Is Mental Illness a Disability: 5 Atrocious Disabilities

Mental disorders and mental health disabilities are two very different things. When an illness is there from the start, like obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, or panic disorder, it is a mental disability. In this type of situation, parents take care of children in every manner and seek psychiatric help for the daily living of the child to help them in every way possible.

So let’s discuss all these queries and find out whether Is mental illness a disability.

Is Mental Illness a Disability? Let's discuss 5 Atrocious Disabilities
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Mental disorders are different from mental disabilities as anxiety-related disorders 1, depression disorders, and psychotic disorders caused due to some reason and it is not there from the start, so by psychiatrist intervention, these disorders can be cured in less time than mental disability.

Every other person has this common question of whether mental illness is a disability or not. Yes then what are the special norms for that person; what is the treatment in total; what are the symptoms; How do people complete tasks and job duties; did they get any cash benefits from the government and many more.

1. Is Mental Illness a Disability?

Disabilities are of two types mental and physical. People with physical impairments can show their disability. They can get disability benefits from the government, but what about the people suffering mentally, as they cannot show it but suffer?

In a situation like this, one must consult a psychiatrist and complete their diagnosis to prove their mental illnesses to get social security disability benefits2.

Mental illness is considered a mental disability when it becomes long-lasting, and medical treatment is needed to handle mental health conditions.

People should not make a taboo on mental health disabilities as it is a serious problem for those suffering from it as their whole world slides upside-down because of mental disorders.

Mental health disabilities like schizophrenia can be disturbing to a person as in this mental illness, the person experiences delusions and hallucinations, which make it hard for them to live a normal life.

2. Mental Disorders

When someone experiences disturbance in their emotional, psychological and behavioural aspects, that is considered a mental disorder. Many examples of mental disorders include bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorder.

When a person cannot do day-to-day activities properly and faces difficulties, it is a symptom of starting any mental illness that becomes a disorder later.

Mental disorders are due to mental impairment in the brain3 that affects the working of the brain and creates psychiatric disability.

2.1. Bipolar disorder

In bipolar disorder, a person faces sudden mood swings and sudden shifts in behaviour and feels irritated most of the time. This disorder is long-lasting, affects the person’s mental health, and creates severe mood swings.

In this disorder, people tend to experience two opposite emotions the feeling of mania which is exciting, and the other one is the feeling of depression which is extreme sadness4.

Is mental illness a disability
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A person having bipolar disorder can be handled with ease in extreme conditions if the correct measures have been followed. Mental health conditions are affected so much as in this disorder, stability in behaviour and mood is not there.

People having bipolar disease also experience hallucinations and delusions, but not regularly, which makes this disease similar to schizophrenia.5 They also get panic attacks for things that are not like someone talking about them or whispering on their back.

It creates intellectual disability, which affects major life activities and can cause panic attacks.

2.1.1. Signs of Bipolar Disorder

We can always look for the signs of a particular disorder to prevent it before it causes big disasters to our mental health.

  1. Loss of Interest:- We are all interested in painting, dancing, sketching, etc. But when an individual starts to lose all their interests, it’s a sign that something is wrong, which needs to be picked by that person by asking them what the reason is or maybe taking professional assistance.
  2. Being Negative:- People start to feel that everything happening has no use and is a waste in total. Pessimism becomes their habit and stops them from initiating new work or meeting new people.
  3. Struggling with Concentration:– People who used to do very well in every work they pick if they suddenly show a downfall in their academics or their work, then this is the situation that must be checked because sudden downfall shows that they are feeling emptiness and worthlessness and that’s the reason of lack of Concentration.

2.2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

Post-traumatic stress disorder is caused due to extreme conditions/situations the person faces, which becomes the trigger point for them in the future. Anything can become extreme situations for them in which they suffer, like losing a loved one, traumatizing incidents, or accidents.

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disability in which psychiatrist help is necessary to get back to normal life. This is a lasting disorder; recovery depends on the person’s willpower stronger the willpower faster the recovery.

This disorder becomes a disability because this starts to occur again and again in people after getting triggered by their surroundings.

In this disorder, people start feeling anxious when they see or experience a situation like the past one, which causes stress. In this situation, psychiatric rehabilitation 6is necessary when the condition goes out of control.

Someone who is suffering from PTSD must have a medical history to show it as medical evidence so that they can save themselves from employment discrimination and get proper treatment without stressing about the workload.

2.2.1. Ways to Comfort Someone Having PTSD

1) Meditation: Meditation is an effective treatment and helps the individual to allow their brain to function independently in rough situations. It is considered good for every disorder as it soothes breathing and posture, which collectively helps in promoting good mental health7 and reducing stress by relaxing the brain cells

It is beneficial as it calms our mind by eliminating triggering thoughts at that time, and people feel good and comforted.

