I just posted a new case study about a case I tried on behalf of a 49 year old male with a college education and skilled past work. My client suffers from severe depression, anger control issues and inappropriate social behavior.
This case study highlights an issue that often appears in depression cases. People who are severely depressed often lack motivation and energy to find and and keep a job. They often quit because they feel that they are overqualified for their work or that their job is boring and does not keep their interest.
As I noted in this case study, Social Security awards disability to claimants to lack the capacity to perform the duties of full time work. It does not award benefits to people who choose not to work because the only jobs they seem to get are uninteresting, dead end jobs.
One of my tasks, therefore, is to argue that my clients’ problems do not arise from laziness, but instead arise from the symptoms of a depressed state of mind.
If you are pursuing disability on account of depression, it is important to try to describe to the judge what life is like when in the throes of severe depression. I have represented clients who have said things like this:
I feel that I am stuck in a deep hole and that there is no way out. I have no energy at all and I can barely summon the energy to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. I don’t care what I look like or if I smell. I have no interest in talking to anyone. I have no interest in eating and I frankly don’t care if I live or die.
This type of explanation goes a long way to create a bright line between someone who is just not motivated to work and someone who literally cannot get out of bed. In depression cases I always ask my clients to describe “what it is like to be depressed” like you are talking to someone who does not understand the condition. If you are applying for benefits based on depression you would be wise to give this question careful thought as well.
Note also that in addition to the depression case studies on this site, I have published a number of other depression case studies on other sites.