Did you know that about seven million US citizens suffer from anxiety disorders? What’s more alarming is that according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), only about 42% of them are receiving any treatment.
Gaining a Better Understanding of Disabilities
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines disability as “an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions“. The symptoms of anxiety disorder vary according to type, and from person to person, from being mild to very severe, even debilitating.
Anxiety Disorder: The Silent Form of Disability
While physical disabilities are quite obvious and can be diagnosed easily, disabilities resulting from mental illnesses remain hidden and inconspicuous. The reason is simple: the diagnosis of such conditions is quite subjective. Consequently, it is difficult for healthcare professionals and psychiatrists to assess the severity of the condition based solely on the symptoms. Therefore, to understand how anxiety disorders can become a disability, it is important that we learn more about them.
Anxiety disorder is a group of mental health problems which result in a persistent feeling of excessive fear, unease, worry and hopelessness. Unlike the temporary episodes of depression or anxiety all of us suffer from time to time, the feeling of unknown fear and worry is so overwhelming in the case of anxiety disorders that it starts to hamper the daily life routine, and become a form of disability.
Understanding Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are different types of anxiety disorders, which can result in different forms of mental disabilities. Some of the different types of anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorders
It involves a persistent sensation of anxiety and worry which significantly affect daily life activities. Not only that, these mental health problems are often accompanied with physical symptoms like fatigue, restlessness, irritability, difficulty to focus and sleep. In severe cases, these symptoms interfere with your ability to perform everyday things like taking care of your work responsibilities, paying the bills, buying grocery or looking after your family.
In panic, patients suffer from recurrent panic attacks which are basically a combination of mental and physical symptoms like:
- Increased heart rate
- Chest pains and tightness
- Elevated blood pressure
- Shaking and trembling
Panic disorders usually arise due to a persistent fear of an object or situation. Sometimes, these symptoms are so severe that people feel they are having a heart attack. Like other forms of anxiety disorders, they also prevent their victims from enjoying life and taking care of routine daily tasks.
Social Anxiety Disorder/ Social Phobia
In this form of anxiety disorder, people have an extreme fear of being humiliated, embarrassed or being ridiculed in a social gathering. As a result, they will avoid any situation in which they have to face an audience or where they have to mingle with people. Symptoms of this disorder include increased:
- Heart rate and chest tightness
- Slurred speech
- Feeling that their anxiety will be negatively perceived by other people
Social anxiety turns into a disability when it restricts people from going to school or work out of the fear of social interactions.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
In this type of disorder, the victims have a persistent fear of being in situations where they may lose their loved ones. These people refuse to sleep, or step out of their homes out of the fear of losing someone they are attached to. Sometimes, the symptoms are so severe that it becomes a disability, as the victims are unable to work or perform daily activities.
Are Anxiety Disorders a Form of Disability?
The short answer is, yes. When any form of mental or physical problem affects your ability to perform routine tasks and keeps your brain or body occupied in unnecessary activities or thoughts, it clearly becomes a disability.
Anxiety Disorders and Claiming Social Security Benefits
When it comes to anxiety related disorders, you can claim disability with Social Security if you feel that your condition limits you from working. However, getting your disability claim approved at the Social Security Administration is easier said than done. This is because the symptoms of mental disorders are objective, and their severity is not quantifiable. Therefore, it becomes difficult to prove that your mental condition comes under the umbrella of a disability.
It’s best if you have records which prove that you are undergoing treatment for your anxiety problems. If you do, your chances of getting approved are increased substantially. You may also hire a law firm, or consult the social security administration directly whether you qualify for social security disability benefits.
Living with Anxiety Disorders
Remember that physical and mental disabilities can be managed. If you are suffering from any form of a disability, especially one linked with mental illness, you can still enjoy a fulfilling and healthy life. Here are two things that help make that happen:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This form of mental therapy involves helping you learn to get rid of the negative thoughts. Then, you replace them with a positive energy and happy thought patterns. CBT has proven to be quite effective in helping people get rid of their phobias and fears. This is especially the case for those suffering anxiety disorders associated with PTSD.
Medication has also been shown to help in managing anxiety disorders, especially in combination with CBT. It is through medication that the severity of symptoms is reduced. In addition, it enables the victims of anxiety disorders to handle difficult situations in a better way.
Getting Help With Anxiety Disorders
Life with anxiety disorders is difficult. At Springfield Wellness Center, we realize this. Therefore, we want to do everything we can to make your life as fulfilling and beautiful as anyone else. To help our clients, we use a proprietary, highly effective BR+ NAD treatment protocol. This restores the normal functioning of your brain and helps you in getting rid of your mental health issues.
Springfield Wellness Center is your first step toward a happy life. Book an appointment with us today and say goodbye to your anxiety and fears!