2) Physical activities:- Having a routine for physical activities can work as a great remedy for someone having PTSD because when people get triggered and continuously think about that particular thing performing physical activities can relax their stressed body muscles, which will help in calming the person.

3) Feeling of belongingness:- Every individual has one common need: someone who is there to love them, take care of them, and help them in tough times, and having this feeling helps them to get out of the trauma and stressful situations. So always try to be someone people can rely on and feel at home with.

2.3. Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) - causes, symptoms & treatment

Anxiety disorder starts to happen when small or big events cause uneasiness to the person, and slowly and gradually, the same pattern continues, and it becomes the disorder that creates havoc for them, so in the initial of any uncomfortable situation, consult a psychologist, so that by having therapy disorder can be prevented.

Anxiety disorder is such a disturbing mental illness that in every small situation which can be handled without any difficulty that situations also anxiety occurs and makes the person so anxious that they lose their productivity and calm of mind.

Some people also face generalized anxiety disorder in which they worry so much about day-to-day activities. In this mental illness, people also experience inappropriate affect as they do extremely opposite things in opposite situations, like laughing in serious situations.

Claustrophobia is an example of an anxiety disorder. In this, people fear small and closed places and suddenly get anxious when they are near a place like that; using the elevator is an example of claustrophobia.

2.3.1. Ways to Deal with Anxiety Disorders

Mental illnesses like anxiety can be reduced when handled properly. Mind training can be very beneficial for treating anxiety disorders as when the mind is trained to act according to the person’s will, then they don’t have to think again about the issue causing uneasiness to them.

If this mental disorder becomes severe, psychological intervention is very necessary. When we fail to help ourselves, they help us to cope with this mental disorder to improve our mental health conditions8.

Meditation is also proving to be a good treatment for anxiety-related disorders. In anxiety, the person becomes uneasy about every small thing, so meditation helps the individual relax their brain cells, eventually leading to a decrease in anxiety issues.

4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD)

OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, in which either people have an obsession with thoughts that trouble them or a compulsion to do the same thing repeatedly. If the situation worsens, someone can also have both obsession and compulsion.

Mental health condition deteriorates in this disorder, and the person feels tired because of the repetition of thoughts or activities. This mental illness affects the brain’s ability to function properly.

Personality disorders like OCPD are also there in which a person strictly follows their rules and other things they suffer around people.

People with this mental disorder are obsessed with thoughts like things will not work out or something bad will happen; they are always engrossed in such thoughts, which will degrade the quality of their thoughts.

People with this mental illness suffer from the compulsions of different activities like continuously checking something repeatedly or cleaning themselves to have personal hygiene even though on are hygienic.

People with this mental disorder must seek mental health services as panic attacks separate them from their work environment, and they face problems in social interaction.

5. Depression

Depression is one of the mental disorders in which a person continuously feels like ending their life because they or develops a thought process that now nothing is left in this world to live for. Depression is difficult to detect initially, but self-evaluation can help decrease its effect.

People face this mental disorder for several reasons, including losing loved ones, lack of self-worth, sudden shocks, etc. These reasons become the cause of depression.

People with this mental disorder become very fragile as they take everything so seriously that it can harm their mental and physical health.

So many neurological disorders cause disturbance in the brain and body, and depression is one of them, which makes a person unable to work properly. They always feel a lack of energy.

In this mental health, a person gets messed up, and they don’t feel like doing any work or meeting anyone. This is a psychiatric disability that needs a psychiatrist to help the person.

Is Mental Illness a Disability? Let's discuss 5 Atrocious Disabilities
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5.1. Coping Methods for Deadly Depression

There are many ways by which affective disorders like depression can be handled, and a person can enjoy their normal happy life again with the help of the following:-

5.1.1. Start meeting people again

People start to hide when they are suffering from depression and avoid social gatherings, but this is the biggest mistake that they make they should not be making.

In India, there are so many festivals in which people meet and share a healthy bond and discuss their life over a cup of tea, so it gives a place for them to share their thoughts and avoid unwanted negative thoughts, which works as a therapy for them.

Still, in other countries, people don’t meet that much. They hence don’t get the chance to share their problem-causing thoughts.

5.1.2. Sleeping Pattern

In mental health disabilities, people do not follow a proper sleeping pattern of 8 to 9 hours; some usually sleep the whole time to avoid negative; and stress-causing thoughts and some stop sleeping again because of their continuous thoughts. So one should at least try to improve their sleeping cycle.

