Can I Get Disability for Anxiety? How Long Can You Be On It?

Anxiety, Depression, Mental Disorders, Stress

Anxiety is the brain’s natural reaction to stress and potential danger.

What does anxiety do to a person?

Occasional anxiety or worrying is deemed normal and may also prevent bad things from happening. However, when anxiety becomes excessive, it can result in high anxiety and possibly progress to anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders remain to be the most common mental disorder affecting 30% of adults according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Despite this, anxiety disorders continue to be neglected. People experiencing this condition suffer from social stigma and the rampant spread of false information.

If you are experiencing anxiety and looking for a guide to handle this condition better, we want you to know that you are not alone and we are here for you.

We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about anxiety as an illness as well as the symptoms to watch for.

Can you get disability for anxiety?

There is a myth that goes along the lines of: “Anxiety is not a real medical condition.”

Adhering to the definition of anxiety, we can say that this line is not entirely false. But that doesn’t mean that anxiety should be ignored.

As we have briefly discussed above, too much anxiety can later develop into anxiety disorders that can affect your daily life as well as your relationship with other people.

An anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that doesn’t just affect you psychologically but also physically.

Although it is not visible, anxiety disorder exists and is undeniably considered a disability.

Anxiety disorders come in five major types that have distinct characteristics and triggers. Below we go through these types in more detail.

The 5 Types Of Anxiety Disorders

 
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This anxiety disorder is most common among older adults and is frequently linked to traumatic events. It is distinguished by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension even when there are hardly any triggers.

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is characterized by recurring thoughts (obsessions) and a strong urge to do something repeatedly (compulsions).

Many people believe that OCD causes people to be very tidy and organized. However, this is not true at all, in fact, it is more complicated than that.

People with OCD develop obsessions about certain things such as fear of dirt or disorganized objects. These obsessions can be observed in their repeated actions of cleaning or organizing.

OCD can also be observed in repeated hand washing, counting, and checking.

  • Panic disorder

A panic disorder is characterized by intense fear and a sudden feeling of terror even when there is no real danger. Its physical symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pain.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is often developed after going through a terrifying event that involved physical harm or threat. It is triggered by traumatic events that include violent assaults, accidents, natural disasters, and wars.

People with PTSD experience uncontrollable thoughts about their trauma, flashbacks, and nightmares.

  • Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder

From its name, social phobia is the fear of getting surrounded by people.

People with this disorder have difficulties speaking in front of people, meeting new people, and participating in social events.

All these types of anxiety disorders could be considered as a disability depending on the severity. People who experience any of these disorders could be eligible for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits.

If you wish to learn more about disability benefits in the United States, you can check this article for further details.

Remember that there is no shame in asking for help and people can and will help you, you just have to be brave enough to ask. You got this!

What Are 5 Symptoms Of Anxiety?

Anxiety is characterized by different symptoms depending on the type of disorder one has or is starting to develop.

Nevertheless, here are the top five symptoms of anxiety that you should watch for.

1. Physical symptoms

Anxiety is a mental disorder but it can affect the physical condition significantly. It causes different physical symptoms that may affect daily life.

Below are the most common physical symptoms of anxiety.

  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive problems
  • Heavy sweating
  • Trembling

2. Extreme fear

Anxiety is a state of extreme fear, worrying, and uneasiness about the future. People with anxiety tend to anticipate the worst and unrealistic situations ahead of time.

3. Obsession

Obsession is another common symptom of anxiety that is mostly observed in people with OCD. However, people with other types of anxiety can still experience the urge to do something repeatedly.

4. Strong desire

Anxiety urges people to avoid their triggers. This may lead to isolation and social withdrawal.

5. Difficulty to focus or think clearly

People with anxiety can experience trouble in maintaining their focus. It can also affect their ability to think clearly and make logical decisions.

Bonus

There are also some medicine you can get prescribed to you by your doctor such a Clonidine for anxiety as well as over the counter anxiety medication.

Some people even try anxiety rings with a moderate to high success.

