Depression can be a life-threatening mental illness that can cause people to succumb to feelings of deep sadness and can cause one’s daily behavior to change in a highly negative manner. Anyone can become depressed at various points in their lives for various reasons, including changes in brain chemistry, low self-esteem, poor stress management, abuse, neglect, genetics, financial pressures and experiencing violence or trauma. This mental disorder affects over 17 million US residents and 300 million people across the globe.
Depression Symptoms and Treatments
Symptoms of depression will vary from mild to severe, including lack of interest in activities, inability to sleep, guilt, feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, slow speech, inability to process simple tasks or instructions and much more. Depression will manifest in different ways and each person will likely experience a unique combination of symptoms. It can, however, consistently disrupt your life, either temporarily or for longer periods, regardless of the type of depression from which you suffer.
Treatment for depression will depend entirely on the type of depression and the chemical and mental response in each individual. Some people will benefit greatly from prescribed medication, which is selected carefully by their healthcare provider depending on their own situation and medical history. Other people might experience better results from various types of talk therapy. Some people will find the best results from a combination of the two. Many people with depressive mood disorders will benefit somewhat from lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, an exercise plan approved by their doctor, and the elimination of illegal drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Keep in mind that it may take some time for you and your medical professional to find the ideal combination most safe and effective for you.
Does Depression Qualify Me for Disability Benefits?
Depression is discussed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” listing of disabling conditions, in Section 12 (Mental Disorders) under paragraph 12.04 (Depressive, bipolar and related disorders).
This mental disorder is one of the most common conditions listed on disability benefits applications. Some instances of depression are situational, seasonal and temporary. These types of depression often do not qualify for disability benefits by themselves. However, more severe cases and various types of chronic depression, known as major depressive disorders, are more likely to qualify a person for SSDI. Any type of depression can possibly be part of a successful application for benefits, though – including when they exist in combination with other medical conditions.
Either way, it is helpful to have medical documentation that you have significant effects of depression, that affect your work life in a variety of ways, such as remembering information, interacting with others, difficulty concentrating, or performing everyday tasks and more.
Because, at the end of the day, what the SSA generally cares about most is whether or not your depression meets certain requirements, including:
- That it rises to the level of a “severe impairment”, meaning it impacts your ability to do work;
- That it, combined with any other impairments you may have, prevent you from sustaining work;
- That it has affected you, or is expected to affect you, for at least one year (or to result in death).
If that is the case, then you may very well qualify for monthly disability benefits.
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If you suffer from depression and are considering a claim for disability benefits, we recommend you read our articles about the process of applying for SSDI and the way the Social Security Administration uses their Sequential Evaluation Process to determine disability.
This article is presented for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as medical advice. Medical decisions (including whether to start, stop, or modify any treatment plan) are extremely important and should always be made with the advice and counsel of a qualified medical professional.
About Citizens Disability, LLC:
Since 2010, Citizens Disability has been America’s premier Social Security Disability institution. Our services include helping people in applying for SSDI benefits, managing the process through Reconsideration, and representing people in person at their Hearing, and if necessary, bringing their case to the Appeals Council. Our mission is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who are disabled and unable to work, helping them receive the Social Security Disability benefits to which they may be entitled. Learn more about us and disability benefits like SSDI & SSI or give us a call at (800)492-3260.
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