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Could your PTSD be debilitating enough that you can't work?

Life can sometimes throw you for a loop. For years, you went about your life free from the tragedies that tend to touch many people here in North Carolina and beyond.

Then one day, you suffered some sort of trauma that changed your life forever. You finally went to see someone because you just can't seem to move forward. It was then you received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Chronic PTSD

You could end up part of an elite group of people who suffer from chronic PTSD. You see, in most cases, people recover from this condition in time. If you just cannot, you may not even be able to work due to your symptoms. The question is whether your symptoms and condition are severe enough that you could apply for and receive Social Security Disability insurance benefits. The hallmarks of PTSD include the following, which go on for at least one month:

  • You have bad dreams.
  • You experience frightening thoughts.
  • You experience flashbacks of the trauma.
  • You avoid feelings and thoughts related to the trauma.
  • You avoid anything or any place that reminds you of the traumatic event.
  • You feel "on edge" or tense.
  • You are easily startled.
  • You experience angry outbursts.
  • You have problems sleeping.
  • You lose interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • You have difficulty recalling key features of the trauma.
  • You experience distorted emotions, such as shame or guilt.
  • You think negatively about the world and/or yourself.

You do not have to experience all of these symptoms to receive a diagnosis of PTSD. Treatments and medications may help your condition, but you may still have trouble engaging in life, including work. If your symptoms do not resolve within around six months, doctors may consider your condition chronic. If you cannot work as you struggle to recover, you may add the stress of your diminishing financial situation to your already vulnerable condition. That's the last thing you need.

If your doctors believe you could suffer from this condition for more than a year, not working will substantially affect your ability to support yourself and your family. Under these circumstances, you may apply for SSDI benefits. However, this is not an easy process, and you may not want to go through it alone. Working with an attorney experienced in this area of law could keep from adding more stress to your life while improving the chances of receiving the benefits you need.

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