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PTSD, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits




For more information on:   Social Security Disability and SSI Disability.



Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is just as the name implies: a stress disorder that develops after a highly traumatic event, whether the event is physical or psychological. In the past it has also been called post-traumatic stress syndrome, war neurosis or shell shock and is an anxiety disorder due to trauma. While it is common that post traumatic stress disorder affects servicemen or servicewomen who have been exposed to combat, it is also common due to childhood abuse, physical violence, sexual assault or any other act that may be perceived as life-threatening and traumatic, such as a fire, earthquake, hurricane or another catastrophic event.

Post traumatic stress disorder happens when the psyche has been shocked and traumatized so badly that it is unable to cope. This is unlike simple shock, depression or stress, in the fact that the body and brain chemistry actually change with post traumatic stress disorder. Those with the disorder usually show a high level of catecholamine and a low level of cortisol in their urine and a decrease in the volume of their hippocampus, a part of the frontal lobe of the brain that is also damaged during Alzheimer’s disease.

The criteria for post traumatic stress disorder is exposure to a traumatic event at some point in one’s life, flashbacks or nightmares related to the event, extreme fear of the event reoccurring, being significantly impaired in normal daily activities, avoidance, feeling hyper (sleeplessness, anxiety, anger) and having these symptoms for more than one month.

Treatment for post traumatic stress disorder can involve counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, antidepressant drugs, antipsychotic medications, or a combination of one or more of these treatments. Also, sometimes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) helps to reduce the effect of traumatic events.

Post traumatic stress disorder is a real illness and treatment can help. Many people live very productive lives with a variation of treatments.

Studies are still being done to find out if post traumatic stress disorder is also genetic.








  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

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  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

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  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center



    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children




    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney




    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

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    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

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    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits




    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI



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    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

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    Can You qualify for Social Security disability or SSI on the basis of anxiety or panic attacks?
    Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Filing for Disability
    Panic Attacks and Filing for Disability
    Anxiety Disorder, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
    Anxiety Attacks and Filing for Disability
    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI with Bipolar Disorder
    Bipolar Disorder and Filing for Disability
    Social Security Disability SSI and ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Filing for Disability
    ADHD, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
    Facts about ADHD and Filing for Disability
    OCD and Filing for Disability
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    Bipolar disorder, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
    PTSD, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits



    Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI


    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
    What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria
    Applying for SSI disability in Florida
    How much does a Florida disability lawyer cost?
    How Much Can You get in Social Security Disability in Florida?