Need Advice About SSA Psych Exam...Help Please

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by KittyCat, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. KittyCat

    KittyCat New Member

    Hello All,

    I applied for SSA Disability in early November 2005. Today I received notification that they want me to appear for a psychological evaluation. I have no idea what to expect, and how to prepare. I'm a bit nervous to say the least. Any/all advice, experiences, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I was diagnosed with major depression disorder as well as generalized anxiety disorder. My therapist gave me a very detailed written exam, and he submitted that along with my paperwork when I first applied. However, I understand it is not unusual for them to want to send you to their doctor.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. KittyCat

    KittyCat New Member

  3. yuckie

    yuckie New Member

    I applied for SSD and went to their psych doctor. My test was three hours long. In addition to the standard tests that they do, he also made observations on my energy level, emotional state, ability to focus, who accompanied me and my own statement about the illness and its effect on my life. The standard tests evaluate knowledge (basic math, reading and comprehension, history etc) ability to recall and coordinate information, understanding of euphamisms and on and on and on. I have not been diagnosed with a depressive disorder or any specific mental disorder so my tests did not focus on that area. Although he did ask several questions about my mental state.

    My advice to you is that you really can't prepare. Just be honest about the impact your illness has had on your life and your ability to function. Try to approach the appointment as just a step in the process of which there will be many more.

    Finally, I wanted to mention an interesting observation by my attorney upon reading the psychologists statements. My test results were above average but he stated that based on observations, I was unable to work in any field at the present time. Hummm, I wonder if that was because of the excrutiating pain I was in or the fact that when we finally finished I layed my head down on the table and started to cry because I was so exhausted.

    Please take care and don't forget to breathe! Sounds silly but more true than we like to admit. Janice
  4. KittyCat

    KittyCat New Member

    Thank you so much Janice. Your input was very helpful to me. I'll try to relax and breathe. My anxiety tends to intestify at times like this. Whenever I get mail from SSA Disability I get so anxious. I plan to take a good friend with me.

    Take care.

  5. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    There is no preparation. The doctors have a wide variety of tests to choose from. Some doctors give patients a battery of tests and leave them alone for 3-4 hours to complete them.

    The exam might include the Beck Depression Test to see how serious your depression is; a test where you read (or listen to) a paragraph and then are tested to see if you understood it; a test like the MMPI (Do you sometimes feel as though you had a tight band around your forehead?).

    You want to be honest, and you want to present your case. If the question is, "Do you have pain?" and you don't have any at the moment, the correct answer is not "NO".

    The correct answer would be something like, "Not at the moment but most days I have pain for about x hours on a level of whatever."

    Keep in mind the doctor is paid to be suspicious and to find people do not merit disability awards. The doctor is not an impartial expert.
  6. borntired

    borntired New Member

    I had to go to Florida as I was living in the Central part of the State. They guy was very cold. Asked me a few questions. The meeting took 5-6 minutes. I called him afterwards and asked him to send me a copy but he said it was too late. I should have asked him for his evaluation of me earlier.
    He was cold and he sat a little desk/table with a sign on that shouted "DO NOT PUT YOUR HANDS ON THIS DESK"

    Even though I was really upset because I had to call him twice for directions, I was so nervous,I couldn't keep my mind clear. SO he was more irritate with me for being late.

    I thought HE should have been interviewd by me. He was strange and unprofessional. I don't recall seeing his credentials on the wall but the most important thing for you and hope and pray you have a good Judge at your hearing and a good experienced Advocate to prepare you case.

    Good luck and God bless.
  7. KittyCat

    KittyCat New Member

    Thanks to all of you for your information about this exam. I'm a nervous wreck, but I plan to pray for guidance and hopefully I'll answer the questions so things will be decided in my favor.


  8. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    This may sound silly, but... I think you'll do fine.
    Hope this helps!!!!!
    ((((supportive hugs)))) Shannon

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