Is Anxiety a Disability?

We’ve all been there; work emails piling up, a phone full of missed calls waiting to be returned, a pile of mail that’s unopened. When anxiety strikes, it’s often at the worst of times- not that there is really ever a ~good~ time. 

From excessive tiredness to inattention to details, these red flags are often a signal that anxiety is rearing its ugly head. It can be distracting from your work and personal life, and can affect you in ways you might not have even considered. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), around 20% of people in the US will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime- and that number is constantly rising. A recent poll by the APA revealed that almost 40% of Americans are more anxious than they were this time last year. For many people, the anxiety that came and went in waves now feels like it’s on a constant loop. 

This common mental health issue is growing at an alarming rate, and as the result, many people are wondering, “Is anxiety a disability?” Today we’re talking about anxiety, and how to help treat it naturally if you are one of the millions suffering. 

Understanding the Different Types of Anxiety

There are five types of anxiety disorders that are diagnosed by their symptoms:

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Near-constant state of unfounded fear. It’s totally common to worry about your job, your health, and your relationships from time to time, but with a GAD diagnosis, the anxiety surrounding these things is more persistent, excessive, and intrusive. According to some mental health experts, nearly 3% of all U.S. adults have experienced GAD in the last year, and it is estimated that up to 9% will experience GAD at some point in their lives.

Social Phobia/Anxiety

Crippling fear of If you have social anxiety disorder, you may be afraid of speaking in front of others, performing in front of others, or simply being around other people.

Panic Attacks

Consistent, unprovoked feelings of intense terror that include sweating, dizziness, increased heart rate, and feeling like you are losing control or even dying.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Being a part of (or simply being a witness to) a traumatic event, causing consistent bouts of intense stress, for six months or more after the trauma occurs. 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Repetitive thoughts and feelings which forces you to repeat a behavior over and over again. 

Is Anxiety a Disability?

According to the CDC, “A disability is any condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities and interact with the world around them.” 

So, in short: yes, anxiety can be quite a disability- depending on the severity, symptoms, and type of anxiety that you’re experiencing. 

In order to receive disability benefits for anxiety, you must qualify under the (very stringent) Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines. But here’s the silver lining; the application and approval process has seriously improved over time, and is easier to navigate through- allowing you to figure out if you’re qualified before you even apply for disability. 

Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.? Sadly, it affects about 40 million adults living in the United States every year, says the ADAA

Unfortunately, the medical system’s solution for managing anxiety is just not cutting it for many people. While anxiety can be extremely unpleasant (and even cripping at times), we’re here to tell you that it does not have to be permanently disabling.

“Existing evidence strongly supports the potential of CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders.”


Anxiety + Disability Resources

Rosebud’s Complete List of Mental Health Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

United States Department of Labor’s Job Accommodations Network (JAN)

If you, or someone you know, are having thoughts about suicide, know that you are not alone. Please reach out to the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK or 800-273-8255. 

The information published on The Bloom should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Please always consult with your doctor before trying any new substance or wellness supplement. We do not intend for this article to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. We encourage you to always seek the advice of a physician, psychologist or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a possible medical condition.