Three Services You Could Be Entitled To If You Live With Severe Anxiety

 Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in America. More than 40 million people have experienced anxiety as an adult, but less than half of these have received treatment for their condition. With so few Americans seeking help, it seems the nation is facing a mental health crisis. But what choices are open to those of us who aren't able to pay up to $250 an hour for therapy? 

 Whether or not you choose to medicate, you could be eligible for a variety of services designed to help you deal with your anxiety. From community listings to federal prescriptions, read on to find out if any of the following could help you live a happier, healthier, and more balanced life.

1) Therapy Animal 

Most of us will have felt the mental health benefits of spending time with animals. It's no secret that our beloved pets can provide comfort when we're feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Researchers have even shown that stroking dogs can trigger a release of dopamine and endorphins - 'happy chemicals' that naturally boost our sense of well-being.

If you suffer from extreme anxiety and find the presence of your pet therapeutic, then you could apply to register your pet as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). An official ESA letter stating that your dog, cat, or even guinea pig is an emotional support animal will act as a form of prescription, protecting you and your furry friend from discrimination. ESA documentation - which includes ID cards and identifying collars - can even exempt you from federal housing rules or travel restrictions, if they would otherwise prevent you from living or traveling with your pet.

2) Social Security Disability Benefits 

If you've received an official diagnosis of anxiety from your doctor - and your anxiety is so severe that it's severely disrupted your working life for at least 12 months - you could be eligible for a range of disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA).

For some sufferers, the physical and mental effects of anxiety can make it almost impossible to function at work. Insomnia, panic attacks, flashbacks, fainting spells - all can be completely draining, turning the smallest tasks into monumental challenges. The SSA will assess your eligibility for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits based on your current income, your employment history, and the extent of your anxiety. If you meet their eligibility criteria, you could receive payments to lessen the financial impact of being unable to work.

3) Dial 211 

Unfortunately, the price of therapy means that it's not as widely accessible as it should be. With an average cost of between $60 and $120 for a 45-60 minute session, counseling is prohibitively expensive for many people who suffer from anxiety. But did you know that almost 95% of Americans can find out if they're eligible for a variety of free mental health facilities by dialing 211?

Available in most areas of all 50 states, the dial code 211 will put you in touch with an operator who can guide you through an inventory of local health service numbers. If there are any free sessions or mental health resources on offer in your area, the operator can refer you to the services that will be most beneficial to you. This could include medical information lines, crisis intervention services, local counseling, and community support groups.

Final Thought

If anxiety is affecting your life, why not find out what services you could be entitled to? You don't need to deal with anxiety alone.

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