Stress can be a root cause of many health issues. Taking on too much stress over time can cause significant damage to our mental and physical health. Some common stress-related problems that people experience are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, insomnia, and many more. Stress can harm the life of an individual. If left untreated, it can become disabling. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Order

The American Psychiatric Association defines PTSD as a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. It is a serious anxiety disorder that can affect the mental health of the individual diagnosed with the condition. 

PTSD can be caused by any of a multitude of traumatic events, such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war and combat, sexual assault or a close encounter with death, violence, or a serious injury. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a medical condition like PTSD, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

You may be determined eligible for benefits by SSA if your condition is severe and meets the eligibility criteria. To get Mental Health Disability, you must have medical evidence documenting symptoms caused by the traumatic event. 

Here are some of the common symptoms characterized by the condition:

  • Flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Nightmares or dreams about the traumatic event
  • Loss of interest in performing various activities
  • Anger or irritability
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty in socializing and managing close relationships
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Insomnia or sleep problems – the person may experience difficulties falling asleep or waking up (i.e. somnolence)
  • Feelings of shame and guilt
  • Emotional numbness
  • Frightened of others
  • Suicidal ideations

The Disability Claim Process

Post-traumatic stress disorder has been listed as a medical condition under Section 12.15 for adults and section 112.15 for children. There are two ways to establish entitlement to benefits for your disabling condition.

  1. The first way is to fulfill the criteria published in SSA’s medical listing, known as the “Blue Book”. You must meet various requirements to be approved for the claim.
  2. The second way to be approved is through a medical-vocational allowance.

Many claims that are successfully approved do not meet the Blue Book criteria, but do meet a medical-vocational allowance. The Social Security Administration has strict rules and regulations. If they find that your condition is not severe enough to be disabling, they will not approve the application.

In the case of PTSD, they may approve your application based on a medical-vocational allowance. If so, you will receive something for your disabling condition. 

List of Stress Related Complications 

We as humans lead an uncertain life. So, there is not a single person on this planet who does not suffer from anxiety at some point. In fact, stress has also been detected in other animal species such as dogs or bees, according to scientific studies.

Long-Term Stress Complications

Stress is a natural response to potential danger. It is a normal part of life, but it can be harmful if not properly managed. The severity of its impact depends on the symptoms one is suffering from. There are several degrees of stress, categorized as mild, moderate, severe, or panic. These are generalizations. Many patients experience varying degrees of stress depending on circumstance and context.

In its most extreme form, stress can lead to the inability to maintain gainful employment, difficulty performing normal daily activities, severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Anxiety among older people can have some of the worst outcomes. A large number of cases are reported every year due to issues such as the following.

  • Severe depression is often a much more aggressive mental health illness than stress alone, but stress and depression often go hand in hand. They usually have related signs and symptoms. 

It can be challenging for mental health practitioners to differentiate between the two conditions in the process of therapy. Stress and depression can trigger additional problems like insomnia, agitation, aggressiveness, and lack of concentration. Disability for depression can be shown through medical documents when seeking monetary benefits.

  • Suicide – According to the National Alliance’s studies on mental illness, more than 90% of those who die by suicide have been diagnosed with severe mental health conditions. 

One of the leading reasons for the escalation of these mental disorders is anxiety. Also, according to Mental Health Services Management and Substance Abuse, around 4% of adults in the U.S. have persistent suicidal thoughts and ideations. 

  • Substance abuse – If you are suffering from anxiety issues, you are certainly at increased risk for addiction to several substances. These might include nicotine, alcohol, and other types of drugs. 

If you suffer from another mental health condition in addition to anxiety, the risk is even greater. Often individuals with mental health issues turn to alcohol and other substances to relieve symptoms. While this form of self-medication might feel like it provides you with temporary relief, it usually causes more problems than it helps in the long run. 

Research has shown that alcohol can create more anxiety due to biological changes in the body when alcohol is consumed. Individuals with generalized panic disorder or even social phobias are at a heightened risk of drug and alcohol abuse.

  • Disability due to anxiety – There are different forms of anxiety that can prevent you from working. People who are of advanced age or have underlying health conditions often have a related disabling mental health condition. This can make one entirely dependent on other people for medical aid and financial assistance. 

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts, we highly recommend you speak to a mental health professional as soon as possible. Monetary benefits can help you manage tough financial situations. Proper legal assistance will make the application process easier. But legal assistance and money treat your underlying condition. Take care of your health first. 

You should know the eligibility criteria, documents needed, and other details. You can contact the SSA or search online for more information. Or, you can hire a knowledgeable and experienced disability lawyer to assist you.

Required Medical Evidence 

Your social security claim depends on the records and evidence you provide with your application. If you do not have complete medical records and relevant evidence that proves your disabling condition, your claim will likely be denied. For PTSD, you should provide medical records that demonstrate a diagnosis of the condition and the severity of your symptoms. 

Your medical records should have at least one detailed description of an anxiety attack that you have experienced. It should have complete details of the attack, including the duration and frequency. In addition, it should list the symptoms you experienced during the attack. 

Your medical records should also include information related to your ability to work. If the condition limits your ability to work, it should be stated in the documents. If you cannot prove that your condition hinders your ability to work, it will be difficult to get your claim approved. 

The Social Security Administration will need documents from the past year. You should maintain a record of all necessary documents and evidence since your condition was first diagnosed. If you have been diagnosed and treated for the condition but can no longer maintain employment, you may be entitled to receive disability benefits. 

Talk to an experienced San Antonio Disability Lawyer for more details on how to file a successful claim for disability benefits. Improve your chances of winning the claim with competent legal representation.