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What are affective disorders and its SSD benefits' requirements?

Detroit residents who are suffering from a physical issue that renders them with an inability to work will be easily recognized. Therefore, it will be a less arduous process to meet the benefits' requirements for Social Security disability when there are physical problems. But what if there are mental issues such as affective disorders? Knowing the definition of these affective disorders and what they signify can help a person seek therapy and receive benefits.

The hallmarks of affective disorders are mood disturbances with a full or partial depressive or manic syndrome. When "mood" is discussed, it relates to the prolonged emotion that can affect a person's entire psychological life. There might be a fluctuation between elation or depression or the suffering of one or the other. For a person to be classified as having an affective disorder according to the SSA, both categories A and B or C by itself must be met.

For category A, there must be either a continuous or intermittent persistence of depressive syndrome. There must be four of the following with depressive syndrome: loss of interest in all activities; disturbances in appetite and weight loss; disturbances in sleep; retardation or psychomotor agitation; a decrease in energy; guilty or worthless feelings; difficulty in concentrating or thinking; considering suicide; or paranoia, delusions, or hallucinations. For manic syndrome, there must be three of the following: hyperactivity; pressure of speech; flight of ideas; self-esteem that is inflated; a reduction in the need for sleep; being easily distracted; involving oneself in activities that can cause painful results; and paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions. Bipolar syndrome with episodes of depression or manic behavior also falls into category A.

For category B, there must be two of the following: marked restriction in daily activities; marked difficulty in social function; marked difficulty in maintaining pace, persistence, or concentration; episodes of decompensation repeatedly and for an extended duration. For category C, there must be a medical documentation of affective disorder that has lasted for at least two years causing a minimal limitation in preforming basic work activities reduced by medication or psychological therapy. There must be the aforementioned decompensation as well as a history of one year or more being unable to live in a supportive living arrangement with the need for it to continue. Those who are suffering from affective disorders and meet the criteria should discuss their case with a legal professional.

Source: ssa.gov, "12.04 Affective disorders," accessed on Sep. 1, 2015

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