5.1.3. Psychological Assistance

We live in a world where people face difficulties in making good friends and sharing things with them, but even when you don’t have friends to share things with, always remember that psychologists are there to work with and for you. So do consult them if suffering in silence.

6. Disability is Not Something to Pity!

Disability is tiresome, and people around them make it more tiresome, as they already have the disability. People make them even more disabled by pitying them.

Other people usually see psychiatric disabilities and psychotic disorders, and people, just out of curiosity, keep asking about their medical treatment and medical records; still, they forget that disabled people feel bad when someone asks them again and again about their disability instead of asking them other things.

An element of sadness is always in them from the start because of their disability, so at least they have a full right to be happy and should not feel sad about the irrational behaviour of people.

Disability is not something that we decide to happen, but it happens to us eventually; having said that, there are so many things that disabled people are also interested in doing, but they always be unable to do it because of their disability, so others should talk about that things and help them doing things without feeling sorry for them.

Mental health disability is exhausting as they suffer from a work environment, personal needs, co-workers, and social settings. So people should understand their difficulties and support them instead of just asking about their mental health disability.

Some people usually ask awkward questions to people suffering from mental or physical impairments, like whether they are getting any cash benefits or a job offer for their medical condition; people must stop asking these questions as it makes them even more uncomfortable.

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7. Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration  (SSA) does consider mental illness under the category of a disability. However, certain medical requirements are required to classify mental illness as a disability. These requirements are mentioned in SSA’s blue book.

Many insurances are available in the market for people facing mental disabilities; people need the information to get the benefit for their treatment or disability.

People with mental health disabilities cannot give their 100% in the job performance they do, and sometimes the situation becomes so bad that they even cannot work. So for people like this with a long-term disability, there is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) which allows the person to get monthly mental health disability pay from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Social Security Disability Insurance is insurance for old adults who will get monthly assistance from the Social Security Administration based on their medical evidence, work credits, or work history that, because of mental impairments, they cannot work.

SSA provides financial support to those whose disability lasts more than a year and assists older Americans.

For more SSA-related information, visit their official site:-

8. In The End

Most people experience mental health problems from time to time. But mental health anxiety becomes a mental illness when the signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and anxiety that affects your everyday life and work.

It can make you unhappy causing problems in everyday life, in school, at work and in your personal life. Symptoms can often be managed with a combination of medication and talk therapy (psychotherapy).

Click here to know more.

9. FAQs

Q1. What Are the 4 Types of Mental Illness?

  • Mood disorder(depression or bipolar disorder)
  • Personal disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Psychotic disorder

Q2. Can a Mental Illness Be Cured?

Treatment may include medication and psychotherapy, depending on the disease and its severity. Most mental illnesses are incurable at this stage, but can usually be treated effectively to reduce symptoms and allow the person to function at work, school, or in the community.

Q3. What Is the Most Painful Mental Illness?

BPD is not only one of the most painful mental illnesses, but it is fueled by stigma and is misunderstood by others. Fortunately, borderline personality disorder is a treatable condition, and the pain does not have to be endless.

  1. Riordan, Denise M., and Deepa Singhal. “Anxiety‐related disorders: An overview.” Journal of paediatrics and child health 54.10 (2018): 1104-1109. ↩︎
  2. O’Leary, Paul, et al. “Workplace injuries and the take-up of Social Security disability benefits.” Soc. Sec. Bull. 72 (2012): 1. ↩︎
  3. Krishna, N. Murali, et al. “An efficient mixture model approach in brain-machine interface systems for extracting the psychological status of mentally impaired persons using EEG signals.” Ieee Access 7 (2019): 77905-77914. ↩︎
  4. Bowen, Rudy, et al. “Moods in clinical depression are more unstable than severe normal sadness.” Frontiers in Psychiatry 8 (2017): 56. ↩︎
  5. Kirkpatrick, Brian, et al. “A separate disease within the syndrome of schizophrenia.” Archives of general psychiatry 58.2 (2001): 165-171. ↩︎
  6. Anthony, William Alan, et al. Psychiatric rehabilitation. Boston, MA: Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, 1990. ↩︎
  7. Weisz, John R., et al. “Promoting and protecting youth mental health through evidence-based prevention and treatment.” American psychologist 60.6 (2005): 628. ↩︎
  8. Prince, Martin, et al. “No health without mental health.” The lancet 370.9590 (2007): 859-877. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf

  1. You are absolutely right. I have suddenly gone into deep thinking that if mood disorder (depression or bipolar disorder) is the beginning of mental illnesses, then there should be more and more public awareness about it. I value the way you are educating people on the most underappreciated aspect of our lives—our mental and emotional well-being.

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