A lot of people have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the people who live with this condition are the only ones who understand just how debilitating it can be.
PTSD is a trauma-related anxiety disorder, and it can be deeply disabling.
What are the symptoms of PTSD? How does it start?
PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as combat, sexual assault, physical violence (including domestic abuse), natural disasters or accidents. The symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Intrusive memories: Nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks and distressing thoughts related to the traumatic event are common among PTSD patients.
- Avoidance: People with PTSD often take extreme efforts to avoid reminders of the trauma, including avoiding places, people and activities that might trigger those memories or feelings.
- Negative changes in thinking and mood: Victims of PTSD suffer from persistent negative emotions, distorted thoughts about oneself or others and a sense of detachment from places, people and even what is directly happening to them.
- Changes in reactivity: Hypervigilance, irritability, difficulty concentrating and a heightened startle response are all heavily associated with PTSD.
In short, it can be very difficult for someone with PTSD to function outside of a rigidly defined and controlled environment, and they may not be able to interact with other people very well or adapt to even small changes in their routine. While treatments are available, it can take years for PTSD patients to make progress or recover – if they ever do.
The Social Security Administration recognizes the fact that trauma-induced mental health disorders can be disabling. If you are having trouble getting your Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim approved for PTSD, it may be time to seek legal guidance.