Personality Disorders | Social Security disability benefits for personality disorders| SSD | SSDI | SSI

What is a Personality Disorder? - SSDI Benefits

The National Institutes of Health define personality disorders as “long-term patterns of thoughts and behaviors that cause serious problems with relationships and work.” Generally speaking, a person with a personality disorder has an unhealthy and rigid pattern of behavior and thinking in a variety of situations. This mindset and accompanying behavior leads to problems in work, relationships, social encounters, and academic settings.

People suffering from personality disorders—including borderline, narcissistic, and antisocial personality disorders—typically have difficulty managing everyday problems and stresses.

Causes of Personality Disorders

The causes of personality disorders vary from person to person, but generally speaking, personality disorders are thought to be cause by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A person may be genetically predisposed to developing a certain condition, and then circumstances in their life may align to push them towards actually developing that disorder.

Social Security Disability Benefits and Personality Disorders

If your personality disorder prevents you from holding down a job, you may qualify for Social Security disability for your OCD. Mental illnesses can be just as severe and disabling as physical illnesses, so the Social Security Administration must give mental and physical disabilities equal weight in the application process.

A psychiatrist or other medical doctor can examine you and determine if your symptoms point towards a personality disorder. To qualify for monthly Social Security disability benefits from the federal government, your personality disorder must both persist for over a year and be so great that it prevents you from working.

The SSA says a personality disorder “exists when personality traits are inflexible and maladaptive and cause either significant impairment in social or occupational functioning or subjective distress. Characteristic features are typical of the individual's long-term functioning and are not limited to discrete episodes of illness.”

When evaluating your case for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will want to review medical evidence, mental health records and other sources of information about your mental health. Your doctor is your greatest asset when applying for disability benefits. They will present medical evidence to the Social Security Administration about your case. For more, see this informative webpage about the criteria for qualifying for disability benefits. Ensuring your doctor has a thorough and up-to-date picture of your mental illness if crucial for having your case for SSDI or SSI approved.

Personality Disorders & SSDI Lawyers

The Social Security disability application process can be a tasking and lengthy one, particularly if you do it all on your own. Hiring an experienced Social Security lawyer to handle your initial application and any appeals can put you at ease. Additionally, you are far more likely to have your claim for disability benefits approved with the help of an experienced disability attorney. In fact, statistics from the Social Security Administration show a lawyer can increase your chances of winning your case increase more than threefold.

Types of personality disorders

Histrionic personality disorder

Histrionic personality disorder is a type of dramatic personality disorder in which a person has a distorted self-image and intense, unstable emotions. A person with histrionic personality disorder derives their self-esteem from the approval of others.

Symptoms of historic personality disorder include being uncomfortable when not being the center of attention, dressing provocatively, shifting emotions rapidly, constantly seeking the approval of others, and being gullible and easily influenced.

Antisocial personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is a chronic mental illness in which someone’s way of thinking and perceiving reality is abnormal and destructive. A person suffering from antisocial personality disorder typically has no regard for right and wrong. Antisocial personality disorder is also known as sociopathic personality disorder.

Symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include a disregard for right and wrong, persistent lying, manipulating others using charm, repeat difficulties with the law, aggressive behavior, lack of remorse about one’s actions and poor or abusive relationships.

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder that causes emotional instability that can damage one's relationships. A person with borderline personality disorder often has a distorted sense of self and can suffer from frequent mood swings.

Symptoms of borderline personality disorder include insecurity, rapidly changing self image, tumultuous relationships, impulsive or risky behavior, viewing things in black and white, strong emotions that change frequently, suicidal behavior and fear of being alone.

Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental illness in which a person possesses an inflated sense of self and a deep need for the adoration of others. People with narcissistic personality disorder believe they are better than others and care little for other's feelings. This confident attitude masks a fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to even slight criticism.

Symptoms of narcissistic personality include believing you are superior to others, exaggerating your talents, fantasizing about success, power and attractiveness, jealousy, expressing disdain for others, setting unrealistic goals and trouble keeping healthy relationships.

Dependent personality disorder

Dependent personality disorder is a type of anxious personality disorder that is characterized by feelings of fear and nervousness. A person with dependent personality disorder may act helpless, submissive and require constant reassurance.

Symptoms of dependent personality disorder include becoming emotionally dependent on other people, spending great effort trying to please others, displaying passive or clingy behavior, separation anxiety, intense fear of abandonment, over-sensitivity to criticism, difficulty being alone, tending to be naive, pessimism and lack of self confidence.