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Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U. S. Many older people suffer from depression, especially if they also suffer from other medical conditions, like Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, heart condition or respiratory problems that limit activity, alcoholism, or anxiety disorders.
Many people with severe clinical depression find it hard to take care of themselves and to work a steady job. Due to the number of disability applicants applying on the basis of depression (either as a primary medical condition or secondary), Social Security has strict criteria you must meet in order to qualify for disability benefits based on depression, dysthymia, or bipolar disorder.