anxiety means identifying how the condition is making your world smaller. Can you no longer go to work? Do you find it impossible to shop for the things you need? Have you begun to avoid certain places because you fear having another panic attack? Do you have trouble setting foot outside your door for fear of what might happen?
When it's clear that your life is changing, and not in a good way, it pays to explore the options for disability. Is general anxiety disorder a disability that's severe enough to merit this type of action? The answer is yes for GAD, and for all other forms of anxiety.
Are You Stuck With Anxiety For The Rest of Your Life?
Some people will eventually recover and begin to get their lives back. Others will live with anxiety for the rest of their days. Unlike the healing of broken bones, anxiety recovery is not a linear process, nor one where healing occurs at a steady pace.
Can you get disability for anxiety when it's clear that the issue is not going away any time soon? There's a good chance that you qualify. Information supplied by your doctor and possibly a therapist will provide your lawyer with what's needed to pursue the case.
The Importance of Consistent Medical Care
Through it all, medical care is essential. Treating the underlying causes of the anxiety provides documentation of your illness and is likely to at least help you manage it with more proficiency. That constant care may also help you to eventually recover.
In the interim, the answer to the question of "can I get on disability for anxiety" is yes. Your lawyer can use medical records to ascertain if you meet the current qualifications for this type of benefit.
How to Prove Disability and How to Strengthen Your Long-Term Disability Claim
Along with asking, "can I get on disability for anxiety?" you also likely wonder how to prove it. Your medical records up to this point will help immensely. Expect to undergo additional testing in order to ensure you meet the qualifications. Your lawyer can help arrange for those additional tests.
Once the results are in, you will have a better idea of what to expect. Instead of asking, "can I get disability for anxiety and panic attacks?" you will have an answer.
Linden Law Protects the Rights of Anxiety Disorder Victims in New York
If you have questions about how to get on disability for anxiety, turn to the team at Linden Law. We know how to evaluate the information supplied by your doctors and if you have a chance of being able to receive benefits. Rest assured that we will do everything legally possible to ensure that you get the disability for anxiety disorder that you deserve. Call us today, and let's get started.