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Is your post-traumatic stress disorder a disability?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is most common in those who have experienced trauma that is far outside of the norm. For instance, you may find it in soldiers who have been wounded in combat or police officers who have lost friends in the line of duty. While it's true that people can sometimes get it from car accidents and other such incidents, that does not happen as often.

If you do have PTSD, is that a disability? It may be. It's not in every case. Some people can move forward with their lives and heal. They can go to therapy and take medication. They still have to struggle with this "invisible injury" at times, but they learn to manage it.

In other cases, though, it's so severe that they cannot live normal lives and have no ability to work, sort of like someone suffering from high anxiety or major depression. Symptoms noted by the Social Security Administration include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Angry outbursts
  • Closing oneself off from memories and emotions
  • Getting scared or startled easily
  • Feeling excessive guilt
  • Having negative and/or suicidal thoughts
  • Struggling to remember what happened

Like depression, PTSD can feel overwhelming at times and may consume a person's thoughts and feelings. This is when they may shut down, get angry or find it hard to interact with others. The families of soldiers with the disorder often say that they do not seem like the same people they were when they left.

If you are suffering from PTSD like this, you need to know all of the legal options at your disposal.

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