Whether it is when a person is a child or an adult, being diagnosed with a mental illness or psychiatric disability can be a difficult reality to face. While an individual is likely aware that something is wrong with them, it doesn’t make it any easier to process. Even more so, when a person suffers from such a condition, it is common for a mental illness to impact one’s personal and professional life. It might be challenging to lead a normal life, and his or her mental illness disability could be so severe that it prevents them from holding down a job.

The term mental illness described a broad range of both mental and emotional conditions. It also refers to a portion of the broader term of mental impairment; however, it is different from those such as mental retardation, organic brain damage and learning disabilities. A psychiatric disability is a term used to describe a mental illness that significantly interferes with the performance of major life activities, including learning, working and communicating.

For some, the intensity, duration and even type of mental illness can change over time. This can cause a person’s symptoms to come and go, flaring up at certain times. Although the symptoms of a mental illness can be controlled by medication and psychotherapy, some may continue to experience periodic episodes. The most common forms of mental illnesses suffered include anxiety orders, mood disorders and schizophrenia disorders.

Living with a mental illness is challenging and can impact a person’s life in many ways. Thus, it is important to understand that even if you are receiving medical care to reduce the severity of a mental illness, it is still possible to seek Social Security disability benefits if you are unable to work because of a mental illness.