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Los Angeles California Social Security Disability Insurance Law Blog

The consequences of severe depression

When people become extremely depressed, their lives may change for the worse in many different ways. They may lose friends, experience problems in their relationships with loved ones and even be unable to continue working. Depression may arise for many reasons, and can often come into someone's life over an unexpected tragedy. For example, someone may lose a spouse in a car crash or as a result of cancer, and this can bring them down to such an extent that they can barely function. Unfortunately, when someone misses work over depression they may also struggle with other problems resulting from their absence, such as financial struggles.

Some people think that those with depression should simply pull themselves up by their bootstraps and continue forward. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, especially for someone who is so emotionally distraught that they cannot eat or sleep. Sometimes, depression lasts for a relatively short period of time and people are able to recover from the symptoms they are experiencing. In other instances, someone may be depressed for many years, and this can shatter their career.

Establishing disability is critical for benefits to be collected

When a person is disabled to the point that he or she feels unable to complete their work-related duties, there is a chance that qualifications may be met to receive financial support from the Social Security program in California. Social Security disability benefits are awarded to people who have established adequate evidence that their medical condition is actively preventing them from being able to work or maintain a job, thus limiting their income. 

According to the Social Security Administration, some of the medical conditions that may qualify as disabilities include those related to the following:

  • Digestive issues
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses
  • Mental and neurological disorders
  • Certain skin disorders

Emergency responders face mental health trauma

There are many jobs that are stressful, but some have stressors that are more emotional than physical. Workers who are first responders face both mental and physical stress that can lead to mental health breakdowns that can have a negative impact on their ability to work, as well as their entire life.

Suicide, depression, anxiety and other similar issues, are, unfortunately, common among first responders. The very people who others call when they have emergencies are slowly succumbing to the stress and other problems that come with the demands of the job.

Mental challenges and the inability to work

When people think of Social Security Disability recipients, they may envision someone who is unable to work due to physical challenges such as immobility. However, there are a number of mental hardships that people face which also leave them unable to work, and these difficulties can arise for all sorts of reasons. For example, someone may develop an anxiety disorder as a result of a serious incident which took place on the job, and they cannot bring themselves to return to the workplace. Or, someone may have a mental disorder which leaves them unable to function in the workplace.

Unfortunately, some people choose not to pursue these benefits because they feel as if they will be turned down or they will not be taken seriously. Some people who are struggling with a mental disability believe that others will judge them for receiving benefits even though they may look like they are fully capable of working, at least from a physical point of view. Unfortunately, some people who have found themselves in this position have been reluctant to explore their options, which has led to financial problems that turn their life upside down (some have even resulted in homelessness, which can be difficult to recover from, and suicide).

Musculoskeletal conditions and Social Security Disability

When California residents realize they can no longer work because of a disability, they usually have many questions about what will happen next. Although many people can receive Social Security disability benefits, there are certain kinds of conditions which the Social Security Administration considers disabilities. If people want to receive disability benefits, it is important for them to know whether their condition will qualify. 

The SSA typically gives Social Security benefits to people who have a qualifying disability. According to the Social Security Administration, people usually need to have a disability that keeps them from working. This may mean that people cannot do new kinds of work or that they can no longer perform their old job. Additionally, any qualifying disability generally needs to be long-lasting and affect a person's life for one year or more.  

Employees suffering from depression may have disability rights

Physical injuries and illnesses, and the way that they affect a person's ability to do their job, tend to be easy to understand. For example, if a construction worker has injured their back, it is easy to see why they will not be able to continue their job, and why they should subsequently be deserving of disability benefits.

When a person is suffering from a mental illness such as depression, it can be equally as difficult for them to carry out their job. However, many people suffering from mental illnesses find it difficult to gain sympathy and recognition from their employers. Mental illness under the law is essentially treated on equal terms as any debilitating physical condition. Therefore, it is important that you take the time to understand your disability rights as a person suffering from depression.

Broken bones can heal but may also cause permanent injuries

Even the most common injuries can range in severity depending on the individual who gets hurt and the circumstances. Injuries that one person could recover from quickly could leave someone else unable to work for a prolonged period of time.

Similarly, an injury that might heal cleanly and safely in most cases, like a broken bone, can occasionally also lead to disabling injuries. The discrepancy in the severity of injuries and the effects that they have on a person's livelihood and daily life are one of many reasons why disability decisions get made on an individual basis, not based on a diagnosis.

Your awareness can help you to manage your anxiety

Anxiety may be something you have lived with your entire life, or it could be a relatively recent challenge that you have begun to recognize. Anxiety can be caused by traumatic life events, medical issues and even genetics. Its triggers vary from person to person, and while you may be aware of which risks cause you to feel anxious, learning to manage your anxiety can be a definite learning experience. At the Disability Rights Law Center, we are committed to helping people in California who suffer from mental illnesses. 

Having a strong support system is critical to your ability to manage and cope with the consequences of your anxiety. It is important that you be upfront and honest with your family members and friends about your condition so you can avoid the fear and stress of managing your anxiety on your own. According to Psychology Today, some of the ways that you can keep your anxiety from overtaking your life include the following:

  • Reduce the amount of caffeine that you consume. Various components of caffeine can initiate the fight or flight response in your body and trigger a panic attack. 
  • When you are having a moment where you are panicking, remember that it is temporary and that you will feel better again. 
  • Learn about breathing and relaxation techniques that can encourage your body to be still and calm down in situations where your anxiety is getting out of control. 

Being mindful while exercising could decrease injuries

When people in California are preparing to try a new exercise or movement for the first time, they are automatically at a higher risk of experiencing an injury. Their ability to protect themselves depends on how much attention they put into preparing to try something new, as well as their willingness to seek instruction from sources that can provide valuable suggestions for completing the exercise safely and effectively. 

A rather new phenomenon is the term 'conscious movement' where experts recommend that people be mindful of what they are doing and how their body is operating to reduce their chances of injury while optimizing their workout routine. While this concept has recently gained interest from a majority of fitness gurus, its origin goes back hundreds of years to the foundation of practices like Tai Chi. In addition to recognizing how their body is moving, people can benefit from learning about how their body parts work together to complete each exercise they are doing. 

Back injuries shouldn't be common in the workplace

Workers should always have a safe place to their job duties. While many employers tend to focus on the major hazards in the workplace, there are some less serious ones that aren't always considered. Back injuries, for example, aren't always considered but this doesn't mean that they will be minor. In fact, back injuries can debilitate workers.

Trying to prevent workers from suffering from back injuries requires a comprehensive program that includes safety procedure reminders and the tools necessary to remain safe. It is still possible that employees will suffer injuries, but it is less likely if there is a program in place that is being followed by everyone involved.

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