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Is Panic Disorder a Disability?

Is panic disorder a disability

Is panic disorder a disability?’ is a question that many people are looking for an answer to. A disability does not only include physical limitations. Some disabilities affect the mental health and can, indeed, cripple you and hamper your ability to do your daily chores. Such phobias are known as panic disorders.

Panic disorder can sometimes be so crippling that an individual may not be able to stay employed due to mental health illnesses. This is because people battling with panic disorders suffer from episodes of intense fear that cannot be managed as an external source does not instigate this fear.

As per research, about 1 in 10 adults in the United States suffer from a panic attack every year. Panic attacks are one of the symptoms of panic disorders in which an individual faces extreme fear and discomfort without an external trigger.

Though panic attacks only last for a few minutes, it can have a long-lasting impact. This affects an individual’s ability to complete their jobs effectively. Therefore, in case you’re wondering: ‘Is panic disorder a disability’, the answer is yes.

In this blog, we will cover the common questions related to a panic disorder like: ‘What is panic disorder’, ‘Is panic disorder a disability’ and the criteria to apply for disability in such cases.

Panic Disorder

What is panic disorder and is panic disorder a disability?

A panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder where an individual suffers from unexplained and sudden attacks of extreme fear or panic. It is normal for people to experience anxiety or stress. However, in panic disorder, an individual may suffer from anxiety, stress, or panic at any time of the day or night. These feelings may arise without any reason or triggers.

In normal circumstances, people who do not suffer from panic disorder also suffer from panic attacks. However, such attacks subside when the stress or trigger that initiated a panic attack is no longer around that individual. Unfortunately, individuals who are suffering from a panic disorder may experience panic attacks irrespective of environmental factors.

For example, if an individual has a phobia of darkness (also called nyctophobia), a panic attack may be triggered when an individual is exposed to darkness. However, the symptoms of a panic attack will subside when an individual ceases to be in dark surroundings.

On the other hand, a person suffering from a panic disorder may suffer from panic attacks without any external triggers.

A panic disorder may get worse if it is untreated. This disorder may also affect an individual’s employment, quality of life, and interpersonal relationships. Therefore, if you were wondering: ‘Is panic attack a disability’, then yes, it is indeed a disability in certain cases.

panic disorder and is panic disorder a disability

Is panic disorder a disability that cannot be cured?

If panic disorder is not treated, it may turn into a lifelong condition. However, in today’s age, there is a cure for almost every disease and illness. A certified medical professional can treat panic disorder with the help of psychotherapies, medications, or a combination of both.

For the uninitiated, psychotherapy is where a therapist tries to talk to the patient and understand the core of their mental illness. An experienced therapist may even teach coping strategies to the patient so that the frequency of panic attacks is less.

Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy also helps people with panic disorders. CBT helps a patient understand that their panic attacks are not that severe. It helps decrease the anxiety over a panic attack.

Apart from psychotherapies, medications are also favored by certified medical professionals as a treatment for panic disorders. A doctor can examine the severity of the panic disorder condition in a patient and prescribe medication accordingly. Medications for panic disorders help the patient balance the levels of serotonin in their brain.

Lastly, benzodiazepines can also help control the symptoms of panic disorders and panic attacks. These types of drugs help the patient relax the neurotransmitters of the brain. However, these types of drugs are short-term treatments because of their habit-forming nature.

Hence, if you were wondering ‘Is panic disorder a disability that has no cure?’, then the answer is no. A certified medical professional may prescribe psychotherapies, medications, or a combination of both to help patients with panic disorder.

Is panic disorder a disability that can get you aid?

Is panic disorder a disability that cannot be cured?

If you were wondering ‘Is panic disorder a disability that can get you aid?’ then it is crucial to mention that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has provided criteria that need to be met to qualify for disability aid for panic disorder.

Only certain types of panic disorders qualify for a disability. The criterion is that the condition of panic disorder should be severe with the satisfaction of the following requirements:

  • Medical documentation of panic attacks which is a root cause of worry and concern about having another panic attack.
  • Medical documentation of unexplained anxiety and fear about leaving the patient leaving their household premises or being in a crowded place.
  • Being unable to recollect, understand, or comprehend information during social interactions.
  • The panic attacks are evident and the case of recurring and persistent panic attacks that have lasted for 2 years render an individual unable to accept changes in the environment or schedule.

If the above requirements are met, an individual can claim disability for their panic disorder.


1. Is panic disorder a disability when one wants to live a normal life?

The short answer to the question ‘Is panic disorder a disability?’, is yes. In certain situations, an individual may start isolating themselves out of the sheer fear of suffering a panic attack in the presence of someone or at their place of employment. Although panic disorder may be managed with the help of various talk therapies, psychotherapies, and medication, it can prove to be a disability if it goes untreated.

2. Is panic disorder a disability without a cure?

There are ways to manage panic disorder so that it is no longer a blockage in daily chores and activities. The symptoms of panic disorder vary from individual and though it may be a disability for some, it may be manageable for others.

3. Is panic disorder a disability that lasts a lifetime?

Yes, some people manage their entire lives battling panic disorders. However, this condition does not have to render you disabled for the entirety of your life. There are methods to manage this condition like meditation, exercise, psychotherapies, mindfulness, etc.

4. Can panic disorder be cured naturally without medications?

Yes, panic disorder can be cured naturally by seeking cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, regular exercise, maintaining a sleep schedule, abstaining from alcohol and caffeine, talk therapies and psychotherapies.

5. What happens when panic disorder goes untreated?

When panic disorder is untreated, it can become a lifelong condition that can isolate an individual from their loved ones. Therefore, it is best to treat panic disorder at an early stage. Moreover, panic disorders can also act as a doorway to other mental health illnesses and phobias.


Panic disorder can be a lonely and overwhelming illness. An individual who is suffering from panic disorder may feel that they cannot even complete their daily activities. In such cases, if you are wondering: ‘Is panic disorder a disability?’ then yes, it is a disability and you may be eligible for benefits from disability. In such cases, a disability lawyer can be of great help in obtaining disability benefits for this type of disorder.

At Calusa Recovery, we understand the profound impact that panic attacks can have on your well-being. Our comprehensive approach to mental health encompasses tailored treatment options designed to help you regain control over your life. Through evidence-based therapies, personalized strategies, and compassionate support, we guide you on a transformative journey toward managing and overcoming panic attacks.

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