Did you know that about 7 million US citizens are suffering 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.
Speaking About 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. This is because the diagnosis of such conditions is quite subjective and it is difficult for healthcare professionals and psychiatrists to assess the severity of the condition based on the symptoms. So, 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 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.
- Panic Disorders
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, sweating, 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.
- Specific Phobias
People who suffer from this mental disorder often worry persistently about harmless things. Often, their fear is so excessive that they will avoid any situation which can expose them to their phobia. This is why many people with specific phobias of closed spaces or places with too many people are often unable to work or perform simple routine 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 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 and 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 the 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. However, if you have records which prove that you are undergoing treatment for your anxiety problems, your chances of getting approved get 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
Disabilities, regardless if they are physical or mental 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’s how:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – this form of mental therapy involves helping you learn to get rid of the negative thoughts, and replacing 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, especially the ones who are suffering anxiety disorders associated with PTSD.
- Medication – medication has also been shown to help in managing anxiety disorders, especially in combination with CBT. It reduces the severity of symptoms and allows the victims of anxiety disorders to handle difficult situations in a better way.
Life with anxiety disorders is difficult. At Springfield Wellness Center, we realize this and we want to make your life as fulfilling and beautiful as anyone else. We use a proprietary, highly effective BR+ NAD treatment protocol which 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 towards a happy life. Book an appointment with us today and say goodbye to your anxiety and fears!