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Anxiety Disorders And Social Security Disability

April 26, 2019 • disabi26


Anxiety Disorders – Condition And Symptoms

Anxiety is a condition wherein a person suffers from an intense feeling of apprehension, tension, or uneasiness. Anxiety can be a form of disability. For people who suffer, these feelings of nervousness and discomfort are not just as simple as that. It is a rather feelings of trauma and terror that can occur in any place, time or event in everyday life. It is hard for people with this kind of disability to function and enjoy life normally.

Some people with invisible disabilities might be willing to conceal their conditions and forego accommodations to avoid being treated differently or negatively by others. — Alecia M. Santuzzi, Ph.D.

Doctors have diagnosed five types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – a constant feeling of worry and tension that is unnecessary. It is not correlated to any particular situation. To be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, you must be in this state for at least six months.
  • Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – it is a disorder wherein a person has repetitive or ritualistic behaviors. In people who do not suffer from OCD, this can be a little strange. People with OCD tend to have a specific routine to cope up with their anxiety.
  • Panic Disorder – this disorder causes the person to have repeated attacks of anxiety and terror that can last up to 10 minutes and have no identifiable cause.
  • Phobias – Phobias are overwhelming and irrational feelings of fear and terror towards a typical situation, thing, place or events.
  • Post – Traumatic Stress Disorder – the feeling of severe stress when faced with or recalled a traumatic situation or event that the person witnessed. It could be the death of a loved one; it could be a car accident that this person was in and many other situations. PTSD can last up to a month or more.

There are many causes of normal anxiety. They can be from mental disorders such as depression to medical reactions and too stressful life situations that are temporary like an accident or death of a close family member. In cases of disabling anxiety disorders, people who suffer from this is not attributed to the symptoms of “healthy” anxiety. Doctors will attempt to find out what causes this anxiety. The doctor will also try to find out the duration and severity of the patient’s anxiety. He/she will also try to determine the impact of these symptoms from the patient’s day today. To be diagnosed with this case, a person’s anxiety should significantly affect a person’s life such as his/her work and relationships.

The woman next to me shared how frightened she was, which enabled me to go into therapist mode and soothe her nerves. If she had stoically resisted telling me out of shame or wanting to keep up appearances, she would have had a much rougher trip. — Nicole S. Urdang, MS, NCC, DHM


Anxiety disorders come with symptoms of overwhelming fears, nightmares, obsessive behaviors and painful, intrusive memories. Other physical symptoms are increased heart rate, shaking, sweating, muscle tension, nausea, and uncomfortable physical reactions. These symptoms can inevitably affect a person’s daily activity and can struggle with finishing simple tasks like running away from home if untreated. You can read more about the other signs here:

Luckily, anxiety disorders can be treated either with medication, therapy or stress-reducing techniques to reduce the effects of the symptoms. The treatment process depends on the patient and the level of anxiety they have.

Filing For Social Security Disability With An Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis

Anxiety disorders are considered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) under Section 12.06 of the Blue Book, which covers Mental Disorders.

It is challenging to claim Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because it is based on hard to document criteria such as feelings and behaviors that occur outside a doctor’s office. In able to apply successfully, you have to provide a medical history by medical professionals to show that you have a persistent anxiety disorder.

Be sure that your documents could show that your disabilities significantly affect your ability to function in a normal matter daily.

It is hard enough to get people who are young and healthy to discuss wills and child custody. While it may be unpleasant, though, it is one of the eventualities that must be faced when living with a disability. —


Prepare Your Medical Documents:

  1. Constant generalized anxiety with the symptoms of motor tension, vigilance or scanning, and apprehensive expectation
  2. Constant irrational fear of an object, situation or event that dramatically affects your daily activities by avoiding these situations or activities
  3. Recurring extreme panic attacks like apprehension, unpredictable episodes of fear and terror
  4. Recurrent compulsions and obsessions that can affect your daily activities and cause distress
  5. Recurring remembrance of a traumatic event or situation that causes discomfort

The conditions above should at least result in two of the following:

  1. Problems maintaining concentration
  2. Repeated periods of discomfort in extended durations
  3. Difficulty maintaining daily routines and social activities

The conditions mentioned above must lead to a total inability to move and function independently outside your home.

Your Anxiety Disorder Disability Case

If your disorder truly affects your daily function in life, you are entitled to SSDI. Though this type of disability is hard to prove, working with professionals that can closely monitor your behaviors and medical diagnosis can help you to present a strong disability case.

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