Getting Benefits For Somatic Symptom Disorder In Houston, TX

When you have a condition that’s obvious, it’s easy to show and discuss your symptoms with your physician or other healthcare providers. But when you have physical symptoms that don’t seem to be caused by anything specific, things can get complicated.

Somatic Symptom Disorder, also called SSD, is one that is considered mental in nature but causes physical symptoms, which can include pain. The symptoms can cause considerable distress that can disrupt a patient’s daily life.

Getting Benefits For Somatic Symptom Disorder In Houston, TX

The Basics Of SSD

An individual who wakes up with a headache one morning, or develops one during the day, may believe they have a serious illness such as encephalitis. The headache may have any number of causes, from caffeine withdrawal to work-related stress, both of which are treatable and manageable. But instead of determining where the headache is coming from, the person focuses solely on the headache and seeks medical care.

When one doctor doesn’t provide a suitable diagnosis, the person visits multiple physicians seeking answers, convinced that the headache is something more serious. Medical tests don’t indicate any particular problem, leading to an obsession with more doctor visits and additional testing. Seeking the correct answer may lead to debilitating anxiety and distress that makes normal functioning difficult, including:

  • Chronic worry over a serious illness
  • Concern over serious medical conditions when testing shows there isn’t
  • Fear of damage or injury with physical activity
  • Believing that your medical exam and treatment were inadequate
  • Frequent doctor visits that don’t supply answers and increases anxieties
  • Having symptoms that aren’t consistent with the normal effects of a particular medical condition

Note that symptoms such as pain are real, even though there is no detectable cause. Some cases may involve issues with nerve impulses that send signals involving pressure, pain, and other sensations to the brain. These symptoms may be difficult to diagnose, and a physician may or may not prescribe medications for the symptoms.

If no underlying cause is detected, a physician may refer a patient to a mental health provider for additional evaluation. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychiatric medications may be prescribed to address anxiety related to the physical symptoms.

Applying For Disability

When a condition prevents you from working and living normally, you may decide to apply for disability. Because a somatoform disorder isn’t readily visible and not detectable by normal medical testing, positively proving the condition can be much more difficult. However, it’s not impossible.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize somatoform disorder as a disabling condition in its blue book under Section 12.07, along with a list of requirements.

Working with one physician for treatment instead of visiting many doctors shows that you are actively seeking treatment and not “doctor shopping.” While the search for answers may lead to multiple doctors, developing a strong relationship with a single psychiatrist and/or physician and regular treatment goes a long way in proving your case for disability.

The SSA will also consider what types of jobs you can continue to do, whether your own or another type, with the help of a mental residual functional capacity (MRFC). While the SSA’s examining physicians will create an MRFC report from your records, you should also have one created by the psychiatrist who is currently treating you. The SSA will favor a psychiatrist who specializes in somatoform disorders over any type of physician who doesn’t.

Get Help With Somatic Symptom Disorder Disability From Herren Law

Applying for disability benefits from the SSA brings increasing challenges to prove your case. With the help of an experienced disability attorney, you can make sure you have the evidence you need, your application is properly executed, and stand a better chance at getting the benefits you need.

Call The Herren Law Firm today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation, and we’ll take your case on a contingency fee basis, with no up-front charges. You don’t owe a fee until we win your case.