Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a mental disorder that can make it difficult for sufferers to function on a daily basis. Some people who have this disorder are able to improve quality of life through treatment, but the nature of the disorder often makes it unlikely that sufferers will seek the treatment that they need.

It is possible for bipolar disorder sufferers to be eligible for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. Applicants for SSDI benefits must have worked in the past. This is because SSDI is funded through paycheck deductions.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes sufferers to have widely varying shifts in moods. There are times when individuals feel energetic and happy, but sufferers also experience lows during which they feel depressed and withdrawn. Unlike the normal ups and downs that people experience in life, bipolar disorder causes sufferers to feel intense ups and downs that can interfere with their ability to maintain relationships, hold a job or properly care for themselves.

It is believed that bipolar disorder is genetic in nature, so people who have family members with the disorder are more likely to suffer from it. The intense moods that are experienced with bipolar disorder are broken into two categories. Manic moods occur when the sufferer feels euphoric. Depressive moods occur when the sufferer feels sad and depressed.

Symptoms vary according to what type of mood the sufferer is in. Symptoms of manic moods include:

  • A happy, outgoing mood
  • Irritability
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Lack of sleep
  • Intense interest in starting new projects

Symptoms of depressive moods include:

  • An overwhelming sense of sadness
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of suicide

While some people can control these symptoms through the help of cognitive therapy and medication, it is possible for a sufferer to continue to experience debilitating symptoms in spite of treatment.

Getting SSDI For Bipolar Disorder

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate medical records to determine whether a person with bipolar disorder is eligible to receive benefits. Unfortunately, the nature of the disorder can make it difficult for sufferers to seek help.

People who are in the manic stage of bipolar disorder tend to feel happy and upbeat. They may make impulsive decisions or be easily irritated, but they generally feel positive about life. This makes individuals in a manic mood believe that they do not need help.

People who in the depressive stage of bipolar disorder feel sad, hopeless and depressed. While they can tell that there is something wrong, they often lack the motivation to get help.

When bipolar disorder is severe enough to make it impossible for a person to work, the individual must seek treatment. The SSA needs to see that all available treatment options have been tried and have not been able to successfully control the disorder. While it is difficult for people with bipolar disorder to motivate themselves to get to a mental health professional, their ability to provide for themselves and their families may depend upon it.

Getting Help With Applying

Unfortunately, applying for SSDI benefits is not an easy process. More than 70 percent of first-time applications are denied. Many of these applications are denied because of a lack of evidence of disability.

Applicants can feel alone and scared when they are trying to get the benefits that they need to pay for basic necessities. SSDI attorneys are able to guide their clients through the application process. Legal representatives are able to advocate for their clients to take much of the weight off of the shoulders of the applicant. Get started with the application process today by scheduling 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.