Nearly everyone feels nervous and insecure in certain situations. Projects at work may invoke a healthy sense of urgency, and even a fear of failure can cause one to rise to the occasion. It is normal to feel anxious when speaking in front of an audience or entering a situation where you don't know anyone. However, you may be one of many in West Virginia for whom these feelings of anxiety, embarrassment and fear paralyze you to the point that you cannot function.
When you cannot control the thoughts of failure or dread that come to you in social situations, you may suffer from a mental illness known as social anxiety disorder. If your symptoms of SAD make it impossible for you to maintain gainful employment, you may want to seek assistance through Social Security Disability Insurance.
Day to day experiences
As with many physical and mental conditions, there are varying levels of severity. If you can cope with your SAD symptoms well enough to hold a job, you will probably not be eligible for SSDI benefits. To qualify for SSDI for an anxiety disorder, your fear of social situations must produce an overwhelming desire to avoid them and cause you great difficulty when you have to participate in most daily activities. You may be unable to participate at all and remain confined to your house most of the time.
Social anxiety disorder may manifest itself in any of these behaviors or others:
- You dread answering the phone or making calls.
- You are unable to use public transportation.
- You often cancel appointments out of fear or nervousness.
- You avoid paying your bills if it means interacting with people.
- You may have no close relationships.
- You do not participate in social events.
- You have not been able to work, or anticipate being unable to work for 12 months or longer.
Your eligibility will be based largely on the documentation and testimony of your doctor who has diagnosed you with social anxiety disorder. Even if your condition does not confine you to your home, you may still qualify for SSDI if your anxiety affects only your ability to do the duties of your job. For example, if you are a teacher, you may function in your daily activities but be unable to stand in front of your students because of anxiety.
Seeking SSDI benefits is rarely easy and requires the collection of detailed evidence of your condition as well as interaction with agents of the Social Security Administration. You may wish to obtain the assistance of a compassionate legal representative who is familiar with the process of applying for benefits for the best chances of acceptance without delay.