Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & Social Security Benefits | OCD Claims Lawyer | Mental Illness SSD Benefits Attorney

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - SSDI Benefits

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, a mental illness that afflicts more than 3.3 million adults and 1 million children throughout America, traps people in endless cycles of repetitive thoughts and behaviors. While everyone suffers from some amount of worry and anxiety, a person with OCD is so overcome by obsessive and worried thoughts that they have trouble functioning in their everyday lives.

People who suffer from OCD have recurrent distressing thoughts that they are unable to control. OCD can be all-consuming, and so can prevent you from working, going to school, and having a normal life. OCD can strike at any age and seeking treatment is essential as it can help you end needless anguish. Someone with OCD may have compulsions which include rituals such as repetitive handwashing, counting, cleaning or endlessly checking on things. These rituals are performed in hopes of making the distressing thoughts go away.

If cannot work due to your Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, you may be a candidate for Social Security disability benefits from the federal government. If you have suffered from chronic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for past two years and it has resulted in the complete inability to function independently outside the area of your home, you are a likely candidate for Social Security Disability benefits. We can connect you with a Social Security lawyer who has handled many OCD-based claims for Social Security disability who will be well equipped to handle your case.

What causes OCD? - Social Security Disability Lawyer

A person with OCD is overwhelmed with irrational thoughts and urges. While doctors have not been able to pin down the exact cause of OCD, the belief is that the mental disorder occurs due to a combination of environmental, biological, and hereditary factors.

Abuse, death of a loved one, illness, changes in living situation, or changes in work or school situations are all environmental factors have may contribute to OCD symptoms. As for biological causes of OCD, some scientists also believe that head injuries can lead to OCD. When MRIs are conducted on people with OCD, the scans tend to show that their brains have less white matter than a normal individual.

As for hereditary causes of OCD, geneticists have found a gene mutation dealing with human serotonin transportation in individuals with OCD. Additionally, those with OCD in their immediate family are more likely to have the disorder themselves.

What are the symptoms of OCD? - Social Security Disability Attorney

While the symptoms of OCD vary from person to person, but many people suffer from common compulsiions and obsessions.

Common compulsions:

  1. Constant counting, either mentally or aloud;
  2. Needing to perform task a certain number of times;Hoarding items; and
  3. Refusing to touch doorknobs or shake hands;
  4. Arranging items in a specific way;
  5. Eating things in a specific order.
  6. Repetitive bathing or showering;
  7. Repeating specific sentences, words or prayers;
  8. Repeated handwashing,

Common obsessions:

  1. Fear of being embarrassed;
  2. Fear of germs or dirt;
  3. Excessive doubt or needing constant reassurance.
  4. Fear of making a mistake;
  5. Fear of hurting yourself or another person; and
  6. Fear of sinful thoughts.

Treatment for OCD and Related Disorders - Social Security Disability Benefits

If you believe you suffer from OCD, you should seek the care of a psychologist as soon as possible, as this is the  first and most important step on the road to treatment and recovery. Your doctor may recommend medication and cognitive behavior therapy as a course of treatment.

Cognitive behavior therapy is aimed at teaching those with OCD to face their fears and reduce their anxiety without performing their rituals. Medications used to treat OCD include Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft.\

Those who suffer from OCD may also suffer from other anxiety disorders, including Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Tourette's Syndrome, Skin Picking Disorder, and Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling).

Five Tips for Dealing with OCD

  1. Find a Support Group - A support group can put you in contact with individuals who understand exactly what you are going through. Support groups may not be for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to stop by at least one or two meetings to see if you can find a comfortable space to share your feelings and experiences. Ideally you want to find a warm and welcoming group where you would feel comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts.
  2. Learn as much about OCD as possible - The more you understand your disorder, the more insight you have into your condition and what steps you may be able to take on your own to curb your symptoms.
  3. Deep Breathing - When you are stressed, try engaging in some deep breathing exercise to naturally calm and sooth yourself. Stress can be very bad for your body, and breathing deeply is one of the best ways to calm yourself and prevent the onset of a panic or anxiety attack.
  4. Meditation - Meditating, or even relaxing deeply, can help a person let go of present worries and concerns. This can be a very helpful way for a person with OCD to let go of the current moment.
  5. Exercise - Exercise, in addition to increasing general health and well being, has been shown to treat some of the symptoms of OCD in recent studies. During exercise, endorphins are released, which contribute to relaxation, positive outlook, and general well being.

Social Security Disability Benefits and OCD

OCD can qualify you for monthly disability benefits, including SSI and SSDI, just like a physical disability. But to qualify for these benefits your condition must both prevent you from working and be expected to last for more than a year. Your mental health provider will be able to diagnose you with OCD and evaluate how your mental illness prevents you from functioning.

When evaluating your application for monthly disability benefits due to a diagnosis of OCD, the Social Security Administration will want to review medical evidence, mental health records and other sources of information about your mental health.

Applying for disability benefits can be a long and taxing process. Hiring a skilled and dedicated Social Security attorney who understands what a person who suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive disorder faces can greatly increase your chances of winning your case. The Social Security Administration is a large and confusing bureaucracy, and an attorney with experience handling complicated disability claims is ideally positioned to help you.  We can connect you with an accomplished Social Security Advocate who is well equipped to handle your case.

For more information about OCD visit the Social Security Administration’s website.