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How Does Social Security Define Anxiety Disorders?

Cutter Hall Karlock, LLC
April 1, 2021

As you know, certain disabilities can make it hard or even impossible for you to hold down a regular job. This can put you into a financial bind and make affording living very difficult. This is why disability benefits exist.

But did you know that these benefits extend beyond physical disabilities? Mental health issues also qualify for benefits in some cases. This includes anxiety disorders, which are quite common.

Signs of anxiety disorders

Social Security discusses the mental health disorders that often interrupt life enough to qualify you for benefits. Anxiety disorders fall under this category. SS identifies anxiety disorders by a specific grouping of signs and symptoms. For example, the disorders hold certain similar characteristics despite differences that set them apart. Some of these characteristics include:

  • Excessive worry, anxiety and apprehension

  • Fear

  • Avoidance of activities, objects, places or people

  • Avoidance of thoughts and feelings

Manifestations of anxiety often come in physical form. This may include hypervigilance, restlessness and trouble concentrating. You may also experience sleep disturbances and fatigue, along with muscle tension. Panic attacks and physical complaints also follow, especially as anxiety can manifest in tension and other health issues.

Which disorders fall under this umbrella?

A number of disorders fall under this category. It includes generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Note that some other disorders also have symptoms of anxiety. But these do not fall under the category of anxiety if the key components are stressor or trauma-based, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

If your anxiety disorder seriously disrupts your ability to function, you can look into the potential of applying for benefits. This can help you tackle your situation with less concern about finances.