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Knowing symptoms for PTSD and applying for disability benefits

Many people in Florida are aware that they can apply for Social Security disability benefits for a multitude of illnesses, injuries and conditions, both mental and physical. However, Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions can be among the most confusing issues that have to be faced. Treating and diagnosing a mental condition can be difficult and sufferers are frequently unaware that they can receive disability for such issues as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Knowing the symptoms of mental disorders like PTSD is the first step to understanding the problem and filing for disability benefits.

While PTSD is often linked to former military members, it can also happen for numerous other reasons. It can be due to an accident or incident as well as experiences during military service. Symptoms of PTSD might commence within three months of the event, but can also happen long after. People who are suffering from PTSD can have problems both socially and professionally. There are four different types of PTSD. They are intrusive; memory-related; avoidance; and negative alterations in thought process, mood, or emotionality.

Intrusive memories include continually reliving the event, repeatedly remembering the incident, having dreams about it, and experiencing reactions - physically and emotionally - if there is a reminder of the event. Avoidance might involve refusing to discuss the event and staying away from places that spark memories of it. The negativity in mood and thinking can involve feeling negative about oneself and others, not being able to feel any form of positivity, as well as other similar problems. Emotional reactions can involve outbursts, preparation for danger, and being easily scared.

The intensity of these issues can grow as time passes. Symptoms can be influenced by particular situations that spur the memories. Any one of the symptoms of PTSD can negatively affect a person's ability to function normally and that can harm the person's ability to work. Therefore, people with PTDS may meet the requirements for Social Security Disability benefits for mental conditions. To apply for Social Security Disability for mental conditions, those who have experienced a traumatic event and believe they might have PTSD should speak to an attorney who has experience with disability benefits.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - Symptoms," accessed on Oct. 12, 2015

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