While everyone gets anxious on occasion, anxiety disorders can be debilitating. People who live with anxiety disorders can be limited in their ability to perform even the simplest tasks when their anxiety kicks in. If you are diagnosed with anxiety, and your symptoms interfere with your ability to work, you may be entitled to long-term disability insurance.
Below, we will discuss how to build a solid case for filing a long-term disability claim for your Anxiety Disorder.
What are the Disabling Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety Disorder is more than feeling anxious. It is a complex disorder with many disabling symptoms, both emotional and physical. It is very common for the physical aspects of mental illness to be dismissed because it is a “mental” condition. However, they can be just as important. It is important to report any symptoms you experience to your doctor(s) so that there is a clear record of what you are experiencing.
Emotional & Cognitive Symptoms
The emotional and cognitive symptoms of Anxiety Disorder may include:
- Excessive anxiety
- Inability to focus
- Racing thoughts
- Feelings of doom or dread
- Intense fear
- Overwhelming stress
- intense episodes of nervousness or worry.
If these symptoms present themselves frequently or severely enough, they could be considered debilitating. Your anxiety symptoms may be interfering with your ability to perform daily tasks, or limit your ability to do work. Your anxiety can also exacerbate already stressful situations by making them incredibly overwhelming.
The physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Poor sleep patterns, insomnia
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Panic attacks
The physical symptoms of anxiety are often overlooked because it is a “mental” illness. But it is important to properly recognize and report all symptoms of your anxiety disorder, and accurately inform your doctor of what you are experiencing.
Different Types of Anxiety
There are 5 major types of anxiety. While many of them share similarities in symptoms, they manifest in different ways. Your doctor(s) can help you get a more accurate diagnosis of your symptoms by classifying which type of anxiety you have.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is often classified by overbearing feelings of worry, anxiety, nervousness, and stress. GAD is generally not brought on by trauma or phobias, like other types mentioned below.
People living with Panic Disorder regularly experience panic attacks. These are uncontrollable responses to fear and/or stress. Certain triggers can also bring them on, such as experiencing traumatic events, or reminders of such events. Panic attacks are often classified by periods of intense chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, hyperventilation, dizziness, and/or abdominal distress.
Social Phobia is a disorder characterized by being anxiously overwhelmed and excessively self-conscious in social situations. These social phobias can be limited to only certain types of interactions, such as job interviews or presenting in a meeting. But, they can also feel it during social interactions in general.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a form of anxiety that is directly linked to a traumatic event, or series of traumatic events. PTSD is often associated with veterans, but anyone can suffer from it. Survivors of natural disasters, traumatic accidents, assault, abuse, or rape may experience PTSD, for example.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is generally characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions), along with repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Common repetitive behaviors may include excessive hand-washing, counting, cleaning, or other tasks that are done to make the obsessive thoughts go away. These so-called “rituals” only offer temporary relief, and refraining from doing so often leads to increased feelings of anxiety.