Anxiety in its mildest form can be an annoyance, but some Alabama residents find it to be much worse. Extreme anxiety can make it very difficult to navigate through life, affecting social interactions and crippling the ability of a person to make a good living. While anxiety is a qualifying disorder for Social Security Disability, like any major mental disorder, you need to be ready to explain how your anxiety disables you.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), disabling anxiety has to meet certain criteria. A person with anxiety may have problems sleeping or, conversely, become tired frequently. Anxiety also makes it hard for some people to concentrate, retain newly learned information, organize personal time, interact with other individuals, and adapt to new circumstances. All of these can make it hard to maintain a good quality of life.

Anxiety also qualifies as a disability if it is considered to be a serious and persistent malady. The SSA will determine if this is the case by whether an applicant has medical documentation showing a history of anxiety for at least two years. Documentation also has to show that the applicant has gone through treatment or therapy to try and lessen the effects of the anxiety, and that the anxiety sufferer does not possess great capacity to adjust to new life changes or demands.

In addition to general anxiety, other forms of mental disturbances that may be associated with anxiety can have disabling effects. Some people suffer from unwanted thoughts and devote a lot of time and energy to stopping them or to stopping their anxiety in general. Anxiety can also play a role in causing people to be afraid of circumstances such as taking public transportation or going out in public, and as a result, the anxiety sufferer will try to avoid them.

Demonstrating the extent of disabling anxiety is important to gain approval of disability benefits. The needs of Social Security Disability applicants will vary, so do not read this article as legal advice; only as general information on this topic.