Agoraphobia

Anxiety disorders are common, but most types of anxiety disorders can be treated with a combination of cognitive therapy and medication. Unfortunately, there are conditions that are severe enough to significantly reduce the quality of life of the sufferer. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that can make sufferers unable to leave home.

People who suffer from agoraphobia may be unable to work because of their condition. If this is the case, sufferers are encouraged to apply for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. This insurance plan is funded through paycheck deductions, and people who have worked in the past may be eligible to receive benefits if they suffer from a severe disability that is expected to last at least one year.

What is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that can cause sufferers to be unable to handle situations in which they feel trapped or vulnerable. The exact situation that is avoided by the sufferer varies, but people who have agoraphobia often have trouble with crowds, open spaces or tight spaces. The condition is marked by a sense that the individual will not be able to get away if they suffer from an episode of severe anxiety.

Agoraphobia often makes sufferers feel that they cannot leave home. Social situations may be a trigger, and agoraphobia tends to cause sufferers to avoid any public spaces. Public transportation, retail stores and even offices can make sufferers experience intense anxiety.

Symptoms of agoraphobia include:

  • Fear of crowds
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of enclosed spaces
  • Inability to leave home
  • Dependence on a close friend or relative
  • A feeling of helplessness

People who suffer from agoraphobia may experience the symptoms of a panic attack when they are in a trigger situation. Symptoms of panic attacks include:

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • A general sense of dread

While some sufferers are able to control their agoraphobia by seeking help from a mental health professional, there are some people who still experience these symptoms on a regular basis.

Getting SSDI For Agoraphobia

People who suffer from agoraphobia may be eligible for SSDI benefits if their condition interferes with their ability to work. Sufferers are evaluated in the same way as individuals who suffer from panic attacks. Agoraphobia is considered to be a related illness, and many of the symptoms of agoraphobia relate to the symptoms of panic attacks.

The fear associated with agoraphobia must cause the sufferer to have an episode of intense dread at least once per week. These episodes cannot be predictable. Agoraphobia must limit a person’s ability to focus on tasks, provide care for themselves, function in social situations or leave their house.

The most important part of the SSDI benefits application is the evidence that is provided through medical records. People with agoraphobia must see a mental health professional on a regular basis, and this medical care provider must keep accurate, thorough records to serve as evidence.

The condition must also be severe in spite of any treatment options that have been tried. Medical records should reflect treatment history to prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that the individual has tried every method of coping with the disorder without success.

Getting Help With Applying

While SSDI benefits can help sufferers pay for their basic necessities, applying is often a complicated process. Fortunately, legal representatives who are experienced in handling SSDI cases are able to help individuals throughout the application process. These attorneys are tasked with helping clients collect medical records and thoroughly complete the application for benefits to boost their chances of being approved for much-needed financial assistance.

Anyone who suffers from agoraphobia and needs help applying for SSDI benefits should start by setting up a consultation with an experienced SSDI lawyer. I have ten years of experience in social security cases and appeals, and am ready to fight for your benefits. Contact me today to get started on your case.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.