Mental health can be a difficult topic for many in Pennsylvania to talk about, due to the misinformation and stigma surrounding it. Because it usually does not present physical pain, one may wonder how it can affect one's ability to work. However, mental illness can be so crippling as to prevent a person not only from being able to perform their job duties, but it may prevent them from leaving their homes all together. One type of mental illness that could present such problems is a personality disorder.
According to the Social Security Administration, a personality disorder is one in which the individual's personality traits are so maladaptive and inflexible as to cause them to be unable to function at work or in social settings. Benefits may be available for individuals suffering from a personality disorder, if certain requirements are met.
First of all, there must exhibit signs of one of the following maladaptive and deeply ingrained types of behaviors. The applicant may show signs of autism. An applicant may display strange behaviors, perceptions, thoughts or speech. An individual may also have an inappropriately hostile or suspicious mindset or a persistently disturbed mood. Another sign may be that the person displays dependence, aggressiveness or passiveness that is pathological. Finally, the person may be thoroughly unable to maintain an interpersonal relationship, or they may exhibit other damaging or impulsive actions.
In addition to the conditions mentioned above, an applicant must also experience one of the following. The applicant's disability must significantly restrict their day-to-day lives or their ability to function socially. They may also exhibit significant difficulty in concentrating or find they experience extreme difficulties in pace or persistence. Finally, they may find that their personality disorder causes them to suffer from extended decompensation episodes numerous times.
Personality disorders are only one type of mental impairment that could permanently disable a person. Persons suffering from a personality disorder or other mental illness that prevents them from working may want to look into the possibility of pursuing Social Security disability benefits.