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Mental Disorders

The term mental disorder refers to a broad range of mental conditions which can negatively affect an individuals behavior, feelings, mood, relationships, and cognitive ability to function within society. Mental disorders can be mild or very serious, and if left untreated, can lead to the inability to cope and complete daily routines. Common mental illnesses include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, mental retardation, autistic disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse disorders, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.

Mental disorders may be caused by hereditary or biological factors, a persons environment, or a psychological trauma. Treatment is critical and can include psychiatric medications, shock therapy, psychosurgery, and cognitive behavior therapy.
The SSA will review your mental health disorder and compare it to the conditions on the Listing of Impairments under section 12.00 Mental Impairments. Having a mental health diagnosis will not necessarily be sufficient to win SSDI or SSI benefits. Mental health conditions which are on the list include organic disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, affective disorders, autism, somatoform disorders, mental retardation, and substance abuse disorders.

To win benefits for a mental disorder you will have to prove that you have symptoms as severe as a listed condition, or if your condition does not meet a listing, you will have to prove you do not have the functional mental capacity to work.

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