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Recognizing PTSD symptoms when filing for disability benefits

There are many reasons why a Kissimmee resident might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, often referred to by the acronym PTSD. People who have experienced different traumatic incidents in their lives can be affected by PTSD, but it is most frequently associated with members of the military. Service members might not have suffered extensive physical injuries, but they can have other forms of damage for which they can consider filing for disability benefits through Social Security.

Understanding how to recognize the symptoms of PTSD is the first step to filing for disability benefits. Those who have been in a traumatic incident will likely experience stress. For some, the stressor will dissipate and not cause a problem. However, there are times when the symptoms either continue or grow worse. If they last for more than three months, cause great distress and disrupt life at work or at home, it is possible that there is a more significant mental issue at play. If this is the situation, the person's condition could meet the criteria for qualifying mental conditions to receive SSD benefits.

Symptoms of PTSD include reliving the event. The person might have nightmares or flashbacks, or the smell or sound of something could be a triggering mechanism to reliving the incident. People who have PTSD might take steps to avoid any situation that could be a reminder. This can include shunning crowds; choosing not to drive if there was, for example, a bombing of a convoy while in combat; not watching movies or television programs that might depict a similar incident; and trying to keep busy and avoid thinking about the event.

Negative changes in what one believes or feels could also occur a result of PTSD. Steering clear of relationships, being unable to discuss past incidents, and thinking everyone and everything is dangerous are all signs of PTSD. Finally, a person with PTDS might experience hyperarousal. This is the equivalent of being keyed up and jittery with trouble concentrating and exhibiting negative reactions to loud noises.

Any of these symptoms can make it difficult for a person to be able to function in society. That can include an inability to hold a job and care for oneself. Those who believe they are suffering from PTSD should consider applying for Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions. A lawyer experienced in Social Security disability benefits can help clients move forward with a claim for disability benefits related to PTSD.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Symptoms of PTSD," accessed on Feb. 1, 2016

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