Depression is a condition that affects millions of Americans every year, and for many people, it’s debilitating. Depression can make concentrating difficult, and it can even cause physical symptoms, such as pain. It can, however, be difficult to know if the depression that a person is feeling is debilitating enough to receive benefits. Like other mental disorders, documenting your symptoms is integral to making a winning claim, and a disability attorney at a law firm can help. Anyone suffering from this very real and serious condition can learn more about how to receive SSDI benefits so that they can continue to pay their bills.
What is Depression?
Depression is a condition in which a person feels lethargic and unable to think clearly. It’s classified as a mood disorder, and it’s more than feeling a little sad. Depression can interfere with a person’s ability to function normally. In fact, depression can cause feelings of sadness, anger, and loss on a daily basis for a short time or even years.
It’s also a condition that can make certain other conditions even worse. For instance, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and several other conditions can be exacerbated by depression. Just under seven percent of American adults have Major Depressive Disorder during the average year.
There are a few forms of depression, including Persistent Depressive Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. Persistent Depressive Disorder is more chronic than Major Depressive Disorder, and the symptoms of PDD must last at least two years. Some of the main symptoms of PDD include low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness, lowered productivity, and loss of interest in normal activities.
Major Depression is actually generally shorter than PDD. In fact, in order for it to be classified as Major Depressive Disorder, it only has to last for two weeks. Some of the symptoms of MDD include loss of concentration or indecisiveness, slower movement or thinking, difficulties sleeping or sleeping too much, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide.
Symptoms of Depression
There are several symptoms of depression that are popularly recognized, such as crying and withdrawing from social interactions. While the well-known symptoms of depression can often be true, there are actually a range of symptoms that people with depression exibit that people should know about. In fact, a person with depression can exhibit many combinations of several of these symptoms.
While men, women, and children can have depression, each group might express different symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of depression fall under expressions of moods, behaviors, feelings, and expressions of ideas. For instance, the feeling of sadness is common for people with depression to exhibit, and they might also express their sadness in the words that they say. Some of the other common symptoms of depression include:
- Mood: Irritability, mood swings, anger, aggressiveness, and restless are all common moods that a person suffering from depression might exhibit.
- Feelings: Sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness are all symptoms that a person might be depressed.
- Loss of Interest: Losing interest in sex, or for men, having difficulties performing is fairly common with people with depression. People suffering from depression might also show signs that they’re no longer in social activities, and they might no longer have an interest in some other their favorite activities.
Men are most likely to notice physical pain, such as backaches, stomach issues, and headaches. Some men might also turn to escapist behaviors, such as watching sports or drinking alcohol. Finally, some might become controlling, irritable, or even violent.
Treatment for Depression
There are several types of treatments that a healthcare provider might give a person with depression, including medications. One of the most common types of medications that a healthcare provider might prescribe is an antidepressant. Other types of medications that a doctor might prescribe are anti-anxiety and antipsychotic medications. For all three types of medications, there are several brand names and generic drugs.
Another form of treatment is psychotherapy. In this type of treatment, the person experiencing depressive symptoms will talk with the clinician to learn coping mechanisms and other techniques to deal with negative feelings. The clinician can also teach the patient ways of viewing themselves and the world.
Exposure to white light is another form of therapy that can help regulate moods. This type of therapy is especially helpful for people with seasonal depression.
Additionally, there are several things that a person who is experiencing depression can incorporate into their lifestyle to regulate their mood. These include exercise, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and participating in other activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. For instance, a person with depression might also engage in social situations that they find fun and rewarding.
Disability Benefits for Depression
Filing a disability claim for depression can be challenging because the person with depression must meet the criteria set out in their policy. While filing, the person with depression might also have to be careful about how they word the claim. For instance, if the depression makes it difficult for them to get out of bed in the morning because they were recently injured and the injury is causing the depression, some policies might need the depression to be rooted in the injury rather than a mood disorder. If you make your claim based on the wrong criteria, you could be denied.
Getting Social Security disability benefits is another option when you need financial help while experiencing a mental health problem. The Social Security Administration has specific criteria that a person with a mental health problem, such as depression, must meet. The criterial for depression for a Social Security disability claim is specifically listed in the SSA guidelines for receiving disability benefits and insurance. For instance, the person must demonstrate that they have at least five symptoms, including a loss of interest in doing regular activities, slowed thinking or speech, thoughts of death or suicide, sleep disturbances, and appetite disturbance.
A person must also must meet certain functional criteria to qualify for Social Security disability insurance and benefits. For instance, to receive disability benefits, they must also be able to show that they are having difficulties in at least one of the following areas:
- Understanding and applying information
- Social interactions
- Completing tasks because of concentration problems
- Self-management skills, such as hygiene, dressing, cooking, and paying bills
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal an existing denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Depression, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.