Tips from a Disability Attorney: Don’t Overlook Symptoms

AdminSocial Security Disability

Mental Health Symptoms

While some disability cases obviously focus on physical impairments and others are entirely focused on mental health problems, there is often an overlap between the two. Many disabled workers suffer from a combination of both physical and mental symptoms. Getting proper mental health treatment to document symptoms of depression, anxiety, memory loss or poor concentration is an often overlooked when you don’t have disability attorneys handling claims.

In almost any disability case where there is chronic pain, it is likely the person also suffers from disturbed sleep due to the pain. This, logically, can lead to fatigue during the daytime. The combination of the unrelieved pain and fatigue can interfere with normal concentration and sometimes be distracting and debilitating with regard to memory. Side effects of required medications can also negatively impact memory, focus, and mood. You should note these side effects to your doctor and your disability attorney.

Chronic health problems of any kind are not likely to improve anyone’s mood. In addition to the suffering caused by physical medical problems, a person who is disabled is also facing extreme financial stress from being unable to work and may find it frustrating and upsetting not to be able to do things they were able to do in the past. A person would have to be some kind of robot not to have feelings about such an adverse change in circumstances. And yet, many such workers do not recognize or seek treatment for genuine symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Hear It From a Disability Attorney: How Physical and Mental Symptoms Lead to Disability

Mental and physical symptoms can certainly combine to aggravate one another. Greater pain or unrelieved pain can be upsetting and stressful, leading to depression and anxiety. Panic attacks from anxiety disorders can manifest as legitimate physical symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath, trembling, higher blood pressure and dizziness. Depression can lead to extreme episodes of fatigue which affect the energy level needed to perform physical tasks. Clearly, the dividing line is not so clear as some employers and less-qualified disability attorneys might believe.

Sometimes friends and relatives may notice mental health symptoms we do not recognize in ourselves. It is important to report such symptoms to your doctors and your disability attorney. When appropriate, seek treatment from mental health professionals. This may include a referral to a psychiatrist for a prescription and management of medication or to a psychologist for therapy or counseling.

While primary care providers can certainly prescribe anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, the need for documentation in a disability case is important. Claimants should consider referrals to actual mental health specialists. At the very least one should consider being evaluated by specialists even if a primary care source is going to manage day-to-day care. The observations and findings of a treating mental health provider will carry much greater weight in that area of medicine than a family doctor or other primary care source. This will help your disability attorney if the need arises to fight for your claim.

At a minimum, mental health symptoms should be consistently and repeatedly reported to your medical providers so they can document the severity and frequency of your symptoms. Only with the full picture of both physical and mental health aspects of your case being treated and documented will you have the best chance to win.