Almost everyone reading this blog will agree that 2020 was a year they are glad to leave behind. Even if you and your family got through it healthy and employed, the toll of lockdowns, social distancing and uncertainty about the future probably affected you and everyone you love in some way.
For many people in Northwestern Georgia, the toll of last year (which continues into this year, so far) included mental illness. People already living with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions may have experienced worse symptoms that impacted their ability to work and function. Others may have been diagnosed with a mental illness for the first time and had to deal with treatment in an environment that made in-person doctor’s appointments and counseling extremely difficult, if not impossible.
2020 and mental illness in the U.S.
Preliminary research suggests that 2020 caused a serious blow to America’s mental health. The group Mental Health America reports that from January through September 2020, the number of people who took its screening test for anxiety jumped 93 percent. Uses of MHA’s screening for depression increased 62 percent. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that 41 percent of adults experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders in December. To compare, the CDC estimates that 11 percent of American adults had such symptoms in the first seven months of 2019.
Qualifying for SSD for a mental disorder
Even in our current reality, treatment for mental disorders is available. But severe cases can be difficult to get under control to the point that the patient can go back to work. Until that happens, the patient may qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Qualifying for SSD based on a mental illness can be more complex than a physical disability like multiple sclerosis or quadriplegia. But qualification is still possible. An attorney who practices SSD law in Georgia could help you if your application was denied.