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Can you get disability for panic attacks?

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Can panic attacks be sufficient reason to get disability? Can you even get disability from panic attacks? Thanks
asked Aug 2, 2015 in Panic Attacks / Disorder by anonymous

1 Answer

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Yes, you can get disability from panic disorder. Panic disorder can disable you, but it is not from the panic attacks. Panic disorder can disable you to the point where you can’t do anything else due to three things that develop during the course of the disorder: anticipatory anxiety, avoidant behaviors, and agoraphobia.

Anticipatory anxiety in panic disorder occurs when you start to worry about the next panic attack recurring. So you spend an inordinate amount of time watching the clock, as you are in constant fear that the panic attack will happen at any moment. So you drop all your other activities and just spend most of your time anticipating when the next panic attack will occur. Living in constant fear of the next panic attack will make your life very difficult indeed.

Avoidant behaviors in panic disorder occurs when you have a panic attack in a particular place. So if you have a panic attack while visiting your friend, you avoid future visits to that friend, as you believe it will trigger another panic attack. You can imagine how disruptive avoidant behaviors are for relationships.

Agoraphobia in panic disorder is the fear of public spaces, as you are worried about having another panic attack if you leave your house. So you isolate and become homebound. If you have a job, then this will cause you to be fired due to both poor performance and poor attendance.

Anticipatory anxiety, avoidant behaviors, and agoraphobia will surely ruin many things in your life, including relationships, jobs, schooling, and self-care. Panic disorder with all these characteristics can qualify you for a disability. You will especially qualify for disability if you have panic disorder with agoraphobia, as with this diagnosis, you are not able to leave your home due to the extreme anxiety you are experiencing. Please browse through the anxietyboss pages to learn more about dealing with panic attacks and disorders.
answered Aug 2, 2015 by drcarlo (294,430 points)
selected Sep 11, 2015 by drcarlo