Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:59 AM
Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:32 PM
Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:54 AM
I'm considering going for disability benefits. I'm at a point where I just can't do this alone anymore, no matter how hard I've tried. I've heard that if you have so much as a hangnail, you should list it. Besides narcolepsy, I also suffer from agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house), social anxiety disorder, panic attacks and a long list of other phobias, depression, anorexia/bulimia, and adhd. I have had a suicide attempt in my past as well as a history of self injury that I've thankfully overcome for about a year now. I had to drop out of school because despite high test scores, I couldn't keep up with the work. I went and got my GED and entered into college, but ended up on probation for having to drop classes because I couldn't stay awake long enough to make it to them or keep up with my homework. I've not been able to hold down many jobs for similar reason. My question is, are these things that would help me in getting a favorable judgement, or just a series of unfortunate, but irrelevant events?
Back in 2002, way before my Narcolepsy diagnosis, I was severly depressed and suicidal. I was hospitaized three or four times in a 2 year period. I was originally diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 15 years old and put on antidepressants when I was 19. When I was 34 my big sister and best friend was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. I was having a hard time coping because we had lost our brother to malignant melanoma when he was 28. In my family, if you get cancer, you die. A year later she was told that the cancer was back and was in her liver. They tried several different rounds of chemo just to try to prolong her life. A cure was extremely unlikely. I was spiraling down deeper and deeper into my depression. When I went to work, I couldn't focus. Every waking moment was consumed with the thought that my sister was dying. About 6 months later, they said that there was nothing more they could do and sent hospice in. I was told that they don't send hospice in unless you have 6 months or less to live. My sister handled it all very well. Unfortunatley, I didn't. Because I could fall asleep in less than 5 minutes (probably the undiagnosed Narcolepsy), I went to bed. I got fired from my job as an eligibility worker at Social Services. I had worked for the county for over 12 years! Looking back, they were right, I was unable to do my job. So then, since I didn't HAVE to get up, I didn't. My psychiatrist asked me if I had applied for Social Security Disability. I said, "no" and he said "well, you know you are." I said, "I am what?" and he said, "disabled". I applied for Social Security Disability in April and had a check and back pay by August of the same year! They made me see one of their psychologists, who basically said that given my history, I would never work again. Fortunately for me, he was wrong! After spending nearly 100% of my time in bed for 4 years, I finally climbed out of that hole.
My recommendation would be to make sure you include the depression in your application. It is hard for them to measure depression. If your leg fell off, they could see that you only have one leg and measure your disability based on that. Or, if your vision was worse than 20/200 in your best eye with corrective lenses, this is what they measure to determine you are legally blind.
I personally know of someone who was approved for disability because of alcoholism and drug addiction. Granted, she had been in 14 different rehabs by the time she was 32. Again, this is something that is very hard to measure. There are no specific guidelines.
Good luck to you on your disability claim and finding a treatment for your Narcolepsy that works for you. My prayers are with you.