Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that develops after someone witnesses or directly experiences a traumatic event, such as a physical assault, a threatened physical assault, threatened or actual sexual violence, exposure to war, a serious accident, a violent crime, or even a natural disaster. Anyone can develop PTSD regardless of age.
What’s interesting is not everyone who experiences or witnesses a traumatic event will develop PTSD. Several people can experience the same traumatic event but have very different reactions. One person may have severe symptoms, while another has mild symptoms, and another has no symptoms at all.
Risk Factors for Having PTSD
What are the risk factors for developing PTSD? According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), risk factors include:
- Being directly exposed to a traumatic event as a witness or victim
- Being seriously injured during a traumatic event
- Experiencing childhood trauma
- Having another mental health condition
- Being exposed to combat in a war zone
- Lacking social support from friends and family after a traumatic event
Symptoms of PTSD Can Interfere with Work
Symptoms of PTSD include reliving the traumatic event, flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, anger outbursts, feelings of guilt or blame, negative feelings about oneself, and difficulty remembering key aspects of the traumatic event. Since the individual can’t necessarily control their PTSD, when the symptoms emerge at the wrong place and time, it can be very difficult for the individual to work. Often, PTSD gets in the way of people holding down a job, and understandably so.
PTSD is on the SSA’s Listing of Impairments under 12.00 Mental Disorders. “What is the Listing of Impairments?” you might ask. According to the SSA, “The Listing of Impairments describes, for each major body system, impairments considered severe enough to prevent an individual from doing any gainful activity (or in the case of children under age 18 applying for SSI, severe enough to cause marked and severe functional limitations). Most of the listed impairments are permanent or expected to result in death, or the listing includes a specific statement of duration.”
Have you been diagnosed with PTSD? To explore filing a claim for disability benefits, contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today.