Anxiety treatments

Despite being the last frontier in medicine, mental disorders like anxiety are now gaining attention. Anxiety treatments have become much more available than ever before.

Here are some of the anxiety treatments to consider in overcoming anxiety.

The 3 Best Anxiety Treatments

1. Psychotherapy

This treatment involves talk therapy or psychological counseling.

It requires the patient to work with a mental health professional to identify all the triggers and find the most effective solutions to control or maintain them. It also helps the patient to get back on their feet by teaching them specific skills to improve their symptoms and regain control over their lives.

In addition, psychotherapy promotes exposure therapy. This therapy allows the patient to have a direct encounter with their triggers to build confidence in managing the situation.

2. Medications

Several types of medications can be used to help relieve symptoms of anxiety.

The doctor will recommend the right medication depending on the type and severity of the anxiety disorder and other existing health conditions of the patient.

Here are the most common medications that a doctor may prescribe.

  • Antidepressant
  • Anti anxiety medicine called buspirone
  • Sedatives called benzodiazepines or beta blockers.

Despite being very helpful, these medications may cause adverse effects when used inappropriately. Hence, following the doctor’s advice is always the best thing to do.

3. Natural and alternative remedies

Using natural and alternative remedies may sound like a piece of advice from your grandparents, but trust us, these remedies can certainly work wonders for your mental health

The most effective natural treatment for anxiety is tea.

This is because it has a high content of the amino acid L-Theanine which appears to play a role in the formation of Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps in relaxation.

If you want to know more about L-Theanine, you can check this article about the benefits of this natural remedy for anxiety relief.

In addition to tea, people with anxiety can try alternative remedies for anxiety management which include:

  • Acupuncture anxiety treatments
  • Aromatherapy
  • Hypnosis

Products that can help manage anxiety symptoms

  • Anxiety ring

There is no doubt that anxiety rings are catching the attention of many people all throughout the world nowadays.

These little accessories are worn like a normal ring but are designed with a spinning center. To use it, you just need to spin the center ring with your finger while taking deep breaths to calm down.

Using an anxiety ring is a helpful way to stop unnecessary fidgeting. It could also be a fun way to stop habits caused by anxiety such as biting your lips or nails.

  • Weighted blanket

Weighted blankets can help with anxiety by providing a deep pressure touch. This pressure or added weight can calm your nerves and may trigger the release of feel-good hormones.

These hormones can help with stress, insomnia, anxiety, and even depression.

If you decide to buy a weighted blanket, we recommend buying a weighted blanket that is equivalent to 10% of your body weight.

  • Lavender aromatherapy oil

This oil has been proven to calm anxiety by targeting the limbic system. This system is the part of the brain responsible for controlling emotions.

Lavender has soothing properties that can relax the mind, improve physical relaxation and sleep quality. Lavender aromatherapy oil can be inhaled directly from the bottle or add it to an essential oil or aromatherapy diffuser

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does it take to cure anxiety disorders?

People are different and may display different reactions towards various treatments.

In general, people taking up psychotherapy may experience improvements in their condition for about 12 to 16 weeks. On the other hand, patients under medication could experience improvements within hours.

Can I treat anxiety without medication?

The short answer is yes, but it is going to be extra tough.

People with anxiety disorders who don’t want to take any medications should improve their lifestyles and join support groups. It is also highly encouraged to take therapies to get better diagnosis and guidance.

Does anxiety disorder ever go away?

Anxiety disorders can’t be completely cured. Anxiety is a normal emotion and it is a natural tendency for all people.

No matter how much treatment, this natural element can’t be changed. However, the symptoms of these disorders can be managed so people with these conditions can gain control over their lives.

You can Read More about Natural Ways For Dealing With Anxiety

ABOUT ME


Hi, I'm Laura and welcome to my blog.

I've been interested in the human mind since I was a child and that's the reason why I became a psychologist. I thought I had everything figured out, but it turned out I was suffering from anxiety for at least ten years without even noticing it. With the help of what I already knew, and some of my friends/colleagues, I compiled a list of articles that helped me go through my anxiety and get to the other side of the tunnel.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you find something to help you along the way.

Laura

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