Worrying to the Point of Disability
Worriers come in a variety of forms. There is the outward worrier who verbally announces what they are worried about and all the small details related to that worry. There is the inward fretter who bottles up their fears and works hard to keep those around them from knowing they are wound up with worry. Sometimes the worrying becomes all-consuming to the point that a person cannot function beyond their own small circle and develops generalized anxiety disorder. Symptoms Those with anxiety disorder can exhibit a number of symptoms including: Constant worrying or obsession about small or large concerns Restlessness and feeling keyed up or on edge Fatigue Difficulty concentrating or the mind “going blank” Irritability Muscle tension or muscle aches Trembling, feeling twitchy or being easily startled Trouble sleeping Sweating, nausea or diarrhea Shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat Information from Mayo Clinic Not all worrying is generalized anxiety disorder. “There may be times when [a person's] worries don't completely consume [them], but [the person] still feels anxious even when there's no apparent reason.” Such worrying can lead to interfering with a person's work, relationships, and other parts of their life. There is no specific cause that has been determined to lead to generalized anxiety disorder. Diagnosis While there are no blood or urine tests to diagnose anxiety disorder, a doctor might order blood and urine tests to determine if there is an underlying medical condition that is causing a person's anxiety. For anxiety disorder to reach the level where an individual qualifies for Social Security Disability is very steep. The disorder must manifest itself to the point where the individual is unable to interact with the outside world in a meaning way for extended periods of time. The Social Security Administration considers the following symptoms: A. Medically documented findings of at least one of the following: 1. Generalized persistent anxiety accompanied by three out of four of the following signs or symptoms: a. Motor tension which is trembling and twitching; or b. Autonomic hyperactivity which is feeling smothered; or c. Apprehensive expectation is exaggerated worry where there is no worrisome condition present; or d. Vigilance and scanning which means always on edge and with an exaggerated startle response; or 2. A persistent irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation where the person is compelled to avoid the object, activity, or situation; or 3. Having weekly severe panic attacks where a person is overcome by sudden unpredictable intense apprehension, fear, terror and sense of impending doom; or 4. Recurring obsessions or compulsions that greatly distress the individual; or 5. Reliving a traumatic experience repeatedly that greatly distresses the individual; AND B. Resulting in at least two of the following: 1. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or 2. Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or 3. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or 4. Repeated episodes of losing one's “ability to maintain normal or appropriate psychological defenses“, each of extended duration. OR C. Resulting in complete inability to function independently outside the area of one's home. Information from http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/12.00-MentalDisorders-Adult.htm#12_06 If you suffer from generalized anxiety disorder to the point you cannot support yourself, contact our knowledgeable attorney to help you apply for Social Security Disability.