The anxiety roller coaster of a young mother in Boston was recently chronicled by CNN in its investigation into whether anxiety medications where truly the best answer for parents suffering from severe bouts of depression and anxiety.
Our Boston Social Security Disability Insurance lawyers know that while this mom has learned to cope by taking five-minute “breathers” in the laundry room, not everyone with an anxiety disorder is able to make that method work. Many are debilitated by the extreme levels of anxiety, which are manifested in severe panic attacks, obsessions or compulsions or stress that can result in major difficulties in maintaining everyday life activities, relationships and basic function.
What’s more, anxiety disorders are increasingly common. The Centers for Disease Control reports that some 40 million American adults are coping with anxiety disorders. Of course, not every single one of those will qualify for disability benefits, but there are some extreme cases where that may be the only option.
CNN reports that parents are more vulnerable to anxiety disorders and when they are diagnosed, they tend to be more severe. It makes sense that if you are already someone who is prone to depression or obsessive compulsion, the added emotional, physical and mental strain of rearing a child could increase those risks.
One mother revealed waking up every night at midnight and suffering from panic attacks so severe she truly believes she will die – every single night.
There is also the risk for new mothers of crippling postpartum depression. Proving eligibility for SSDI of postpartum depression can be difficult because although it is often quite serious, proving that it lasts more than a year can be tough.
Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, can last years if not decades, even when an individual is faithful about seeking and following treatment plans.
Section 12.06 of Social Security Disability’s impairment listings addresses anxiety-related disorders. Essentially, these conditions are defined as the medically-documented finding of one of the following:
- General, persistent anxiety (accompanied by motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, vigilance or scanning, apprehensive expectation);
- An irrational, persistent fear of a certain object, situation or activity;
- Severe, recurrent panic attacks that bring about an unpredictable and instantaneous apprehension, terror fear or sense of doom at least once a week;
- Obsessions or compulsions that are recurrent and a source of marked distress;
- Intrusive and recurrent recollections of some traumatic experience that causes a significant source of distress.
In addition to this, the administration requires that this condition be the source of some serious restriction of daily living activities, social functioning, concentration, ability to function outside of one’s home.
The CDC reports that anxiety disorders primarily affect women, and rates tend to be higher in developed countries.
Specific anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and certain phobias.
If you are considering filing for SSDI in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
Xanax ‘helps me be a better mom’, Feb. 18, 2013, By Shawn Bean, CNN/Parenting.com
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Boston SSDI Claims Heavily Scrutinized Amid Latest CBO Report, Feb. 13, 2013, Boston Social Security Disability Lawyer Blog