Depression Claims

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Do you suffer from Depression?  Did an insurance company deny your claim for disability benefits?

Depression is a mental illness that affects more than 15 million American adults.  While sadness is a normal emotion, severe depression can occur when sadness and similar feelings become so overwhelming that they interfere with daily life and normal functioning.  Depression is a serious illness that should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional.

Symptoms of depression can include a deep feeling of sadness or general discontent, guilt, ruminations, loss of interest in activities, an inability to derive pleasure from activities, anxiety, hopelessness excessive crying, irritability, lack of concentration and mood swings.  Depression can also manifest itself in physical symptoms, including sleep difficulties, excessive hunger or loss of appetite leading to weight gain or weight loss, fatigue and restlessness.  In some cases, people with depression entertain thoughts of suicide or harm to others.  Before diagnosing someone with depression, medical professionals usually require that a patient’s symptoms be present for at least two weeks.

Depression is a “catchall” term that is used to describe a variety of different conditions.  Most people are diagnosed with major depressive disorder.  However, there are other forms of depression that are slightly different.  Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia, is the diagnosis that is given when a patient’s depressed mood lasts for at least two years.  A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms.  A diagnosis of psychotic depression is assigned when a patient’s depression is also accompanied by some form of psychosis, such as delusions or hallucinations.  Perinatal depression and postpartum depression are diagnoses that accompany pregnancy and childbirth.  Similar diagnoses include seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and bipolar disorder, which, while different from depression, shares many of the same symptoms during the extreme “low” moods that occur.  These diagnoses are typically associated with feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety and exhaustion, which make it difficult for mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or their babies.

Symptoms of depression can happen at any age, but typically begin in adulthood.  Often, depression arises in older adults when the patient is diagnosed with other serious medical illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, back pain and other chronic conditions.

Thankfully depression is treatable.  One form of treatment is therapy, which can include cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior therapy or psychotherapy.  Such types of therapy can occur either one-on-one or in a group.  Treatment for depression also often includes the use of medications such as Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Luvox, Proza, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zyban, Aplenzin, Buproban, Effexor, Cymbalta, Buspirone and Abilify.  Less common treatments include electroconvulsive therapy.

Because the symptoms of depression are often so overwhelming, people who suffer from the mental illness often find themselves totally disabled and unable to work.  If a doctor has diagnosed you with depression and your symptoms prevent you from performing the material and substantial duties of your occupation, or even any occupation, you may be entitled to long-term disability benefits.  Those benefits may be available to you either through a policy you purchased on your own or a through a group disability insurance plan provided by your employer.  If you have an “individual” disability insurance policy or if you have a certain type of group policy, you might also be entitled to future benefits, emotional distress damages, bad faith damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.  If your short-term disability insurance or long-term disability insurance was provided by your employer, it is likely governed by a federal law called ERISA, in which case, the insurance company could be made to pay your attorneys’ fees, allowing you to keep all or most of your disability insurance benefits.

If you believe you are totally disabled or if your insurer has denied your claim for long-term or short-term disability insurance benefits, please contact us, McKennon Law Group PC, for a free consultation.  Call us at (949) 387-9595, email us at info@mckennonlawgroup.com or fill out our Consultation Request Form.  Let us decide whether your long-term disability claim was wrongfully denied and let us see if we can assist you.