Are you unable to perform your job because of mental anxiety at work? Workers’ compensation is there to help you recover. If you are having trouble receiving your benefits, Silverman, McDonald & Friedman can help. Schedule a free consultation with us in Seaford, Newark, or Wilmington today.
We know that if we break an arm or sprain an ankle on the job, workers’ compensation is there for us to rely on.
When we are injured, we need to see a medical professional and follow their treatment plan. Workers’ compensation exists for when we break bones or suffer other injuries, but is it also there if we have a mental breakdown or a panic attack?
The mental health of employees is just as important as their physical wellbeing. With our brains being the center and headquarters for all commands for our body, when the mind becomes troubled to the extent that it hinders our work and daily lives, we need to be able to take care of ourselves without the fear of losing our paycheck or job.
What is anxiety?
We have done a blog about stress on the job before, but we think it is important to differentiate between anxiety and stress. According to the American Psychological Association, “People under stress experience mental and physical symptoms, such as irritability, anger, fatigue, muscle pain, digestive troubles, and difficulty sleeping. Anxiety, on the other hand, is defined by persistent, excessive worries that don’t go away even in the absence of a stressor.”
With symptoms that are similar to stress, people with anxiety may sometimes have difficulty focusing as well. Anxiety also has associated disorders, from which 31 percent of Americans suffer. Generalized anxiety and other disorders generally present with long-term anxiety that can last for months, interfering with work and hobbies by disrupting and negatively affecting your mood and ability to function.
While there are coping methods to help deal with stress and anxiety on the short-term, such as exercise, being outdoors, rest and good sleep hygiene, and a healthy and varied diet; if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you should look into seeing a therapist, who may prescribe you medicine to help control your anxiety and its symptoms.
Is anxiety covered under Delaware’s workers’ compensation laws?
In Delaware, mental stress and emotional trauma are covered by workers’ compensation as long as your work is making it worse; however, your employers workers’ compensation insurance may try to deny you coverage if you suffered an anxiety disorder before being hired. However, the law states that as long as an injury (physical or mental) is related to your work, then you qualify.
We at Silverman, McDonald, & Friedman have dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys who will help make sure that you get the rest and care that you deserve.
What are the different types of anxiety disorders?
There are many anxiety disorders that can negatively affect your day-to-day living, including your work life as well as your home life. When it is impossible to focus, constantly nervous (seemingly over nothing and everything), feeling dread, and are consistently restless or on edge, working can seem like an impossible task. Disorders that include these symptoms and more include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: While we also suffer from occasional anxiety, when that anxiety does not go away when stressors go away, then that is a sign that your anxiety might be more than just simple worry. Those with general anxiety disorder (GAD) have anxiety that does not go away, and may get worse over time. Symptoms include headaches, muscle pain and other unexplained aches and pains, irritability, fatigue, uncontrollable worry, and sleep problems.
- Panic disorder: People who have a panic disorder often have to suffer through panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden bursts of fear, dread, discomfort, and the feeling that they are in danger or about to die. A trigger is not necessary for this sort of attack, so they are difficult to predict. The symptoms of a panic attack include a racing heart, chest pain, trembling and tingling, sweating, and feelings of being out of control of the world around you, and feelings of doom.
- Social anxiety disorder: People who suffer from this condition fear that they are being watched and judged by others constantly. The fears of a social situation can be so intense that those feelings seem out of their control. Symptoms include sweating, shaking, racing heart, stomach problems, quiet voice and rigid posture, lack of eye contact, and self-consciousness.
- Phobia-related disorders: Phobias are intense fears of objects or situations. While we all have fears, people with phobias feel fear that is far beyond normal fear; out of proportion to the actual danger they may be in. Whenever they are near the object or in the situation that they fear, they may become severely anxious or suffer aggressive worry.
If you suffer from anxiety or an anxiety disorder, you should be covered under workers’ compensation just as anyone with a physical injury would. Just because the injury is not visible, it does not make it any less real or debilitating. Too often, emotional and mental health is given less attention and importance than it deserves.
We at Silverman, McDonald, & Friedman know exactly how serious anxiety disorders can be, and how they can affect your home life and your work life. If you are having issues getting workers’ compensation for your anxiety, call the attorneys at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman at 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form. Our legal services extend throughout Delaware from our offices in Newark, Wilmington, and Seaford.
Attorney Jeffrey S. Friedman joined Silverman, McDonald & Friedman in 2001. He graduated from Widener University School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and in several Federal Circuit courts. He areas of concentration include auto accident and workers’ compensation cases. Read more about Attorney Friedman here.