According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety affects 18 percent of the U.S. population—approximately 40-million people—making it the most common mental illness in the United States. Although many sufferers can handle anxiety well, for some people it can become overly excessive and debilitating. For these sufferers, anxiety can prevent them from living normal lives, and they may require disability aid.

The National Institute of Health suggests that unlike the relatively mild anxiety caused by a stressful event—such as speaking in public or a first date—anxiety disorders can consistently last for months and cause severe anxiety attacks, mental withdrawal, and physical harm if not treated. Due to this fact, the Social Security Administration recognizes the debilitating nature of anxiety disorders and classifies them as viable ailments for disability approval. However, anxiety disorders have varying symptoms, which makes the severity sometimes difficult for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine. Therefore, it is imperative that you exhibit and document at least two of the following common symptoms of anxiety in order to help avoid a disability denial.

Common Signs of Anxiety That Can Affect Your Workability

Anxiety symptoms severe enough to qualify for disability include:

  • Loss of concentration and restlessness. When you fail to have interest in your work, your job suffers. Much like feelings of hopelessness, lost interest can affect your concentration, while loss of energy can make even the smallest task seem exhausting, thus putting your job prospects at risk.
  • Irritability. When you are feeling agitated and restless, your tolerance level is affected. As a result, your temper can shorten, and everything and everyone can get on your nerves—in some cases, even violently so. Obviously, you shouldn’t be forced to put yourself or others in danger by working with the public.
  • Uncontrollable fear and feelings of apprehension. Anxiety is a natural way to combat stress; however, when it becomes uncontrollable sufferers can begin to feel overwhelming fear for no apparent reason. Worrying about the possibility of something bad happening can affect your decision making, productivity, and even the ability to speak to those around you, which in turn greatly affects your ability to work.
  • Feeling tense. The uncontrollable fear of anxiety can cause physical reactions such as muscles tensing up and the inability to move. Not only can this tension become painful as it builds, it can limit your ability to properly accomplish your work duties.
  • Physical ailments. Anxiety can cause physical issues as well, similar to being extremely scared. Ailments can include excessive sweating, a rapid heart rate, stomach upset, dizziness, frequent urination or diarrhea, shortness of breath, tremors and twitches, headaches, and muscle soreness—all of which can affect your workability.
  • Fatigue or Insomnia. Insomnia, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia), can drastically affect your mood, as well as cause you to be unreliable for your work shifts. If you do manage to make it to work on time, your work has a good chance of suffering.

Anxiety is a serious illness that requires treatment. Don’t risk your health! If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible to get the help you need.

Disability Help, Support, and Reassurance

Given the risks of anxiety, as well as how it can affect the daily lives of many Americans, do you think the SSA should be more lenient when it comes to approving anxiety claims? Should it be more restrictive? Have you had personal experience with working with anxiety?

Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comment section. Your experiences could help our clients get the extra knowledge, reassurance, and support they need to handle their disorders.

Anxiety isn’t something to be ignored. Please help us spread the word, and help those who suffer get the diagnoses, treatments, and disability benefits their disorder needs. Share your comments and post this article to your social media profiles. A simple click of the media icons could wind up saving a lot of lives. Although you may not have anything to lose by not sharing, your friends and family may miss out on the information they desperately need.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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