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OCD sufferers often unable to work

Many individuals have so-called personality quirks or behaviors in which they engage that may seem a bit out of the ordinary. In most cases, these idiosyncrasies are simply unique personality traits or characteristics that help define individuality. There are, however, cases in which signs of compulsive behaviors may indicate that an individual is suffering from a serious anxiety disorder known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Individuals with OCD typically begin experiencing compulsive thoughts and displaying ritualistic behaviors during childhood or adolescence. Chemical imbalances in the brain are believed to contribute to the development of OCD. Additionally, scientists point to a strong genetic link in the development of the disorder.

As the name suggests, individuals with OCD experience obsessive and irrational thoughts that replay in their heads over and over. Driven by these intrusive and continual thoughts, an individual becomes anxious and carries out certain acts or engages in certain behaviors to relieve their fears and anxieties.

An estimated one in 40 people in the U.S. suffer from OCD, making it a more prevalent mental health disorder than both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Dominated by feelings of doubt and fear, OCD sufferers often engage in ritualistic behaviors that consume several hours of their daily lives.

Prescription medications that help change and regulate chemicals in the brain and behavioral therapy may be effective in helping reduce symptoms associated with OCD. In some cases, however, treatment methods are not effective in restoring an individual’s ability to break free from the intrusive and obsessive thoughts and behaviors.

Individuals who are struggling with OCD are often not able to work. The added stress of worrying about finances in addition to trying to deal with one’s disorder can exacerbate symptoms. Thankfully, OCD sufferers may be able to qualify to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Monthly income provided via SSDI benefits can ease financial burdens and allow an individual to focus on their health and recovery.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness, "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder," 2014 

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