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Intensive care units are causing post-traumatic stress disorder

For most people in Rome, the intensive care unit is a place to get help for serious injuries and illness, it is not a place to develop one. Unfortunately, it seems that there are many people in Georgia and across the country who are developing post-traumatic stress disorder from their stays in the ICU. Some of these cases may even be so severe that the individual must apply for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security disability insurance benefits.

Imagine waking up in the ICU with no idea where you are or why you are there. Imagine still that while you are lying in bed, restrained and surrounded by loud machines, you think you see doctors and nurses performing sadistic, horrific procedures on patients. These are just some of the typical experiences and hallucinations that people in Rome go through while in the ICU, and it is no wonder why they develop PTSD.

These hallucinations don't just end the moment the patient is discharged, either. Some continue long after the hospital stay, and sometimes just the memories of those horrible visions are enough to severely affect a person's behavior and mental state. In some of the worst conditions, people with PTSD are unable to work and are dependent on federal disability benefits for their care and well-being.

Applying for those benefits while dealing with PTSD can be difficult to do alone, however. Focusing on something so mundane yet important can be nearly impossible, especially when an applicant already has a difficult time telling what is real and what is not. Working with a disability benefits attorney, however, is a good way to get the paperwork filled out and get the process moving on receiving federal benefits.

Source: The New York Times, "Nightmares After the I.C.U." Jan Hoffman, July 22, 2013

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