Borderline Personality Disorder and Social Security Disability

Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which one experiences extreme emotional struggle and instability. Those who have this mental illness have trouble controlling their emotions and often have sudden personality shifts. Other common symptoms of the illness are: frequent mood swings, fast changes in interests and values, instances of inappropriately intense anger, patterns of unstable relationships, antagonistic behavior, tendency towards fighting, impulsiveness, episodes of self-injury and depression or anxiety that lasts for only a day or two.

Untreated borderline personality disorder can lead to drug abuse, behavioral problems, suicide attempts and problems holding a job. Most of the people who have this illness can also be diagnosed with anxiety, depression, eating disorder or bipolar disorder. To receive Social Security disability benefits for your illness, you must be able to prove that you are unable to work because of it or that you meet the requirements of another illness in Social Security’s disability listings.

Though there is no specific listing for borderline personality disorder, there is a general listing for personality disorders characterized by an inability to function in a social or economic capacity. To be eligible for this listing, you must have the following symptoms: a tendency towards isolation, unprompted hostility towards others, uncommon thoughts, speech or behavior and frequent alterations in mood. You must also have at least two of the following signs: difficulty with concentration, inability to perform daily activities, inability to maintain a steady social relationship and recurring instances of worsening symptoms.

Social Security will want specific proof of your symptoms from a psychiatrist or psychologist and mental status, personality measure, psychological and neuropsychological tests will probably be administered. You should also have a statement in your own words saying how you have been impaired by borderline personality disorder and how it keeps you from work. Get a statement from your doctor and other close friends and family as well, describing how much worse your condition has become.

Due to the wild emotional inconsistencies brought about by this disorder, it can make keeping a job difficult. If you or a loved one meets any of the above requirements or cannot work because of borderline personality disorder, you will need an experienced disability lawyer to help you file a claim for disability benefits from Social Security. Call experienced disability attorney Nick Ortiz at 850-308-7833 for more information.