Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition, and a form of anxiety. As with most mental health conditions, proving your condition as a disability can be difficult. Unfortunately, many long-term disability insurance companies are often dismissive of mental health claims in order to reduce the benefits they give out. By working with an experienced disability attorney, you can have more of a fighting chance against your insurance company.
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a common and chronic mental health disorder. generally, it can be long-lasting, or even life-long. It is most commonly classified by the individual’s recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions), along with repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Common repetitive behaviors might 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.
While mental health counseling and medication can help curb symptoms, there isn’t a clear-cut “cure” to this condition. Usually, therapy for OCD involves discovering the root causes behind the individual’s obsessions and compulsions and trying to address those triggers. Depending on the severity of your diagnosis, it could be considered a debilitating condition.
Is OCD a Disability?
In cases with severe symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, it can be considered a disability. When your OCD negatively impacts your ability to work, it could be classified as such. Common symptoms of OCD include:
- Repetitive behaviors/compulsions
- Intrusive and unwanted thoughts
- Intense fear and anxiety when compulsions aren’t executed
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle tension
- Mood swings
- Motor tics
- Vocal tics
OCD symptoms and the Obsessive-Compulsive behaviors associated may vary.
Obsessive Behaviors with OCD
Common examples of Obsessions include:
- Taboo thoughts
- thoughts of self-harm
- having a need for symmetry
Compulsive Behaviors with OCD
Some examples of Compulsions include:
- Compulsive counting
- Excessive hand-washing or cleaning
- obsessive arranging or ordering of objects
- Repeating a prayer or monologue
- Repeatedly checking on things, such as locks or stoves
Symptoms of OCD can fade and come back over time and may change throughout the person’s life. While some people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorderunderstand that their behaviors do not make sense, others do.
Receiving an OCD Diagnosis
Receiving a diagnosis for your Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an important first step in seeking help for your condition. And, it is essential to building your long-term disability claim. A diagnosis of OCD will likely include:
- A physical test to rule out other possible health conditions
- Blood tests for thyroid regulation, blood count, and to check for substance use
- And a psychological evaluation.
- The first of these 2 evaluations helps reduce misdiagnosis and lets doctors make sure that you will get the right treatment for your symptoms.