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Disabled by PTSD in New England? An Expert Explains Options: Part One

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects an estimated 7.8% of all Americans. And if you are one of these people, then you know the crippling effects this psychiatric disorder can create. Here in New England, we probably all know at least one person with PTSD.

Experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event can cause PTSD, and the condition affects different patients in different ways. But each person with PTSD has one thing in common: anxiety. This anxiety can cause both mental and physical symptoms that range from mild to severe, with the worst cases actually disabling many New England workers.

Who gets PTSD?

While there is no way to predict who will experience PTSD after a traumatic event, we do know that:

  • Women (10.4%) are twice as likely to develop PTSD as men (5%).
  • Among Americans ages 18–54, about 5.2 million have symptoms of PTSD during any given year. 
  • Men with PTSD are most likely to have experienced rape, combat exposure, and childhood abuse, both mental and physical.
  • Women with PTSD are most likely to have experienced rape, sexual molestation, physical attack, and abuse as children.
  • There has been a 50% increase in PTSD among veterans since the beginning of the Iraq War. 
  • Many combat veterans will experience PTSD. The Vietnam War affected the most, with approximately 50% of all veterans experiencing serious symptoms. Estimates of more recent wars include 10% for the Gulf War, 6%–11% for Afghanistan and between 12% and 20% for Iraq.
  • Overall, about 30% of war veterans, 45% of battered women, 50% of children who are sexually abused, and 35% of rape victims are affected by PTSD.
  • Between 13% and 18% of city police and firefighters have PTSD.

One of the key problems with PTSD is its ability to disrupt your life, including your ability to keep a job. This disorder can lead to depression, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and suicidal tendencies. In addition, PTSD can trigger a host of medical illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, arthritis, thyroid problems, and musculoskeletal conditions. 

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with severe PTSD and is unable to work, you may want to consider applying for New England Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits. Because it is so difficult to prove the disabling effects of psychological illnesses, contacting a Massachusetts disability expert to handle your application might be your best option.

At Keefe Disability Law, we offer a caring, compassionate, helping hand to the disabled in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire. We can help you apply for SSA disability benefits and follow up with appeals if need be. Call us toll free at 888-904-6847 for a free case consultation. Also, order one of our free reports by clicking the box on this page. 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law

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