Do You Have Panic Disorder?

Panic Disorder and VA Disability

What is Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder which causes panic attacks, or sudden feelings of terror when there is no real danger. Panic attacks can happen anywhere and anytime without warning. It can cause an individuals to live in fear of another attack and avoid places where they have had an attack. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Sense of impending doom or danger
  • Fear of loss of control, going crazy, or death
  • Rapid pounding heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Feelings of unreality

Potential causes of panic disorder include genetics, major stress, temperament that is more sensitive or prone to negative emotions, and certain changes in the way parts of the brain function. If untreated, panic disorder can have a negative impact on daily functioning. Complications that panic attack may cause or be linked to include:

  • Development of specific phobias, such as fear of driving or leaving the house
  • Frequent medical care for health concerns and other medical conditions
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Problems at work or school
  • Depression, anxiety disorders, and other psychiatric disorders
  • Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts
  • Alcohol or substance misuse
  • Financial problems

How to Get VA Disability Rating?

To establish service connection for panic disorder on a direct bases, veterans must show evidence of the following:

  • A current diagnosis of panic disorder.
  • An in-service event.
  • A medical link between the panic disorder and the in-service event.

How is Panic Disorder Rated?

The majority of mental conditions are rated on the following schedule, including panic disorders. Each rating has 5 main categories of symptoms/circumstances. Not every single symptom or circumstance has to be present in order to be assigned the rating.

100%The Ability to Care for Yourself: The individual cannot take care of himself at all. Constant or near constant hospitalization and one-on-one supervision is required.
Medications: The individual requires psychiatric medication at all times.

·         Regular or constant delusions or hallucinations and the inability to tell fact from fiction

·         Completely inappropriate behavior

·         Constant danger of hurting self or others

·         Significant memory loss

·         Cannot understand the idea of time or place

·         Cannot properly reason, think, or communicate logically

·         Constant anxiety, fear, suspicion

The Ability to Work: The individual cannot work at all
Social Relationships: The individual cannot participate in any relationships.
70%The Ability to Care for Yourself: This individual cannot take care of himself most of the time. They are in the hospital or a care facility or if being taken care of by family members all of the time, and requires one-on-one supervision 50% of the time. This person cannot take care of his own personal hygiene.
Medications: This individual requires psychiatric medication at all times

·         There is the regular possibility of hurting self or others

·         Cannot communicate logically

·         Actively psychotic, but may have intermittent contact with reality

·         Obsessive-compulsive behavior that causes repetitive physical actions that interfere with daily necessities

·         Severe, constant anxiety

·         Mood often changes radically without warning

·         Almost constant severe depression or panic, with the inability to function at all in stressful situations

·         Cannot control impulsive actions like anger, violence

·         Often disoriented to time and place

The Ability to Work: May not be able to work at all or may be severely under employed
Social Relationships: Cannot participate in any relationships most of the time.
50%The Ability to Care for Yourself: The individual is occasionally hospitalized but can mostly take care of the basic personal needs like bathing or going to the bathroom although their hygiene may not be kept up regularly. They may also be able to function in areas like shopping, driving, cleaning, etc.
Medications: This individual requires psychiatric medication at all time.

·         Trouble expressing or showing emotions

·         Always shows significant signs of anxiety

·         Regularly give unnecessary or unrelated details when communicating

·         Two or more panic attacks a week

·         Trouble understanding complex directions

·         Trouble remembering things

·         Trouble thinking logically and often has poor judgment

·         A serious lack of, or seriously increased mood or motivation

·         Occasional delusions or hallucinations

·         Regular to nightly trouble sleeping

·         Complaints of physical symptoms

·         Suicidal thoughts but no definite plan to hurt himself

The Ability to Work: Individual may try to work, but will not be able to hold a job for more than 3 or 4 months because of their inability to remember or follow all directions. This individual would only be hired for jobs like cleaning, picking up trash, or other simple-task jobs.
Social Relationships: This individual may try to build and engage in relationships but there relationships would not last long in most situations.
30%The Ability to Care for Yourself: This individual may have occasional, short hospitalizations, but can entirely take care of themselves most of the time.
Medications: This individual usually requires medication to function normally.

·         Spikes or drops in  mood, like depression

·         Often anxious or becomes easily stressed

·         Panic attacks occur, but no more than once a week

·         Difficulty sleeping

·         Mild memory loss

·         Often suspicious of other people

The Ability to Work: This individual will be able to work and will usually function normally.
Social Relationships: This individual will normally have fairly stable relationships. These relationships will not be great and often strained.
10%The Ability to Care for Yourself: This individual will always be able to take care of himself and will very rarely, if ever, be hospitalized
Medications: This individual may or may not be taking medication.

·         Mild depression or other mood changes

·         Mild to moderate anxiety

·         Mild panic attack may occur, but very rarely

·         Occasional difficulty sleeping

·         A range of other, very mild symptoms

The Ability to Work: This individual will be fully employable and will very rarely have any problems at work that are caused by the mental conditions.
Social Relationships: This individual will have full, functional relationships, with only occasional, mild stresses that are caused by the condition.
0%If a mental condition has been diagnosed but there are no symptoms that impair social or occupational functioning or require medication

Veterans Help Group have been supporting veterans in getting the benefits they deserve since 1995. If you or a loved one served, and suffer from panic disorder, we are here to help. Call Veterans Help Group at 855-855-8992 or complete our free veterans benefits case evaluation form.


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